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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.

Communicating with employees - checklist

Good communication is key if you want to help your staff feel fulfilled and do the best job possible. Read our list of points to consider.

  • Give employees the information they need (eg policies and technical information) or are legally entitled to (eg for health and safety or employment law).
  • Use communication to help employees perform - by agreeing clear objectives, providing feedback and recognising achievements.
  • Communicate regularly to build your relationship with individuals and teams; take a personal interest in them, and take part in social events.
  • Aim for open, honest two-way communication; make yourself available, encourage employees to raise problems and suggestions, and listen.
  • Plan communications: think about your objectives and break down your message into a small number of key points.
  • Anticipate your audience?s attitude, current knowledge and level of interest; choose a time when they are likely to be receptive.
  • Give advance warning when appropriate - for example, if an employee will need to prepare; circulate an agenda before group meetings.
  • Choose the right medium - for example, the phone for a quick discussion, email or memos for complex information or where you need a written record, an instant message (such as text message) for brief instructions and information or your intranet for company-wide information such as company policies and news.
  • Follow up written communications, particularly if they cover complex issues; don?t assume signs and memos will be read and understood.
  • Handle sensitive communications face-to-face.
  • Use clear, appropriate language; be specific about action points, deadlines and responsibilities.
  • Build trust: be positive, patient and polite; explain yourself, particularly when overriding an employee?s suggestion; and do what you say you will.
  • Control discussions: stick to the agenda, and keep things brief.
  • Confirm understanding and agreement; review outcomes to see whether communications have been effective.
  • Practise communication skills: asking open-ended questions, listening and ensuring you understand; using positive body language.

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