Cultivate – Who We Are
Thank you for joining our information session where I’ll explain all the information that you need to know about membership at Cultivate and the things that we do to help small businesses grow.
So, I’m Matt Yerkes. I’m the founder of Cultivate and I’m an entrepreneur myself just like most of you, and l believe that for most of us the best opportunity that we have to change the trajectory of our life is through entrepreneurship. So, this is what drives us to do everything we do here at Cultivate, and our mission is to help you to keep building a better business. So we are non-profit. We have a board. We have a small team in our offices, and we have community partners. We put all those things together to help you the small business owners or aspiring entrepreneurs.
What We Offer
Cultivate offers through our membership. We have programs and curriculum that you can participate in to keep building a better business. We have resources that you can access. We have incubator facilities and other ways to get your business known — and we have digital marketing tools that can help your business to grow. So, we do this primarily from the three business incubator spaces that we have in London Ohio, Grove City, and Pickerington.
Cultivate Works is the program that we use for entrepreneurs. So, there are really four main parts to this process– the first is we have In-Person Business Lessons and Networking Events that we held almost every month in our facilities and through our community partners.
We have a Business Dashboard and Advising Support so that you can see how your business is doing where you’re at on this journey to keep building a better business. So, part of that includes the different types of advising support that we offer. We have Online Business Lessons in our E-Learning System with assignment worksheets, and templates. They’re gonna help you especially if you’re trying to do this in a self-guided way where you can do this in evenings and weekends on your own time.
And for those that need some type of use of our facilities, we have desks, offices, and meeting rooms, mail — all kind of things to help you to establish a natural presence for you and for a team as you’re willing in adding resources to keep building your company.
So as a non-profit, we work really hard to help you the small business owner or aspiring entrepreneur. We currently serve 77 members, together those businesses employ over 393, and have over 18 million in revenues, and 6 million in payroll.
Last year we did over 300 advising sessions for both our members and prospective members.
So, we serve all kinds of businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs at Cultivate. While we, on the one hand, we’ll help some technology businesses, software businesses. We host and help people that are care providers, trades, skill trades, businesses, contractors, remodelers. We have retail shops, we have food businesses, everything in-between we help them.
The key thing for us is we’re primarily working with businesses that are small. There are millions in revenues usually at least at 15 employees that are kinda the sweet spot, and we’ve had a few members that grown beyond that– and that’s the goal But we serve folks from all kinds of businesses. So here we just have a few different examples: Armor Exterior is a roofing, siding, exterior company, now, Crossing River Studios is a video production company, Mindscapes (is a special education company that helps children from early, and schools that have special needs program), Procter Center (which operates a farm, a retail shop that sells freshly grown food in an event space), Stringtown Animal Hospital (which is a veterinarian), and Leber Graphics and Print (which does graphic design in shirt, and screen printing).
So we serve all kinds of businesses. So, there’s a good chance that we have a program that can help you.
How It Works: Membership Options
So, here’s how membership at Cultivate works, first of all, anybody can sign up and join, and participate in any of our workshops and events. We host things almost every month. You can access many of these on our website, in our article section. Sign up to get a link of the Livestream, or recording. We’re happy to share all the information that we have and that at your disposal.
But the first step to really getting connected and getting full access to our resources at Cultivate is to become a member. And we have a free membership that we call Basics. So what Basics do is begins with the discovery consultation. We are gonna sit down with you either by phone or zoom, or in-person and explore what your most present needs are.
So we’re gonna start with that, and then, we’re gonna onwards you into our E-Learning System. Where you do not only have access to our complete library and self-guided resources, but there’ll be templates for business planning, business projection, other financial worksheets, tools that you can use with your digital marketing to grow your business. All in a self-guided e-learning system.
So, we’re gonna keep you up to date on all the different things that we have to offer at Cultivate that is all with our free basics membership.
Now, for those people that are just starting out that maybe needs some kind of physical presence for their business. Perhaps you wanna show up on local search results — so you need to get a business address— so people can find you and leave you reviews on Google.
We offer our Plus membership— this includes all the things that Basics membership contains. But we also give you a verified marketing address, and we’ll help you to set up your google my business listings, so that’s gonna be important for you to show up in a local search.
We also use the Plus program for aspiring entrepreneurs that don’t yet have their personal finances in a place where they could really be in a position to succeed in starting their business.
So if this is you, and you are behind on your bills, maybe you have a low credit score. You have some things that you need to do to get your personal finances in order before you can have your best chances to succeed as a business owner.
We have a free entrepreneurship program that we offer to our Plus membership, or we’ll help you get some of that personal financial advising assistance to get your personal finances — your household finances on a better trajectory. So you’re in a better position to succeed.
It’s not to say that you can’t begin working on your personal business plan, but there are some things that you might need to do first. So that is at a Plus membership deal for those types of folks.
Our Pro membership is 200 dollars a month and this includes monthly advising sessions. It includes our digital marketing tool kit— a lot of other resources that even includes some use of our facilities.
