I left college in May, and now armed with qualifications, I’m out on the prowl for work. I have been actively applying for work, however since the start of the recession I’ve been very aware of the scarcity of jobs and the abundance of applicants and that actually setting up my own business would be the way forward. Being mentally prepared for this has meant I’m now in the process of starting up as a sole trader – providing photographic services to commercial clients and also to brides-to-be.
Its not easy setting up and photography is an extremely competitive business. Being a new graduate and still working on building my client list, I have limited financial resources at my disposal. Every penny I spend is carefully and cautiously considered. So of course I love having free access to resources that can help me.
I recently attended a Business Gateway networking session for women into business. During the event, there was a five-minute introduction from the local library, talking about what services they could offer to new businesses. During the coffee break, there was a crowd gathered around the library representatives, asking questions and everyone signing up for a library card. I queued patiently, and was provided with fact sheets and a new library card.
With my new library card, I can access information not just by visiting the library, but also remotely via the internet using Cobra (Complete Business Reference Adviser). It’s an absolute treasure chest to me, with information helping me with the day-to-day obstacles I have to overcome to set up my business. In addition, I also have access to valuable marketing information, which I’m using to help plan how to market my business effectively and make the most of my limited financial resources.
At a time when banks are closing doors to new and small businesses, the library has become a haven of information to help me work around that. My library card is probably as valuable as a credit card. What it gives me in information, I am going to be able to use to target customers effectively and allow my business to grow. By providing this service, libraries contribute directly to positive local economic growth, something we shouldn’t forget particularly in the middle of a recession.