These guides are designed to walk you through best practice approaches to business challenges.

They will bring to light the important issues and themes that underpin a particular business challenge and prepare you for making long-lasting improvements.

  • Based on SME experiences, not corporate jargon
  • Filled with real-world stories
  • Achievable steps every business can take

A guide to hiring and supporting your first employees

Knowing when to take on your first employees is a challenge for any small business owner. This guide sets out what you should do to make sure you are successful in hiring, managing and supporting your new hires.

A guide to managing debt and cash flow

This guide has been designed to provide impartial information to help businesses through survival and onto recovery, helping them stabilise and move forward to growth and future success.

An expert guide on the essential steps towards business financial recovery

If the coronavirus crisis and economic consequences have dented your cash flow, your confidence, or both, this business finance guide is for you.

An introduction to applying learnings from other businesses to your own company

Other companies are a valuable source of inspiration, ideas and good practice. Our guide explains how to apply what you’ve learnt.

An introduction to assessing and choosing the right technology to improve business operations

The path to finding the best tools for your business can be a long and winding one. This is because there is no magical, one-size-fits-all package that can solve the problems and improve the processes of every team.

An introduction to balancing ambition with setting realistic goals

While ambition is important, leaders need to find a healthy balance between aiming high and being realistic when it comes to setting goals.

An introduction to balancing short-term business needs with long-term targets

Businesses face constant pressure to respond to urgent operational and financial needs. The risk is that the company might lose sight of long-term goals.

An introduction to benchmarking your business against competitors

Finding out exactly how your business shapes up against your competitors is key to ensuring its success in a crowded market.

An introduction to best supporting the mental health of employees

Wondering how to approach mental health support in the workplace? Here’s what you should consider, as well as common mistakes to avoid.

An introduction to better serving your most loyal customers

Creating a solid base of loyal customers is one of the easiest ways to increase sales and grow your business.

An introduction to budgeting and planning for new technology investments

In business, the success of any new technology lies in the planning and rollout. Read this guide to find out how to make your new tech a success.

An introduction to building a network to support your business

Building a professional network can feel like a minefield. This guide will help you develop your network and advise you how to get the best out of it.

An introduction to collecting data to improve your business

Data is a core part of business strategies. It’s used to determine areas of growth, forecast effectively and make informed decisions about marketing.

An introduction to creating better-informed business plans

Business plans explain a company’s goals and provide a roadmap. But what are the essential ingredients that make business plans more robust?

An introduction to creating targets and KPIs for employees

When managed properly, targets and KPIs provide direction and motivation for employees. Here’s how to maximise their benefits.

An introduction to dealing with a challenging member of staff

Every business will come across a challenging member of staff at some point. Learning how to deal with the situation effectively is essential if you want to avoid a negative impact on the rest of your workforce.

An introduction to defining and communicating your vision for success

Understanding what success means to your business is crucial to achieving it. This guide outlines how you can start defining your vision.

An introduction to developing a clear unique selling point

What makes your business different to everybody else in the market? Answering this question is the essence of a clear unique selling point (USP).

An introduction to developing career paths for staff

Developing career paths and showing staff that they have a future with your company is an essential component of talent management.

An introduction to developing new products and services

Developing a new product or service for your business can be a daunting process. Here’s a guide to help you get started.

An introduction to developing workforce skillsets

Many managers equate skills gaps with the need to hire, but there are better ways to go about developing skillsets in your organisation.

An introduction to effectively managing a remote workforce

Leaders need to take a deliberate and systematic approach to management to keep a remote workforce motivated and productive.

An introduction to effectively seeking external digital support

Whether you’re planning to get stuck into your company’s digital development yourself or call in the pros, here’s what you need to consider.

An introduction to ensuring your business can navigate a dip in trading

Dips in trading performance are part and parcel of business life, so it’s vital you know what actions to take.

An introduction to evaluating your strengths and weaknesses as a leader

Business leaders are used to spending time assessing the strengths and weaknesses of others but it’s crucial to be able to reflect on your own capabilities.

An introduction to evolving your role as a leader with the company’s growth

As your business grows and develops, so will your leadership role – here’s how to prepare for the change.

