Brockley Business

Last I heard, my gym makes money. Yours doesn't. My gym's worth over 4 million dollars. Your gym isn't worth four. I have shareholders. You haven't even got cup holders. I earned this body, and I built this temple with nothing more than some elbow grease and a little can-do attitude... and yes, a large inheritance from my father, Earl Goodman.
- White Goodman, Dodgeball

Enterprise UK has published their report of the recent Enterprise Brockley evening, which is good, because we were too busy talking to take proper notes.

You can read it here, including a summary of the interview with Simon from Geddes.
We were asked to do the interview even though we are not qualified to give any advice to small businesses in Brockley – having spent three years operating in the “pre-profit” stage, so familiar to e-trepreneneurs.

However, we said on the night that even though we can’t monetise the site, if we can help local businesses to flourish, so that we can eat, drink, shop or get our hair cut locally or see free performances by local artists, well then that makes us truly rich. And we half-meant it too, although it wouldn’t kill you lot to click on an ad from time to time.

The report is comprehensive, but for us, there were some points which stood out:


For high street businesses there was a clear desire to improve parking on and near the high streets, by introducing more short-term parking and loading bays.

Links with local academic institutions

A number of businesses expressed a desire to work more closely with Goldsmiths and Lewisham College, particularly with regards to recruitment. They are a talent pool which is not being tapped properly at present and it is difficult to identify the right people to talk to.

Office space

There is a shortage of office space for sole traders and very small businesses. One person chose to locate in Deptford because it was one of the only places nearby that offered live-work space. Another had located in the East End because it had an enterprise hub that allowed her to hot desk in a way that wasn’t possible in Brockley (she had conducted a thorough search). This is particularly pertinent, given that live-work space is what’s being proposed at Martins Yard.

Financial support and advice

Not all sources of financial advice are equal. South East Enterprise was singled out as the most useful local resource. There is no definitive, regularly maintained database of commercial property in the area.

Town Centre Managers

There was a desire to have more regular contact withthe TCMs in Brockley and Ladywell and it was suggested that help with negotiating leases would help new businesses. However, there was a strong feeling that businesses should work together more closely, rather than relying on the Council – that regular networking could and should play an important role in co-ordinating group action on key issues.

Brand Brockley

Despite being an undiscovered jewel(TM), those members of the public who know Brockley love it - or if not love it, then have a peverse affection for it. The Brockley brand is good for business, even if it is hazily defined.