So if you need to meet with customers or team members– you can do that with our Pro membership
Our Incubator membership really for those businesses that are aspiring to scale a team so maybe you’re ready to hire your first employee and you can’t bring that person into your house, you have a part-time person, or subcontractor that’s gonna join your team, that’s the point where many businesses need to have some type of an office facility, so you can join one our business Incubator spaces, or one of the connections that we have through co-working spaces around Ohio, we can make those connections for you, you can have a physical space to operate your business and begin to grow that company.
Programs/Curriculum: 4 Programs
So as I mentioned, we have four main programs that we called, Tracks, that we can use to help you– whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or an existing small business owner.
So, the first program is our Pre-Entrepreneurship program, where we can help those that need some help to get their personal finances in order so they can be in the best position to succeed in launching their business. So, we offer that to our Plus membership.
The next level is our Launch Track. So Launch Track is for those people that are trying to start a business. We help you answer some of those fundamental questions. Is this the business you should start? Is this the right time in your life to start this business? Is this business really have a good chance of being successful?
We help you answer those fundamental questions, and then, we move on to helping you to complete your business plan. So we give you a business planning template. And, we can show you all types of presentations and workshops to help you keep the business moving forward. Eventually, you can then move on to the launch steps that 15 to 20 steps that you need to execute to literally launch your company
The third program that we have is called Cash Track, and we use elements of cash track in our launch track program and for aspiring entrepreneurs and for small business owners. This is really for folks that need to do a better job at managing the numbers of their business. Maybe you need to create a budget and a cash forecast. Maybe you have some financial worksheets that you need to prepare to best position yourself to be able to get a loan or some other type of capital infusion for your business. So, Launch Track is all about that and there’s a series of lessons and worksheets, spreadsheets to help you through the process.
The fourth program is our most popular program. This is for small business owners. It could be in our facilities, maybe you have your own moral location or just work from your home, either way. Growth Track is the process that we use to help you grow your business.
So, we look at your business growth as a trust-building process with customers. So, the Growth Track is really helping you to define and communicate and execute that trust-building process. So that you can continually grow your business.
So the way this works is that all our membership levels, include these workshops– these self-guided e-learning lessons, and templates, articles, studios that have our fund Ohio platform, or we can help you pair with different lending sources— we have member networking, and partner referrals, and some amount of advising sessions throughout the year that will provide you.
That’s available in all of our memberships including our free memberships. But for those businesses that really need more resources than that, maybe you need to meet with somebody on a monthly basis– sometimes a couple of times a month. Because you’re trying to press through and get this business plan together, so you can launch your business, or maybe you just need some additional help with your growth track helping to define that selling process and build trust with customers, and continually getting leads for your business.
If you need that type of additional help, then our Pro and Incubator memberships are the paths for you. Those begin at 200 dollars a month and they include monthly advising sessions with our team members.
So of our paid memberships the Plus, the Pro, and the Incubator, all include a verified marketing address. We’re gonna help you set up you’re my Google Business Listings. We’re gonna help you to have a real street address suite number, so you can show up in local search results.
So those are included in all of those paid memberships (so not just part of our basic membership). From there, if you’re a Pro or Incubator member, you also have a block of hours that you can use in any of our facilities.
So, we have meeting rooms, we have live streaming studios, small meeting rooms as well, all kinds of spaces that you can use to come in and meet with customers, interview team members, brainstorm with your team all of those are available for you. Depending on the size of membership that you have. You’ll have a different allocation of how many hours a month. You’ll be able to use those facilities.
If you’re an Incubator member, then you have a dedicated space in one of our buildings. So, you either have a desk, a cubicle, a semi-private lockable office, or a completely private office depending on the facility what your needs are, and what we have available.
So we have these great workspaces and all three of our facilities, and those also include use of our live streaming studios, all of our event meeting rooms
The Launch Track Course
So, getting more specific in how we help you with this, l wanna tell a little about Launch Track. So, the launch track is where we help you to go through the process of planning your business. We help you with the actual business plan, and we actually help you with the setup.
So for some people, we’re meeting with them every month sometimes a couple of times a month— moving them through this process to launch their company.
So if you’re a free Basics member or a Plus member, you’re gonna have full learning access to the self-guided version of these courses, and we’ll still meet with you once or twice a year but primarily that’s a self-guided effort.
If you’re a Pro or Incubator member– we’re gonna meet with you one on one at least one time a month to help through that process. In some cases, we’ll pair you with one of our pro advisors to help you with some specialized areas to give you more insight to help you with your business.
Growth Track: Customer Building Process
If you’re a Pro or Incubator member, and you’re an existing business. We’re gonna put you into our Growth Track this is the process that we use to try and help you grow your business by building trust with customers.
So, there are a few ways that we can grow our business. There are things that we can do through our digital marketing that are very time-consuming and we maybe don’t all know those things that we should be doing— our growth check program is gonna help you with that.
There are also things we do as small business owners and entrepreneurs that are just the hustle of being an entrepreneur going out and sending emails, you’re doing networking, you’re going to events all those things that you’re trying to do to build your business. We can help you to do those things more effectively as well.
But ultimately, we’re gonna have to reach people with your message. We’re gonna have to explain to them what you offer, and why to buy from you and we need to communicate to them. This call to action– this very easy first simple step that they can take to begin this journey towards becoming your customer.
