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Guiding you to a better future


For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Managing your stress - checklist

Running a business is a big responsibility, and owners often suffer from stress. Read our hints on how to manage overwork and the associated health problems

  • Recognise physical symptoms of stress such as headaches and tension, upset stomach, continual tiredness or problems sleeping.
  • Acknowledge behavioural symptoms such as nervousness, irritability, excessive smoking or drinking or communication problems.
  • Understand work symptoms such as inability to focus, poor decision-making, loss of enthusiasm or feeling overloaded.
  • Identify any work causes such as unrealistic targets and deadlines, bad time management and overlong hours, or poor working relationships.
  • Identify any domestic contributors such as money or relationship problems, or bereavement.
  • Tackle any workplace causes of stress: for example, refuse additional work, delegate any tasks that can be outsourced and work to improve working relationships.
  • Break down big jobs into smaller, achievable tasks, and decide what to prioritise and recognise each step you achieve.
  • Try to resolve non-work issues. Can you arrange extra assistance with childcare and domestic chores? Consider whether it is possible to take time away from work to unwind and sort out relationship problems.
  • Try to accept causes you cannot change, and remind yourself of other, positive aspects to your life.
  • Accept your limitations and avoid taking stress out on others instead of dealing with the problem.
  • Get support: talk problems over with friends, join a group of others in a similar position, or get a business mentor.
  • Ask for help from work colleagues, family or friends. Admitting you are struggling is not a sign of weakness.
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle: eat properly, take exercise or practise relaxation techniques.
  • Download and use apps designed to help alleviate stress.
  • Be active: physical activities and hobbies are far more relaxing and effective at relieving stress than watching television or worrying.
  • Take breaks during the working day; set aside 'quality time' at home, and plan (and take) long weekends and holidays.
  • Learn how you react to pressure and how you can best deal with stress. Work to avoid negative responses.

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