Strategy and Planning

Identify and build your differentiating business capabilities

Knowledge

advice
Strategic planning for growth
Creating a strategic plan is a key component of planning for growth. It will help prepare a realistic vision for the future of your business and maxim...
Higher Education Strategy
See the latest updates on the SWLEP Higher Education Strategy and access the downloads
guide
A brief guide to business continuity planning
In this short guide, we will explore how you can prepare for the unforeseen with focus on your IT and business-critical systems.
guide
Preparing Your Organisation For Growth
Companies that address their organizational weaknesses as they implement growth strategies give themselves an advantage.
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...
guide
Introduction to Intellectual Property Rights
This guide provides brief descriptions of UK and European IP rights.
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.
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...
advice
Profiling Your Target Market
This factsheet provides an introduction to profiling your target market and customers and explains the importance of fully understanding their needs.
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.
guide
Choosing the Right Legal Structure
This factsheet outlines the main legal structures for a business (sole trader, partnership, LTD, LLP and CIC).

Resources

Inspire

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Inspire is the trading name for the Wessex Chambers of Commerce, a not for profit organisation representing local SME businesses across every sector.

inspirebiz.co.uk
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Rural England - Independent Research, Networking and Information Exchange across Rural England

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Rural England is a Community Interest Company, which is managed by its team of Directors and whose work programme and outputs are shaped by a Stakeholder Group. This structure is designed to ensure that it operates independently of any-one interested party. Rural England exists to bring together rural networks and stakeholders, to improve the rural evidence base, and to help disseminate and debate the findings. It does this in response to a widely perceived deterioration in the rural evidence base, which should not be allowed to happen unchecked

Ruralengland.org
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Legal forms and templates

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LawDepot is a leading publisher of do-it-yourself legal forms. Customize legal templates such as wills, prenups and more

LawDepot
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The Institute of Directors - Encouraging entrepreneurial activity

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The IoD is the UK’s longest-running organisation for professional leaders, dedicated to supporting its members, encouraging entrepreneurial activity and promoting responsible business practice for the benefit of the business community and society as a whole.

IOD.com
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Strategy Tools for your business

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Techniques that help you understand your competitive environment; identify the options open to you; set strategic priorities; deliver your strategy; and work intelligently in areas like purchasing, marketing, operations, and manufacturing.

mindtools.com
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Are you a women in the property or construction business?

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While much has changed in recent years, women still represent only 15% of the property and construction industry workforce. The Association of Women in Property is working with businesses and other industry organisations to help redress this balance. They provide a dynamic forum for women in the sector as well as encouraging and nurturing aspiring talent in our schools and universities.

womeninproperty.org.uk
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The Automotive Council - Enhancing dialogue and strengthening co-operation

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The Automotive Council was established in 2009 to enhance dialogue and strengthen co-operation between UK government and the automotive sector. The Council is made up of senior figures from across industry and government. In July 2013, the Automotive Council published the sector strategy: Driving Success – a strategy for growth and sustainability in the UK automotive sector. This long term strategy sets out a range of actions to addresses the cross-cutting objectives of improving access to finance, support for emerging and disruptive technologies, skills development, and improving the competitiveness of the UK supply chain. This is a living document that is updated and activities re-prioritised as appropriate.

automotivecouncil.co.uk
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UK Business Information Portal (Great Business)

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Comprehensive range of support, advice and inspiration for growing your business.

GreatBusiness
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Defining your USP (Innovate UK)

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A short video from Innovate UK on how to define your USP

YouTube.com
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The National Enterprise Network

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The National Enterprise Network represents Local Enterprise Agencies (LEAs) in England. Tel: (01234) 831623

www.nationalenterprisenetwork.org
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Documents

Sources of Public Sector Tenders and Contracts

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Selling Your Business – An Introduction to

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Sales – How to Forecast

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Renting Business Premises – A Guide to

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Preparing a Budget – An Introduction to

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Market Information and Statistics – A Guide to Sources of

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Legal Forms of Joint Venture – An Introduction to

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ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard – A Guide to the

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Insurance Cover for Business

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Indemnity Insurance – An Introduction to

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Income Protection Insurance – A Guide to

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Financing Your Business with Venture Capital – An Introduction to

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Family-run Firms – A Guide to

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Duties of a Company Director

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Costing and Pricing a Product or Service – A Guide to

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Classes of Private Limited Company Shares

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Carrying Out a SWOT Analysis

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Balance Sheets – A Guide to Understanding

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Business Guidance from Regulators and Government Agencies

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British, European and International Standards – An Introduction to

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BIF 054 A Guide to Costing and Pricing a Product or Service

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A Guide to Appointing Non-Exec Directors

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Social Value Act – A Guide to the

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Selling to the Health Services Sector

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Running a Business from Home – A Checklist for

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Profit and Loss Accounts – A Guide to Understanding

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Marketing Strategy – Creating a

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Managed Workspace – An Introduction to

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Keeping Sales and Purchase Ledgers

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ISO 9000 Quality Management Standards – An Introduction to

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Insurance Broker – Choosing and Using an

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How to Keep a Manual Cash Book

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How to Forecast Cash Flow

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Financial Ratios – An Introduction to Understanding

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Employee Share Schemes – A Guide to

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Dissolving a Partnership

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Contractor – A Guide to Hiring a

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Choosing Commercial Premises

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Business Networking

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Barter Networks for Business – A Guide to

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Business Activities Regulated by Local Authorities

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Applying for Planning Permission – A Guide to

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A Guide to SWOT

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This factsheet explains the benefits of carrying out a SWOT analysis and provides an overview of the SWOT analysis process

picture_as_pdf a_guide_to_swot.pdf (121 KB)
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Strategic Planning

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Strategic planning is an important process that all organisations should undertake. It is essential for clarifying what you want to achieve, for maintaining high quality services for beneficiaries and for ensuring the long-term sustainability of the organisation.

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News

Community News
Housing group GreenSquare expands in Chippenham
Extension of its offices at Methuen Park, Chippenham.
Community News
Beard Group wins place on key national framework
Future involvement in public sector project anticipated
Funding Annoucement
£675 million fund to transform high streets and to...
The Future High Streets fund will help local leaders implement bold new visions to transform their t...
Local Industrial Strategies to drive growth across...
The Local modern Industrial Strategies will build on local strengths and drive growth across the UK.
Fair funding for farmers across all parts of the U...
Independent panel will look at how funding supports the needs of England, Scotland, Wales and Northe...
featured
How productive is your business? - Interactive too...
The Office for National Statistics has produced an interactive tool that aids businesses to calculat...

Events

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Insights

Meet your adviser from Business West; Q&A with Andrew Mercer
Catch up with Business West's Business Adviser for Swindon, Andrew Mercer, to find out more about his role and how we can help businesses to start and...
Starting out in your own company – It’s tougher than you could possibly imagine...
Tips for Start ups from someone that is 2 years in with a startup, that helps Businesses to develop and grow. Highlighting just how hard starting a ne...
tool
SWOT it Out
A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool designed to help you to understand your business according to its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities an...
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
case study
Research scientist changes career
Lisa Berry was working as a research scientist in 2009 when she decided to start her own business Cheeky Little Prints creating bespoke jewellery emb...

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