Ever thought of going to the British Library to do some market research? Since 2006, when it launched its Business and IP Centre, it has been an ideal venue for business information for entrepreneurs with easy access to London. The centre was set up to support and assist them right through from the spark of an idea, to setting up a business and developing it through successful growth.
Free to Access
All you need to do is turn up with documented proof of your address and your signature and request a reader pass which gives you access to all the library services, including the Business and IP Centre. You don’t even need this to book and attend a workshop, but you would need it to access the research and other facilities.
The Registration Office, where you can get your reader pass, is on the upper ground floor of the building, and the Business and IP Centre can be found on the first floor.
For your research, the centre holds a vast collection of databases and publications that give comprehensive coverage of topics that might be needed. Staff members are at hand to help you through the maze of information to find what you seek as quickly as possible.
Networking events can be used to meet like-minded people and develop business opportunities. You can even hold follow up and other meetings in the library.
You can also arrange one-to-one sessions with successful business people who can offer advice gleaned from their own experience.
The centre’s regular programme of workshops and seminars is free unless a small fee is required for a partner organisation to come in and run it.
The Web in Feb Programme
Through February 2012, a series of events has been planned with a focus on getting the most from a web presence with e-marketing and on-line trading. The Web in Feb programme includes workshops on search engine optimisation for the small business, effective business blogging, managing a web-based business, and using social media effectively. Costs vary from free events to the most expensive at £49.
The centre has also arranged for a patent lawyer to be available through the month for confidential one-to-one sessions about developing the necessary technology.
Whatever stage you are at with your business, it would be likely to benefit if you can make time for regular or occasional visits to the British Library.