START YOUR BUSINESS
London libraries are transforming the way ideas grow into successful businesses through free workshops, one-to-one support sessions with our SiLL Project Coordinator and access to a wide range of business resources and databases.
To take part in the Start-ups in London Libraries workshops, you or your business needs to have a London-based postcode and you need to be:
The owner of a business which has been registered at Companies house for fewer than 12 months, or;
An aspiring entrepreneur with a business idea you want to develop
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 can look good on paper but it is a good idea to test your business idea to really know how successful it is.
Test trading allows you to practice whether you are able to sell your product or service. 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. You could:
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.
go 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.
Test Trading in Bexley:
If you are a trader and wish to use the public highway to sell goods, place out a shop display of any type or place out tables and chairs for eating or drinking you will need a Temporary Street Trading Licence.
Getting a licence
Applications must be made in writing 28 days prior to trading and you will be asked to provide specific information, including details of the area you wish to use.
You must comply with any conditions attached to a licence.
If you intend trading in food and/or drinks see Food Safety concerning food hygiene/safety certificates.
Representing a charity
Charity collections are licensed by the Metropolitan Police.
Going from door to door
Pedlars licences, where you go from house to house are available to residents of the London Borough of Bexley from the Metropolitan Police by emailing
Trading in Bexleyheath Broadway
If you wish to apply for a Street Trading Licence in the Broadway Pedestrian Area, Bexleyheath, you need to contact:
BID (Business Improvement District)
Bexleyheath Business Partnership Ltd
C/O Bexley Central Library
2 Townley Road
Kent DA6 7HJ
telephone 020 8304 0775
For more information visit: www.bexley.gov.uk/services/licensing-and-permits/licensing