Hi! I’m Matt Yerkes, Founder of Cultivate, and we’re a nonprofit that helps aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses with tools and resources to keep building a better business. Anybody, anywhere can sign up for our (free) BASIC membership or upgrade to our PLUS and PRO membership for even more tools and support. I want to share what each of these membership levels includes. Who they are a good fit for, and details on just what these tools and support are to “Keep Building a Better Business”.
Our driving mission is that, for most of us, entrepreneurship is the best opportunity that we will have to change the trajectory of our life in a way that will impact generations after us. That has been my personal experience and that is what I want for you. What Cultivate offers has evolved and when we started back in 2016 when all we offered was lunch-and learn-presentation and some co-working spaces. Now we have business incubator locations, advising centres, and serve hundreds of entrepreneurs that go far beyond Central, Ohio.
We’re non-profits so everything we do is on a shoestring budget, but with the help of our community partners, we’re able to bring great value even for our free basic members.
All of our memberships, including our free basic memberships, include these three things.
First, we’re going to invite you to everything we do. All of our in-person events, live streams, and full access to our e-Learning library that includes all of our business courses with templates, spreadsheets, and other tools. The events, live streams, and e-learning courses that we invite you to include dozens of business presentations each year, but for most of our members, our support focuses on either Launch Track (for those that are aspiring entrepreneurs that want to start a business) or Growth Track (for startups and small businesses that need to improve their process to continually add new customers).
The next thing that we include in all of our memberships is we are going to do our very best to make business connections and referrals for you. We’ll have a team member call you and perform a short interview to understand some of the business services that would help you along the way with your business. If you provide business services yourself, we’re gonna follow that up with a form to better understand what makes a good referral for you. We have fine-tuned this process to maximize the connections we make and provide you with the best quality matches. One of our team members is gonna call you for that short interview to understand what types of connections you need and we’ll put those into our platform that matches you to the member or community partner that’s the best fit for you. If you provide business services then we’ll follow that up with our referral profiler to get all the information we need to add you to our system so we can make referrals for you.
Growth Track Report
The third thing that we do for all of our members that I’m most excited about is your growth track report. Growth Track is our process to help you build trust with customers and we have built a platform to gauge the trust-building process for your company.
We build a dashboard that computes your growth track score and this is used in making the business connections and business-to-business referrals that we generate for our members. The Growth Track Report will also give you a list of areas of your trust-building process that you can improve. This is important not just improving your sales process to get new customers but also to convince new employees that they should consider working for you. Once you sign up, our team will reach out to you with details for logging in to cultivateworks.org, access eLearning presentations, scheduling a phone call to make your business connections, and once we have your growth track report created, a team member will let you know that it’s ready for your review.
Our free basics members get full access to our eLearning lessons and presentations but many of the entrepreneurs that we work with need somebody that’s willing to roll up their shirt sleeves and get in the trenches with them to help.
So pro membership is $200 a month and it is ideal for any business that needs help developing their business plan, creating a new website, or developing a sales strategy.
All of our memberships are month-to-month, so just use us for the time that you need. If for some reason, you feel you aren’t getting a great value for your paid membership, then you can always downgrade back to our free membership. We’re a nonprofit after all and our costs to provide you with these resources cost us much more than the $200 we charge you so nothing would make us happier than for you to be a growing, thriving business that does not need our hands-on help. For those of you that need this level of help and support, we will save you thousands of dollars and give you a great foundation to keep building a better business!
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur and are using your pro membership to develop a business plan, then we’re gonna do everything we can to ask you tough questions to make sure that you’ve moved every risk possible before you start this business. We’re gonna help you with the start-up process, a business plan with projections, and execution of the actual business launch. Perhaps the most important part of this is to figure out your sales strategy and how are you going to continually add new costumes?
Launch Track is our process to help aspiring entrepreneurs but most of our cultivate members are existing small businesses. Growth Track is our process to help existing businesses to build trust and continually add new customers. For most of us, our customers begin with a Google search so that is where the trust-building process begins. When we give you your growth track report, we may suggest an upgrade to Pro membership so we can help you make real progress towards improving your process to build trust and continually add new customers. Our pro members that are engaged with the growth track get our digital marketing toolkit. This includes a fully hosted WordPress site with no setup costs but more importantly than the thousands of dollars that you will save is that it will be able to expand and reach your audience of your potential customers, communicate to customers what you offer and why to buy from you, and help them take that first step to engage your business and move towards trusting in you, your products, and your brand and become a customer.
The next type of membership I’d like to tell you about is plus. This is primarily for our local entrepreneurs that are in Madison, Franklin, FairField, and Pickaway Counties that need a business address to show up on google meeting rooms, to meet with customers or your team, office or workspaces that could be as simple as a desk or be a private office. We offer affordable month-to-month packages that compliment your basics or pro membership.
If you need a professional business location and schedule a tour or attend one of our In-Person workshops and see our spaces. If you’re an entrepreneur, I invite you to sign up today at cultivateworks.org/grow. If your community partner, look for the Community Partner tab under the contact menu on our website.