The Knowledge Centre

Impartial support, advice and tools for your business

Starting Up

advice Business Opportunity Factsheets
Explore our A-Z business opportunity index covering a cross-section of industries.
guide An Introduction to Business Regulations when Starting Up
This guide identifies the major business regulations and obligations that will affect the start up of a new business.
tool Writing a Business Plan
This tool describes what a business plan should include, how to write one and what are its benefits.
guide Choosing the Right Legal Structure
This factsheet outlines the main legal structures for a business (sole trader, partnership, LTD, LLP and CIC).

Strategy and Planning

Interview with Steven Smith, Founder of Poundland
Alison Edgar recently interviewed Steven Smith, founder of Poundland to find out what exactly made his business tick
tool Carrying Out a SWOT Analysis
This factsheet explains the benefits of carrying out a SWOT analysis and provides an overview of the analysis process. It lists a series of useful que...
guide Appointing a Non-Executive Director
This guide looks at the duties involved in the role, the legal responsibilities, the time commitment expected of non-executive directors.

Marketing

guide Market Information and Statistics
This factsheet provides an overview of some of the main sources of market information and statistical data available and how to access them.
guide Developing a Marketing Plan
Developing a marketing plan is one of the most effective ways for a small business to survive and thrive, especially in increasingly competitive times...
The Art of Getting What You Want
Negotiation is the nitty-gritty of the actual transaction between customer and business. Yet strangely enough, it’s something that most sales people a...
guide Creating a Marketing Strategy
This factsheet explains the importance of having a marketing strategy, and how to use it properly to maximise the success of a business. It also inclu...

Sales and New Markets

guide How to Forecast Sales - Guide
Sales forecasting is a crucial part of setting up and running a business and is essential for ongoing business planning. Forecasting the future is alw...
guide Costing or Pricing a Product or Service - Guide
Setting the right price for a new product or service can be one of the hardest tasks faced by small business owners. Costing a product or service is r...
guide Methods of Entering Export Markets
This guide will help you select an export market-entry method that is suitable for your business. It explains the difference between direct and indire...
guide Costing and Pricing a Product or Service
It is important to understand the impact of pricing on profitability and be able to choose the best pricing strategy for a business.

Funding and Finance 

guide Business Finance Terminology - Glossary
When dealing with your accountant or bank the language used can sometimes sound unfamiliar, even to the most experienced business person. The followi...
advice SME growth grants
Are you running a business in Swindon or Wiltshire and need help to grow? With an SME growth grant of between £2,000 and £10,000 you can kick start y...
advice Overview of available European Funding
​Various European funding networks offer financial support for businesses of all types.
advice Finance support information index
A bank loan is not the only way that you can raise money to fund your business. A quick overview of available options is a good place to start.

People and Skills

advice Regulations Covering Lifting and Manual Handling in the Workplace
This guide explains the requirements of the Regulations and provides information about how to comply with them.
guide Redundancy Legislation & Procedure
This guide gives an overview of an employee's legal rights, and the procedures that employers should be following throughout the redundancy process.
advice Apprenticeships for Small Business
This guide provides an overview of apprenticeships for small business and describes the benefits to business and apprentices. It outlines the differen...
advice Degree Apprenticeships - A New Route
Degree Apprenticeships offer a great solution for those that want to learn and earn.

Regulation and Compliance

guide Health & Safety
This introductory guide explains the main steps that must be taken to ensure that an employer complies with health and safety regulations.
guide Food Safety Legislation
Food Safety Legislation applies to any firm that is involved in the production, processing, storage, distribution and sale of food.

Tax and Accounting

guide Tax Deadlines in 2018
There are five main types of tax that are relevant to firms: income tax, corporation tax, National Insurance (NI), Value Added Tax (VAT) and Capital G...
advice Tax relief and incentives for businesses
As part of the overall funding landscape, there are plenty of government schemes and incentives available to businesses.
guide Introduction to Tax Self-Assessment
This guide describes the tax self-assessment process, who it applies to, and how to register for self-assessment. It also briefly explains the process...
advice Choosing and Using an Accountant
This guide explains the services offered by accountants, what to look for when choosing an accountant and how to find and appoint one. It provides inf...

New Product Development

guide Government Support for Research & Development - Guide
The UK Government, and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, have a strategy to stimulate business research and develo...
guide Preparing Your Organisation For Growth
Companies that address their organizational weaknesses as they implement growth strategies give themselves an advantage.
guide Introduction to Intellectual Property Rights
This guide provides brief descriptions of UK and European IP rights.
guide Using Copyright to Protect Your Work
This introductory guide explains the principle of copyright and how you can use it to protect original work

Applying Technology

Global Business Accelerator Programme visit to Israel
Innovate UK’s Global Business Accelerator Programme, delivered by Enterprise Europe Network, is organising a technology visit to Israel for businesses...
report Independent report - Made Smarter Review
An industry-led review exploring how UK manufacturing can maximise benefits of digital technology through a strong industry - government partnership.
guide Selling Goods Online
In this guide, we outline the legal requirements for traders selling goods (products or digital content) online.
guide Registering a Domain Name
Choosing the right domain name for your business website and e-mail communications is a vital component of your business identity.

Sustainable Business

guide Product Packaging Regulations - Guide
Any business that supplies or sells packaged products must ensure that the packaging complies with product packaging regulations. These cover issues s...
Generating good energy in the area
The Swindon & Wiltshire LEP (SWLEP) is a member of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen initiative and believes it can make a significant contribution national...
guide Environmental Protection Act 1990
A Guide to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the obligations of business owners.
guide Environmental Regulations - A Guide
Understand environmental regulations and how to manage the impact of your business.

The Regional Advantage

report The Swindon Investment Guide
Thinking of relocating your business to the Swindon area? The Swindon Investment Guide contains information on recent economic successes, current pro...
Visitor Economy Wiltshire
This site offers a comprehensive guide to Wiltshire including accommodation, what's on and visitor attractions. Particularly useful for food and drin...
Generating good energy in the area
The Swindon & Wiltshire LEP (SWLEP) is a member of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen initiative and believes it can make a significant contribution national...
advice Tackling Swindon's skills gap
A recurring theme that Swindon businesses raise is the trouble they have recruiting highly skilled workers

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