An introduction to figuring out when it’s the right time to invest in your business

Getting the timing of investment decisions right makes all the difference to whether a business prospers. But how do you know when it’s the right time?

An introduction to financially planning for new opportunities

Having a new opportunity can be tantalising, but how do you get your finances in shape? Our guide will show you how to understand the impact on your business.

An introduction to getting a better return on investment from your marketing

Here’s how to make sure your marketing investment really pays off for your business.

An introduction to getting better at delegating and giving your team autonomy

As businesses grow many leaders find it difficult to give up control. However, giving your team autonomy benefits both you and your staff.

An introduction to getting better at looking internally at your business

Learn the main factors that influence how and when leaders look internally, plus quick wins for making internal reflection into a habit.

An introduction to getting better at noticing and reacting to warning signs

Whether it’s a market disruption, internal matter or change in customer behaviour, it’s crucial to spot warning signs that could impact your business.

An introduction to getting staff interested in the financial situation

Find out some of the common mistakes companies make when sharing financial information and quick wins that can make the process easier.

An introduction to getting staff interested in your vision and values

This guide will explore some of the factors that influence whether staff engage with your vision and values, plus quick wins for improvements.

An introduction to identifying new customers to target

Our guide shares what to consider when trying to identify new types of customers to target, including quick wins you can implement immediately.

An introduction to identifying the skillsets that are missing from your business

There’s an important gap between the skills you have now and those you need for the future. Identifying those skillsets reduces risk and empowers growth.

An introduction to improving communication within your business

From how you communicate to what you communicate, here’s how to up your game when it comes to internal comms and why it matters.

An introduction to improving hiring and onboarding practices

Businesses need strong hiring and onboarding practices to attract and retain talent that’s moving around more than ever.

An introduction to improving the online presence of your business

From growing your customer base to boosting credibility and collecting data, being more visible online promises countless wins for your business.

An introduction to increasing staff engagement and motivation

Employee engagement and motivation are products of a hard-to-measure mix of personal drivers, company performance and culture – it might feel like a tough subject to tackle.

An introduction to keeping your best members of staff

Retaining your best members of staff is essential for the health and success of your business – yet it’s harder than ever to hold on to this kind of talent.

An introduction to knowing when it’s time to scale up your business

Getting your timing right when scaling up your business can make all the difference to realising your ambitions. But doing so is far from straightforward.

An introduction to learning to become a better leader

There are a number of simple things to consider when you’re trying to develop as a leader. In this guide, you’ll learn about key factors, common mistakes and quick wins.

An introduction to learning to trust others within your organisation as a leader

This guide will outline some of the factors that influence your level of trust as a leader, plus common mistakes people make.

An introduction to making sure your team and processes are ready for growth

Your team and processes need to adapt as your business grows. Taking proactive steps to get ready for growth can help you avoid common growing pains and put you on the right track.

An introduction to making sure your technology is robust enough for growth

Technology is key to driving business efficiency and unlocking innovation – there’s no way to grow without getting it right. Our guide explains how to get started.

An introduction to making your business more resilient to change

We can’t always predict the future. But by building resilience, businesses can push through adversity and adapt to change.

An introduction to performance managing staff

Improving performance management is great for companies and their staff. Employees need to be motivated, have the resources they need and be held accountable to enjoy their role.

An introduction to reducing staff turnover

Losing talented employees can have a knock-on effect on staff morale, performance and productivity across your organisation.

An introduction to running a better appraisals process

Does your appraisals process effectively monitor and improve staff performance – or is it a box-checking exercise that’s endured? It could be time for a change.

An introduction to streamlining and automating your business processes

Automation is not just for large enterprises. Read our guide on how to apply automation to your business in a strategic, cost-effective way.

An introduction to the four-day week

We've put together a short series on the four-day work week to help you learn more about what it is and how other businesses have implemented it.

An introduction to understanding what digital tools or support your business needs

There is a lot of tech available to small businesses. How can you pick the right tools for you? Read our guide to find out.

An introduction to using the data you have to improve decision making

Data plays an important part in effective decision making, whether it’s around company growth, hiring practices, sales or marketing campaigns.

