COBRA: invaluable business information available for free

We’ve been siCOBRA-Logo_Colour-straplinenging the praises of COBRA on our support for start-ups page for a while now, but have you discovered yet how useful it could be for your business?

COBRA stands for Complete Business Reference Adviser. It’s a vast and continually updated online encyclopaedia and reference resource for business advisers who provide support to micro-business owners, small firms and new business start-ups.

The good news is, you don’t need to go through a business adviser to use it – you can access it for free if you have membership to Sandwell Libraries.

COBRA gives you business facts, compliance and trading details covering hundreds of the most common (and many of the less common) small business sectors. Simply search for your industry or job title and see what comes up . . .

You can access:

* Over 700 business start-up profiles and guides to business start-up ideas
* Business information factsheets: ‘how to’ guides and practical small business checklists, from business plans to staffing, and tax to marketing
* UK market synopses: guides to trends and opportunities in a number of UK market sectors, with market research
* Local area profiles: guides to business support in 290 local areas in the UK.

To access COBRA just visit Sandwell Libraries’ online services and scroll to the ‘Reference Tools’ section at the foot of the page. Please note that you will need to be a member of Sandwell Libraries. This is free and you can sign up easily.

As an aside, it’s great to hear that Sandwell recently came third out of 36 metropolitan authorities for the number of books borrowed from its libraries. Read the full story here.

Has COBRA been useful for you? What resources have you discovered on your entrepreneurial journey that you’d like to share with us or other business owners? Start a conversation in the Think Sandwell Business Network over on LinkedIn, or tweet us: our Twitter handle is @thinkSandwell.