So we have to clearly communicate that. and At that point, you have a lead for your business, and that where this trust-building process really kicks into gear. So from there, there are things that we have to do to build a relationship and build trust with them.
There are things that we’re gonna have to do to overcome their rejections to a sale and move them to become a customer eventually. If we do this right, they’re gonna trust in you, trust in your product, trust in your brand, you’re gonna win them as your customer because of this trust that you built with them.
Digital Marketing Tool Kit: Pro & Incubator Only
One of the things that make Cultivate differently is we don’t just have online presentations, and workshops, and sessions with advisors, we also give you tools to do this effectively. The first tool that we give you if you’re a Growth Track member means you’re in a Pro or Incubator membership, you’re going to the growth tracks.
We’re gonna give you a fully hosted WordPress website that uses a theme called Devi. We do this so that you have a great digital marketing foundation to reach your customers and convert and get leads through your website. There a lot!
You’re gonna use this, but we provide this fully hosted WordPress site that we configure. This is gonna save you thousands of dollars of upfront class that you’re not gonna have to pay a web developer. We’re gonna provide that to you.
This is part of the monthly fee, in addition to that, we’re gonna help you with some integration. We’re gonna help you connect that site to your Google My Business. We’re gonna help connect it to Google Search Console, Google Analytics, some of these, and other tools that are available out there to help you better understand your customer and better understand the impact that your marketing is having.
We’re also gonna provide you with support. Content support, specifically, so we’re gonna help you to draft your unique Value Proposition. This four message on your site that very sustainably explains what your offer and why your customer should buy from you. We’re gonna help you to develop and refine your call-to-action the simple first step that people should take to become a customer or learn to become a customer.
We’re gonna help you with a content marketing plan. This is gonna be a unique quality substantive content that your gonna need to develop to show up on Google. And we’re gonna help you identify that content around the top 20 keyword search terms that your business should be going after if you’re gonna be found on google.
In addition to all those great marketing tools, we have a reporting system that’s gonna pull together all of the different marketing campaigns and marketing platforms that you’re using your business– and bring all those metrics into one clean beautiful report that both you can use to know if what you’re doing is making an impact that worth all the time your spending on marketing.
But it’s also gonna help us as a part of our advising effort to you so that we can tell if what we’re trying to help you with is actually moving the needle and growing your business. So this is gonna bring in marketing data from all the different platforms that you’re involved with Google Search Console, Google Analytics, your LinkedIn, your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even your Mailchimp.
We’re gonna bring in all the statistics. All those marketing metrics coming to this report dynamically. We help you to configure it, and you’ll have this great view every month to see if what you’re doing is making a difference.
How To Apply
So here is how you can apply to be part of what we’re doing. I’m mentioning this because some of the people watching this presentation are actually Cultivate members that are already paying for some of these services and you may not know that we’ve added some of these benefits to your membership. We just wanna make sure that you take full advantage of these things.
If you’re an Incubator member this means that you’re in one of our facilities. You have a dedicated space, a desk, a cubicle, or an office then your already an incubator member.
If you’re not and you feel like that is a good fit for you, then schedule and take a tour. You can go to our website and sign up to be an incubator member or just sign up under the Content Menu to do a discovery Call or Book a Tour.
If you are a Pro member or you wanna be a Pro member again, you can sign up at our website, or you could just sign up under the Content Menu to schedule a discovery call. I’ll do that call with you myself and I’ll do it for free.
That’s for people that maybe have a break in our location, or maybe you’re just content working from home, maybe you just don’t really need to have physical space in our facilities, but you’re still looking to get some help either to launch your business or regrow your business.
If you’re thinking might be a fit for our Plus membership. Maybe you have a small business, and you just need a business address— so you can show up on Google Local Search results, through Google My Business so people can leave you reviews and not pull up your home, then we can help you with that with our Plus membership. We can also help you with our Plus membership if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur but you need some help to get your personal finances in order before you could be optimized your chances to succeed. So, we can help you with that as well.
And lastly, if you’re just not ready to commit any of our paid memberships, but you’re looking to get all the help that you can, but you’re on a tight budget, or maybe you have no budget for this, then just signup for a free Basic membership. We’re gonna add you to our platform. We’re gonna connect you to the e-learning resources that we have. We’ll do a discovery session with you, and just try and put you on the best path forward.
The last type of folks that might be listed in this presentation are people that wanna become more involved at a strategic level with Cultivate. We’re non-profit, so we rely on other people that can come alongside and be part of what we’re doing. So we’re looking for people that can be Pro Advisors. These are specialists in very specific business topics that can help some of our members.
We’re looking for Community Advisors, these are different kinds of partners that would maybe be a chamber of commerce or economic development department for a city or a county. So if you’re fit in one of those criteria or maybe you even have a coworking space and would like to have us be involved in what you’re doing in your building— reach out to us through our website as well.
That’s the end of the presentation. l just invite you to go to our website cultivateworks.org/grow and apply for a free Basics membership or go to cultivateworks.org/call and schedule a free discovery call.