Start-up Business Support
Producing a business plan is one of the most important tasks when starting up a new business. It allows you to collate ideas, set targets, plan for the future of the business and confirm that the business idea is realistic and workable. The business plan is also an essential tool for attracting funding to get started. It is a dynamic document that should be reviewed regularly to help with monitoring and measuring the performance of a business.
There are plenty of tools to help you write your business plan:
Cobra – The Complete Business Reference Adviser - Information on how to start and run a business, write a business plan and find grants. Available at home via your library card or within Bexley Libraries.
The resources below are useful to find the latest news on your business topic including articles from specialist business and academic journals, newspapers and magazines, market research reports and case studies.
EBSCOhost is an intuitive online research platform used by thousands of institutions and millions of users worldwide. With quality databases and search features, EBSCOhost helps researchers of all kinds find the information they need fast.
EMIS– Emerging Markets Research, Data and News - Analysis and data for 125 emerging markets from the most trusted global and local sources. Includes over 3 million company reports, sector research and news.
Factiva– business information and research tool owned by Dow Jones & Company. Factiva aggregates content from both licensed and free sources, and provides organisations with search, alerting, dissemination, and other information management capabilities.
Lots of businesses look good on paper but the only test that matters is whether your product or services sells. Test trading allows you to practice whether you can do just that. The key to successful test trading is to plan what you hope to achieve: > Where will you test trade and why? For example, will you rent a market stall or trade on the street? How much will it cost? Will you need a licence? > How many products will you aim to sell and at what price? > How many products will you need to sell and at what price to prove your market? > What do you hope to learn? There are lots of places where you could test trade and some organisations will provide grants that you can use to buy equipment, materials or tools that will help you to test trade for a short time. You might want to: > rent a market stall for a short period to practise selling your product or introduce people to your service – selling in and amongst seasoned market trades people is also a good learning curve and will help you to improve your sales skills! > sell at street fairs or flea markets to judge demand for your product or service – selling at street fairs, flea markets or holiday markets only requires a temporary street vendor licence. You might also: > consider going door-to-door with a sample of your product – you won’t be able to take any money for your sample and will have to inform samplers if your product is food or drink that you can’t take responsibility, for example, for any allergic reaction a taster might have.