An introduction to working out the best digital sales channels to use

Done right, digital sales can super-charge your business growth. Read this guide to find out how to get your approach spot on.

Attracting and retaining talented employees during turbulent times

Finding, recruiting and maximising the potential of new members of your business is time-consuming and expensive. Be the Business is here to help with small, but powerful, improvement suggestions.

Confirming a new hire

Found the right person for the role? There are a number of things you need to do next as an employer.

Five easy steps to bringing an apprentice into your business

Find out how your business can take advantage of government support to bring in apprentices that have fresh ideas and new ways of thinking.

Five key considerations for new starters

When a new employee starts, there are a few things you’ll want to consider to help them settle in and feel part of the business.

Five quick wins to improve your onboarding

The onboarding experience for new starters can make a huge difference to how they settle into the business and perform in their roles.

Five steps to getting started with a four-day week

Thinking about trialling a four-day week in your own business? Here are five steps for getting started.

Five steps to help your business tackle the skills shortage

These are the five steps small business can take to tackle the skills shortage in their company.

Five ways SMEs can manage energy price rises

Discover the ways your small business can tackle the energy price rises.

Four quick wins to improve your hiring process

Are you looking to improve your hiring process but not sure where to start? Here are four quick wins to help you improve your recruitment success.

Get inspired by what others have done

At Be the Business, we’ve been supporting business leaders like you since 2018 by bringing together companies of all shapes and sizes to share experiences and tackle challenges together.

How do I build a cash flow forecast from scratch?

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. Good cash flow management ensures your business has the funds to pay salaries on time and resources to grow.

How do I choose the best social media platform for my business?

Choosing the best social media platform for your business isn't an easy task. How do you know where to invest your time?

How do I create a five-year business plan?

How small and medium-sized businesses can crack ecommerce

How the four-day week works

There are different interpretations of the four-day week and how it can be applied, but these three approaches are considered to be the most popular.

How to address the biggest cyber weakness a business has

Even with the best intentions, it’s almost inevitable that people make mistakes. So what can business owners do to prepare for and reduce human error?

How to ask customers for feedback on your business

How to best structure a business board

A board can bring decades of experience and expertise to the table, and offer valuable guidance that helps steer the business in the right direction.

How to boost employee motivation without salary increases

A highly motivated workforce has benefits across the board, from greater productivity to improved staff retention. It's no wonder it's a huge area of focus for leaders.

How to build an onboarding process for new employees

Your onboarding process is an essential part of welcoming and retaining your employees. Here’s how to create an effective structure for new starters.

How to choose the right PR firm for your business

How to create a blog for your business

A blog is a great way to improve your company's online visibility, demonstrate your expertise and share updates about what's happening in the business.

How to create a cyber attack recovery plan

A cyber attack can result in lost revenue and disrupted operations. It's essential to have a plan in place so you know what to do next.

How to create a rolling cash flow forecast

Most business owners instinctively know that cash flow forecasting is important – but may not understand how to get it right or set one up.

How to create an employee handbook for better onboarding

To create a smooth onboarding process, you need an employee handbook that contains everything new starters need to know about your company.

How to deal with a short-term business cash flow problem

Understanding your company’s cash flow and forecasting accurately will help you prepare for lean times. But what happens when there’s a sudden problem?

How to deal with seasonal fluctuations in your company cash flow

It’s hard when your company cash flow fluctuates, but there are things you can do to help predict the ups and downs in advance.

How to decide what to outsource

Outsourcing involves delegating tasks or processes to a third party. It's a great way to free up resources or access skills you don't have in-house.

How to develop a training programme for staff

Training can have a positive impact on performance and productivity, and provide your staff with the tools they need to drive your business forward.

How to encourage feedback from employees to managers

Most managers are well-versed in giving employees feedback, but when was the last time you asked employees to provide honest feedback to managers?

How to get customers to pay on time

Unfortunately, prompt payment of invoices doesn’t happen by magic. It involves developing a good invoicing system and setting out payment terms.

