Our friends at London Small Business Centre outline some of the ways they can help you get your creative business off the ground, including three case studies from successful small Fashion businesses: Tatty Devine (Awarded MBEs for their services to the fashion industry) Patternity (Clients include Barbican, BBC, Somerset House, School of Life) Daughter of Jon (Range sold in Topshop, mentored by Ted Baker)
Words by London Small Business Centre
Thank God for Google. Information that would have either been inaccessible or taken a long time to access many years ago, is now at your fingertips. But if you’re like the rest of us then you would have picked up on the fact that with this great power really does come great responsibility, that being, the burden of finding quality information. Hands up if you’ve spent hours sifting through websites trying to find what you were looking?
Today there are more start-ups than ever before (hell yeah!) and with this change has come more business support, advice, guidance and access to finance. Whilst we’re loving this new business revolution where in some cases a small business now has more power than many large corporations put together, the question of where to go when you get stuck or need to take the next step still remains.
We’ll ignore the fact that London Small Business Centre has trained over 13,000 entrepreneurs, helped over 22,000 people start businesses and are the longest running enterprise agency in the UK with a track record of having supported some incredible businesses (Tatty Devine, Foldability, Frame, Wrap it Up, Green Soccer Journal anyone?) And instead focus on the fact that their commitment to building long term relationships and helping small businesses is what has lead them to put together a truly unique offer for anyone wanting to start and grow their business…
1. Face-to Face Advice & Mentoring - I don’t know what to do
Are you looking for a mentor or business adviser?
A mentor is someone who coaches you on a personal level, someone who helps you develop your relationship with yourself, define your goals and overcome your fears.
A business adviser is someone who knows the logistics of a business; they have the commercial acumen and above all the insight and experience to get your business off to a great start. Today the two definitions overlap and are often misappropriated. What’s more, when you sign up for business advice and / or mentoring, you may find that it may not be delivered how you envisioned it, that being, face-to-face. The business advisers at London Small Business Centre do both although, they’re credibility and track record stems from having invested in their entrepreneurs so much so that their clients come back to them even years later when in need for some extra help.
2. Access to Finance – I have no money
Having been around for over 30 years means they really know your stuff. As an enterprise agency, London Small Business Centre works with some incredible partners and are able to offer more than one financial solution depending on your business and its needs. More importantly, they know that securing a business loan is only half the work; it’s what you do with that loan that matters which is why the advice and the finance go hand in hand so you’re guided on how to manage the logistical, conceptual and financial aspects of your business.
3. Learn New Skills – Do I have what it takes?
London Small Business Centre wants you take accountability for your business; they want you to be leaders so you can go on to create jobs for other people. It doesn’t matter whether you’re strong on the creative or the commercial aspects, maybe both or maybe even neither, if you’re passionate about an idea then they’re passionate to help you materialise it. They host alternative ways of expanding your knowledge and experience, be it through events, workshops, masterclasses and other subsidised programmes. Their freestart-up workshop in particular is so popular that other companies used to cheekily send their entrepreneurs to it.So the next time you start to type in Google ‘How to start a business’, give London Small Business Centre a search instead. Because you really don’t need to look anywhere else.
Here are 3 examples of how LSBC have helped Fashion start ups get their feet off the ground…