Business tips from Pal Carter of City Business Library

Simply Business met with several British entrepreneurs at the Business Startup Show in London's ExCeL centre. We've asked business experts about their startup tips to guide new entrepreneurs through the process of starting or growing their business. In this interview, Pal Carter points business startup owners to City Business Library for helpful tips, resources, and seminars.

Simply Business: Could you just introduce yourself and your company please?

Pal Carter: My name is Pal Carter. I work for City Business Library, which is a local authority public library for the city of London, and we offer free business information.

Simply Business: What sort of advice can you offer to people that are coming to you and looking to start up a business?

Pal Carter: The main items that people seem to want are research on sectors, information about how to write a business plan, and perhaps advice on how to target companies in their own areas. We have various sources where they can do this – mainly online databases. A really useful one is called Complete Business Reference Advisor, or Cobra. It has a lot of fact sheets that help people to do things like write a business plan, or find funding, or look at things like HR…. those sorts of topics.

Simply Business: Are there any other resources that you offer for start-ups or for existing small businesses?

Pal Carter: We do have a large number of seminars every month. These are all free to attend, but people do have to book a place, because there are limited spaces. They’re run by a variety of independent consultants, and also by one or two well-known organizations like Business Link and HMRC; they run seminars for us. They’re all aimed at helping people who are starting a small business, or who are actually running their business. All are free to attend, and there’s a wide variety of subjects. Some of them are looking at lifestyles, a lot of them are looking at social media… that’s a very popular topic, because people find that it helps small business quite a lot.

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