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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.

Managing your cash flow - checklist

Read our list of tips for controlling your cash flow, including chasing debts and avoiding the dangers of overtrading

  • Regularly monitor and revise your cash flow budget to anticipate potential cash shortages.
  • Invoice promptly and chase outstanding payments vigorously. Invoices for business-to-business transactions must be paid within 60 days, unless an alternative payment period has been agreed. Public-sector bodies must pay invoices within 30 days.
  • Consider charging interest on late payments and debt recovery compensation charges to deter late payment.
  • Develop warning systems to identify where delays or unexpected changes could cause the business to run out of cash.
  • Be prepared to trade off profitability and other business objectives when your cash flow position is, or may become, critical.
  • Minimise the amount of cash owed to you by restricting credit limits and payment periods and consider factoring your debts.
  • Put customer accounts on stop once they reach their agreed credit limit and do not provide further goods or services until they have paid what they owe.
  • Generate short-term sales income by offering incentives to bring forward purchases and discounts for cash payment.
  • Cut unnecessary costs and shop around for competitive prices; negotiate generous payment periods and short delivery lead-times.
  • Use your stock control system to minimise cash tied up in stock.
  • Assess your cash flow position before committing to any new expenditure or increases in overheads. Consider using leasing to finance assets.
  • Be prepared to turn down orders if you cannot finance them. Negotiate deposits or stage payments for large orders and long-term contracts.
  • Build relationships with financiers and suppliers so they will extend extra credit when you need it.
  • Arrange additional financing before you need it. Seek equity investment if cash flow will not safely cover interest payments.
  • Sell unproductive or superfluous assets and discontinue business lines with negative cash flow.
  • Take into account short-term fluctuations which do not show up on monthly or weekly budgets.

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