Resources: powerful information for small business

If you’re a marketer working in a small business then you’re in good company, since most UK businesses are small businesses. But this sector can have its challenges, since marketing is often the remit of just one person, or a tiny team. Getting access to the right information and guidance is harder without a large marketing department full of experts to fall back on. To help London marketers working for smaller businesses to close the information gap, our volunteer Small Business Ambassador here in London, Neil Woodward, quizzed Dawn Southgate, Head of Knowledge at CIM on the institute’s information resources. See which could give you the edge.

Did you know…

There are currently 5.5 million businesses in the UK, and 99% of them – 5.4 million – are small businesses which each employ less than 250 people. The majority of these small businesses (5.3 million), are what’s known as microbusinesses which employ less than ten people, and provide 32% of employment and 19% of turnover. London plays its part with 1,464 businesses per 10,000 resident adults compared to 679 in the North East. Small businesses are often credited with leading innovation and business growth.

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Isn’t CIM information just for students?

“The resources that we supply to our members are not just for students but are for all grades of member and can be used for myriad uses. Interviews, meetings with new suppliers, meetings with new clients, new product development, new product launches, market insight... and much, much more.”

What resources do you have available?

“There are some really valuable resources for CIM members. If you’re working within a small business in particular, these resources can enable you to level the playing field. You really should know about Ebsco, MyiLibrary, Marketing Expert and Cutting Edge.”

What’s Ebsco and how does it help?

“Ebsco is an aggregator and they pull in articles and reports from thousands of different places. You’ll find:

  • Trade magazines
  • Country reports
  • Company profiles
  • Company list by geographic area
  • News alerts

So, if you want to know what to read for articles from magazines and trade magazines on your subject why not take a look to see what is available. You can also read reports on different countries and there are company profiles on thousands of companies. Whilst the profiles are on the big companies they do supply a SWOT analysis which may highlight strengths you have that they don’t.

A new addition to Ebsco is a company search facility. So if you want a list of companies in say Oxford or in the postcode EH1, or alternatively want a list of companies in Canberra, it can create a list for you.

With Ebsco you can also set up alerts so it will tell you when there is a new article or edition of your favourite magazine available. There are tutorials available to show you how to do this 

So whether you are going for an interview and want to read more about a company, or whether you are speaking to a new potential client, you can brush up on an industry or topic quickly.”

To access Ebsco for industry information visit and login to MyCIM

What’s in MyiLibrary?

“This is a small collection of books to use online (although some can be downloaded to a device). Whilst many are aimed at our students there are well known texts such as Marketing Plans (McDonald) and Marketing Research (Wilson). There are also a couple of books containing key management models and ratios.”

To access online books at MyiLibrary, for marketing models and concepts, visit and login to MyCIM

Tell me about Marketing Expert

“The Marketing Expert platform has changed recently. You’ll find templates and practical guides including Writing a SWOT analysis, Writing a Marketing research proposal, Writing a creative brief and a template for Writing a marketing plan. All of these are designed to provide you with actionable insights and a clearer plan of action.

The glossary has also been refreshed to help you to find your way through the jargon so you can hold your own when discussing your marketing requirements with suppliers, for example.”

For practical ‘how to’ guides go to Marketing Expert.

So is Cutting Edge my news roundup?

“Yes! If you just want to try and keep up with what is going on in the marketing world it can be incredibly time-consuming. Instead of getting bogged down, why not check out Cutting Edge, our weekly round-up of marketing news.”

To get the weekly news roundup visit, login to MyCIM and choose Cutting Edge from the dashboar

More opportunities for small business

Some descriptionSome descriptionThank you Dawn! Don’t forget that there’s other opportunities too:

Networking: You can join the CIM’s Small Business Group to network and learn from others in the sector.

Training: There’s 10% off CIM marketing training courses for CIM members.

Insurance: If you work as a marketing consultant then you should know that CIM offers a group Professional Indemnity scheme through Towergate Professional Risk, at special rates.

Webinars: You can learn from experts, about a range of marketing topics, with the CIM’s webinars, as a free membership benefit. Check out the archive of recorded webinars and learn whenever its convenient to you.

Legal advice: You can get free legal advice, whether business-related or personal, from Law Express, as a CIM member benefit.

For insurance, webinars and legal advice visit, login to MyCIM and choose your option.