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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.

Securing your premises - checklist

Break-ins and theft are distressing for any property owner - but they could also threaten your business if you lose key equipment or data. Learn how to keep your premises protected.

  • Find out what advice the local police can offer on premises design, security measures, and local problems to look out for.
  • Assess your level of risk: for example, whether you have valuable equipment or handle cash, and whether you are in a high crime area.
  • Check your insurer's requirements: for example, what kind of alarm system and locks you must have.
  • Make sure that you have a suitable external boundary, and control public access to your grounds.
  • Check for hidden recesses and poor visibility, especially around access points and areas such as car parking; consider using external lighting.
  • Consider whether you need closed circuit cameras; if so, ensure that your use of CCTV complies with data protection requirements.
  • Control external access to upper levels and the roof, for example by using anti-climb paint.
  • Protect doors and windows with suitable locks; consider whether shutters or grilles are necessary (and get any necessary planning permission for them).
  • Install an appropriate alarm system.
  • Establish security procedures, including who will hold keys and who will be responsible for locking up; consider whether you need security personnel.
  • Take steps to control visitors to your premises: for example, signing-in procedures (for an office) or mirrors to cover blind spots (in a shop).
  • Protect employee safety: for example, by providing panic buttons and having a policy on working alone.
  • Minimise the risks to valuable, easily stolen items like laptop computers: security mark them, keep them out of sight, or lock them away.
  • Ensure any cash is handled sensibly: minimise cash held on the premises, establish sensible cash-handling routines, and if necessary install a safe.
  • Review your security measures to ensure that emergency escape routes are not compromised.
  • Train staff in security procedures, including how to deal with emergencies.
  • Carry out regular external inspections: check that access points are secure, repair any damage, and remove any graffiti and rubbish.
  • Arrange for the alarm system to be regularly maintained and tested.
  • Consider working with other local businesses to reduce risks, for example by joining a local crime prevention scheme.

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