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We're here with practical information for your business. Learn about business planning, running a business and more.


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.

Holding effective meetings - checklist

Badly planned and run meetings can be a real waste of company time. Read our tips on using your valuable meeting time efficiently.

  • Identify the meeting objectives - for example, to discuss issues and make decisions, to brainstorm ideas or to motivate the team.
  • Decide who needs to be present and why.
  • Arrange a date, time and place. Make any administrative arrangements including organising the venue, refreshments and, if necessary, a secretary for the meeting.
  • Set the agenda, with a clear objective for each item; note who will lead the discussion of each item.
  • Prepare a timetable, allocating time for each item. Consider separate, shorter meetings if there is too much to cover in a reasonable time.
  • Circulate the agenda and any supporting papers as early as possible.
  • Prepare: if necessary, discuss sensitive issues or agree your approach with key participants before the meeting.
  • Start the meeting on time, welcome participants and make introductions; explain the timetable and administrative arrangements (eg breaks).
  • Introduce each agenda item in turn in a balanced, positive fashion.
  • Control the discussion. Encourage quiet participants, and restrain attempts to dominate the discussion or to raise unrelated topics.
  • Give your own views after other participants; summarise the discussion.
  • If appropriate, agree a decision; clarify responsibilities and deadlines for any action points.
  • Stick to the timetable. Be prepared to hold over topics for further discussion at a later date if necessary.
  • Address any non-agenda items which have arisen; discuss them at the end of the meeting if appropriate, or agree to postpone them.
  • Reiterate the main points and thank participants to end the meeting.
  • Circulate minutes of the discussions and action points agreed to all participants and others affected as soon as possible; monitor subsequent progress.

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