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In partnership with Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce


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 online presence - checklist

The internet undoubtedly brings a wealth of business benefits. But it also poses risks. This checklist explains how to get the most from your online activities.

  • Familiarise yourself with how your industry is represented online; search for your customers, suppliers and other contacts. Look at their websites and online social media profiles.
  • Review the audience you communicate with and market to: their interests, preferences and online habits. Which social media and online networking sites do they use? How do they use them and how do they represent themselves in their profiles?
  • Review your own online presence. Where do you appear in search results? Do you have a presence on the social media and networking sites used by your target market?
  • Set up a social media profile on relevant sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. Connect and communicate with your customers by posting blogs, tweets and useful information. Avoid the 'hard sell'. Your aim is to build relationships.
  • Put in place clear social media policies so that it is clear what is and isn't permitted.
  • Review your website. Is it still doing the job you intended? Does it accurately represent your business? Is it fresh, engaging and easy to use? What devices do site visitors use to view your site and is your site optimised for those devices?
  • Consider using online advertising strategies such as pay-per-click advertising. Research which keywords will be most effective in your online adverts and for driving traffic to your website.
  • Review your email marketing strategy. Are you reaching the right people, with the right messages, at the right time?
  • Consider whether your product or service is suitable for online sales. Does your website offer ecommerce capabilities? Before proceeding, ensure you have a robust ecommerce strategy and the necessary resources to deliver online sales.
  • Apply for merchant status if you want to accept credit and debit card transactions online.
  • Investigate how your website could improve the support and service you offer to customers (eg delivery times, detailing product and price lists, frequently asked questions and local suppliers).
  • Use the internet for market research, seeking useful information on customers, suppliers, technologies, markets, and pricing and to keep up to date with industry news and developments.
  • Involve employees; set clear policies, give them training and support, and encourage suggestions.
  • Ensure you are aware of the legal issues: for example, consumer protection, advertising and selling regulations, copyright, data protection and libel laws.
  • Continually review the effectiveness of your online activities; keep up to date with new technologies and opportunities.