How to identify and manage a toxic employee

You can identify whether you have a toxic employee by looking at how they act over a period of time. It isn’t just a bad day – these employees exhibit an ongoing pattern of behaviour.

How to identify any security vulnerabilities your business may have

From weak passwords to outdated software, there are lots of security vulnerabilities lurking within your business. Here’s how to reduce the risk.

How to identify financial fundamentals you should know

Financial fundamentals are about creating a robust foundation for your business. That includes being able to track the metrics that matter.

How to initiate a four-day week

As with many major business decisions, it makes sense to trial a four-day week before fully adopting it. Here's how other businesses approached the trial.

How to integrate scenario planning into your cash flow forecasting

Scenario planning allows you to understand the implications of different decisions. That makes it a useful tool to mitigate risks.

How to interview people for management roles

How to keep your cash flow forecast up to date

Maintaining your cash flow forecast is important for survival, but it can open up doors to new opportunities too.

How to make an employee redundant

Making the decision to let someone go is one of the hardest things you'll go through as a business leader. It's essential to have a plan in place to ensure you do everything by the book.

How to make and receive secure online payments

Ensuring that online payments are safe is essential. If your business can’t secure online payments, it could lose customers.

How to manage cyber security when staff are working from home

Working from home has become the new normal for many businesses. But with staff out of the office, managing cyber security is even more challenging.

How to measure and track the impact of a four-day week

Like any new process or project, businesses that roll out a four-day week should be prepared to track and measure the impact it's had.

How to re-engage and win back lapsed customers

Even if a customer hasn't bought from you in a while, their familiarity with your business makes them a valuable asset.

How to relaunch your business website

An effective business website should be fast, engaging and fully optimised. If your website doesn't tick all those boxes, it may be time for a refresh.

How to research and select a viable export market

If you want to grow your customer base and take your business global, choosing an export market is the first step.

How to set non-financial targets and KPIs in your business

While cash flow is a crucial part of your business, it's just as important to create targets for employees outside of your sales team.

How to set up a bonus system and choose who gets one

Bonus systems are a great way to boost productivity and motivation. For the system to work however, you need to assign bonuses fairly.

How to structure and run a customer focus group

How to structure meetings to make them more productive

Meetings play an important role in helping your team communicate effectively. Structure them poorly, however, and they can have the opposite effect.

How to use technology to improve cash flow

Technology gives you access to reams of information. Not only can you be more accurate in your cash flow management, but it will also save you time.

How to use the customer data you collect

How to work out it’s time to hire

Business is going well and you’re looking at where you could free up capacity. But how do you know if it’s the right time to hire a new employee?

How to work out what financial information to share with your team

As a business owner, sharing financial information can be a fine line to tread. So what’s the answer when it comes to financial transparency with staff?

How to work with a business mentor

Lean into what makes you different – How to build a brand and market your business

With today's consumers making spending decisions based on factors far more sophisticated that price, or even quality, businesses need to be thinking about what differentiates in a crowded and competitive market.

Preparing to hire new employees

You’ve decided it’s time to hire new staff – here are a few things to consider that other businesses have found helpful.

Selecting the best candidate

Getting the right person for a new role within your business is a priority for you, but how do you narrow down a selection to interview?

Ten lessons and tips for switching to a four-day week

From getting the team on board to fitting the week around your company's needs, there's preparation to do before you switch from five days to four.

The common types of cyber fraud and how to detect them

Cyber fraud can be very damaging for businesses, so it's important you understand the different types of cyber fraud and how to detect them.

The future of work?

The world of work is changing at a rapid pace. With those changes come a wealth of new opportunities – but how does the four-day week fit in?

The motivation for UK businesses

There are two driving forces behind why most businesses want to challenge the five-day week model: improved productivity and better employee wellbeing.

Three steps to creating the perfect job advert

Job adverts provide a clear overview of what you're looking for from applicants and what they can expect from a role in your business.

Top tips for good management

As your team changes and grows, it’s important to adapt your management style to both employees and the shifting structure of your business.

What to do if you think you've hired the wrong person

What to do if your new hire isn’t working out

Dealing with challenging employees is one of the most difficult parts of running a business. Here's how to best manage the situation.