The public library is a great place to start a new business. Using their resources, that I will explain further down, I have been able to get my internet-based business recognized by the city of Toronto, the Federal Government of Canada, the European Union and the city of London UK, as well as my home town London Ontario.
First of all, the wifi internet is free and does not require a library-card. Lets test your general knowledge about public internet? Is it safe to use public wifi? Yes and why? Because there you can trust the library administrator not to peak and when you connect to websites that are secure (e.g. https) your traffic is not intercepted. So when you find a public hotspot, can you trust the administrator providing the internet access and is the website you are visiting secure (e.g. https). The library offers both protection.
If you do not have a laptop, there are terminals you can ‘reserve’ ahead of time for hours on end. Plus there are printers, that cost a few cents to make prints. Plus, everyone at the library is in a work or study frame of mind. It is a wonderful ‘social’ environment to work in.
Do they offer more? They certainly do and lets test your general knowledge once more. What is a librarian – just someone shelving books right? Wrong, ‘Library have specialized business departments staffed by librarians with expertise in our business collection and online resources.’ Who can help with ‘research’ which sounds like fluff but research is about ‘options’. How does that matter? It matters in the phase called ‘market development’ including export opportunities and sources of funding.
At the Toronto public library, for a fee (or get them yourself) you can have an expert librarian find sources of funding and export opportunities in these formats,
- print journals, newspapers and book collections
- Ontario Securities filings
- corporate annual reports
- international, national and industry specific business directories
- Statistics Canada and other Government of Canada publications