Work out what your monthly sales need to be. Make yourself a chart for the next 12 months showing the growth in sales you can realistically generate and be clear on how you’ll generate those new customers.

What kind of profit level do you need to reach to command a decent fee, and what will you have to do to create that profit? At what point will you want to sell the business or hand it over to your kids to run?

Acknowledge why you’re in business – what’s the lifestyle that you want to achieve? Is this business going to help you achieve this? And at what point will you know that this has been achieved?

Hi, this is probably dense of me, but could you please explain how things like book-keeping etc could be outsourced to an overseas V.A. ? By the time I had scanned in the receipts & emailed them to the person, or emailed a list of outgoing & incoming finance, I might as well have written it up into the accounts book myself! Seriously, please, how does it work??? I just can’t picture it. Thanks

From managing to marketing and everything in between, the world of small business can be both exciting and overwhelming. It’s a place where no two workdays are exactly the same and where unpredictable things happen. If you’re thinking about starting (or you already run and manage) your own business, check out the following list of tips to improve your chances of success.

SMEs are losing around £9 billion to fraud every year, with false changes to bank details, viruses embedded in attachments, …

Startups answers the key questions you should ask before starting your own business…

I think outsourcing is good as I myself works as a Virtual Bookkeeper but I do find that some clients don’t like sending receipts and other financial documents in the post due to the lack of trust in the postal service. Most prefer my collection service as they know that all documents have been handed to the Bookkeeper by hand.

You may be able to claim office, property and equipment costs as expenses.

Reserve your place now. Close 4. Network The more you’re ‘out there’ touting for work the more likely you are to get the work. With the internet it’s possible to meet people without leaving your desk.

Greg and Fiona have kindly offered to give Magpie readers a FREE ‘webinar’ (webinar = fancy phrase for online seminar!).

I like to say there are no mysteries in business or in life, there's just information you don't know yet.

The manufacturing industry needs to reach out to women at an early age to help close the gender gap, according …

Sole trader, partnership, limited company or LLP? We look at how to choose the right legal structure for your start-up…

Keeping your employees motivated doesn’t always require a sky-high pay packet; it’s the little things that often count. Any small-business owner…

Keep talking to other entrepreneur friends, government agencies and business organisations like Business Link to find out about free things you could get your hands on. See if you can get hold of office equipment through Freecycle, or the free section on Gumtree.

Starting up a new business can always be hard and any help financially can really make the difference. If you’re a new start up, look into invoice factoring options at Hitachi capital today.

Choose your employees carefully. With a small business, you will likely have the opportunity to hire your own employees and get to know them. Since your employees may influence your success in business as well as the comfort level in your business environment, it makes sense to hire workers who are skilled and have a solid work ethic. Pleasant personalities are also desirable in employees.

Make a habit of looking for a free (or at least cheaper) way of doing what you need to do. Contact colleges and universities to find people who want to build their CV or portfolio and will do free or cheap work on websites, photo shoots, design etc. Put an advert out to schools and colleges for work placements and interns if you feel there are jobs that can be learnt fairly quickly and that will benefit the person doing them even if only through the experience of the real world.

Watch your finances. When you are planning your startup budget, make sure that you have enough money to cover not only your startup expenses, but also operational expenses for a several months in case you do not make a profit right away. Keep some money on hand for emergencies and large orders as well.

There are rules you must follow when setting up a business. You can also get help and support.

Don’t include personal or financial information, eg your National Insurance number or credit card details.

Jordan Meyers has been a writer for 13 years, specializing in businesses, educational and health topics. Meyers holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Maryland and once survived writing 500 health product descriptions in just 24 hours.

This version of How to Run a Small Business was reviewed by Michael R. Lewis on April 10, 2016.

Realising that the difference between homemade and store-bought was 'love and laziness' at a young age, this entrepreneur was drawn to good food…

Don’t shy away from the sales and marketing aspect of business. Learn how to do it. Study it and practice it. You will probably find it nerve wracking at first, but get through it! Question everything you do in the business, asking ‘how is this going to make money?’ If it won’t lead to profit ultimately then don’t waste your time doing it.

Stay on top of your accounting and small business taxes. Small businesses often have to pay quarterly taxes and may be subject to tax requirements that individuals do not face. Keep records of all of your income and expenses, and file taxes according to the deadlines of your local, state and federal tax agencies.

How to run a business

Select the right location for your business. If your business will depend on foot traffic, you will typically want a storefront or other commercial space in a busy area that is accessible by major roadways and public transportation. If you will sell your services primarily by phone, over the Internet or through the mail, your location may be less of a concern. In such a case, you may run your business out of your home or lease or buy the commercials space that best fits your business budget.

Your strategy, your marketing plan, your target market -- nothing is set in stone. The world is changing more and more rapidly each day. Your industry will likely experience a shift, whether slight or monumental, at some point. As a small business, you are at a disadvantage, because your resources are a lot more limited. But you have a priceless advantage in ability to change course and adapt far quicker than a larger organization.

Starting a small business is easy using our step-by-step guides. The 10 steps below will teach you how to start a business, taking you through each of the key stages of the start-up process – from evaluating your business idea and choosing a company name through to designing your business cards, developing a website and, finally, getting ready to launch.

You don’t need to be a whizz on the computer or have an existing business – Greg and Fiona are pros who can guide you every step of the way.

Don’t make the mistake of being blinkered about what you want to produce/sell. You have to be very aware of what your potential and existing customers want – not just what you think they want.

If you’ve got experience of running your own business or have any questions, leave a comment below!

If you form a limited company, its finances are separate from your personal finances, but there are more reporting and management responsibilities.

Looking to raise finance for your new business? Join the 30,000 plus Start Up Loan recipients today……

We’ve become so used to doing everything in the digital arena, face-to-face contact seems an intimidating prospect to many. When…

Choose products and services that have a high profit margin. The more you make off of each sale, the fewer sales you'll have to make to meet your financial goals.

A study has found that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union has resulted in a softening in employers’…

I’ve yet to encounter a single business owner who’s reached some grand, stable plateau beyond failure, disappointment and doubt. We all experience it. Instead of discouragement, focus on becoming more resilient, on learning how to handle stress productively.

I hope this initial checklist will be valuable in helping you clarify your thinking and helping you prioritize some activities in your planning and start up mode.