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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.

Delegating effectively - checklist

It's not possible to do everything yourself - and it isn't good for employee satisfaction either. Here's how to delegate tasks successfully.

  • Review each task on your to-do list. Consider the objectives and deadline and whether the task is part of a broader role or set of recurring tasks you wish to delegate.
  • Aim to delegate a complete activity, which will motivate an employee and produce job satisfaction when successfully executed.
  • Assess the skills, knowledge, resources, influence and any other requirements for the task.
  • Consider the strengths, weaknesses, aspirations and existing workload of employees - choose the employee to delegate to.
  • Identify the benefits for that employee - for example, learning new skills, added variety in the workload or a step up in career progression.
  • Assess the drawbacks of delegating the task - or example, the time you will need to commit to handing over and supporting the task, and the risk of failure.
  • Sell the benefits of undertaking the task to the employee, explain the objectives and specify your requirements, address any concerns.
  • Agree the extent to which you will be involved, and clarify where responsibility lies. Note that you retain ultimate responsibility.
  • Agree the schedule and deadlines. Clarify to what extent, if any, you will need to review work in progress or be involved in decisions.
  • Provide any support and resources the employee requires, such as training or access to information.
  • Inform other relevant employees; explain that the employee will be acting on your authority and solicit their cooperation.
  • Liaise as the task progresses; encourage the employee to approach you with any problems, but avoid unwanted interference.
  • Review the completed task; assess what the employee has learnt, and any weaknesses which have been highlighted and should be tackled.
  • Review how effective your delegation skills were; identify and improve your contribution to any problems (eg poor communication or support).

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