So you’re bored with your job, worried about the bad side of fossil fuel consumption, and you want to become a biodiesel producer. Well, it’s all the rage, an alternative fuel, helping to save the planet… possibly. You’ve identified a reliable source of vegetable or animal fat, convinced HM Revenue & Customs that your product satisfies the rules for paying a lower duty, tracked down all the specialist equipment, and got your waste management licence. You haven’t? Then perhaps you’d better look at COBRA before you give in your notice at work.
COBRA is described as the “complete business reference adviser”, one heck of a claim. All I can say is that I have had a few goes at testing it to destruction, without success. It’s just so very good at taking you by the hand, especially if you are just starting in business, and leading you through the thickets and quicksands. Are you the right person to be starting this business? Have you got enough money, enough training, and the right team of advisers lined up to get you through testing times? Are you in the right place, and is this the right time? COBRA will ask you all these questions, and if you decide you can tick most of the boxes, it will help you fill in the gaps, and will be there for you when you need more help.
As well as profiling business opportunities, COBRA has market intelligence, area profiles, legal and financial information, and listings of events and exhibitions which provide opportunities to promote your business. I hope your breath has been taken away by that lot – you could pay many thousands of pounds for any one of those, and here they are in one friendly package – free for Westminster Libraries members. I’m not saying you won’t need to consult a lawyer or a money-guru somewhere along the line, but even here COBRA can help you identify the sort of expert you need.
Oh, did I mention that COBRA has advice for charities as well? Running a charity has many of the same rewards, and the same risks, as running a business for profit, so you need the same level of support.
I want to go on and on, but I mustn’t keep you from the thing itself:
Try it. Love it.
Westminster Libraries subscribes to COBRA, for the benefit of members. To use this or our other online business resources outside a Westminster library, you will need a library card.