In September 2013, Anna Perra set up a shop to sell women’s clothing and fashion accessories in Shepton Mallet. The business is based on Anna’s ‘Real Women’ concept, where fashion is showcased in a realistic way through fashion shows performed by women of all ages and sizes, that also demonstrate how an outfit can be worn in different ways to reflect Anna’s personal styling expertise.
Anna is an energetic and enterprising business owner, keen to explore every means of growing her business. Cornerstone mentoring was suggested by a friend, who we were already working with, and a first meeting was held in November 2015.
The initial aim was to consolidate a medium term business and financial plan. The Cornerstone lead mentor, Graham, has a financial services background that enabled him to help Anna, with additional input from her accountant, to define a working cash-flow forecast based on a modified business plan. This plan included additional sales from a new e-commerce website together with a programme of events and fashion shows. These initiatives are starting to show results.
The next step is to help Anna with her marketing strategy, and to provide additional expertise Graham has called in another Cornerstone mentor, Sophie, who has a marketing background. Sophie will help Anna to explore her marketing options and then hand back to Graham. This is a classic example of the Cornerstone network approach to business mentoring.
Anna says: “I was very lucky to be introduced to Cornerstone mentoring three months ago. It is an organization of very talented and professional people, and all businesses should be aware of the support they offer. Their approach was not only prompt but extremely professional. I am really impressed by the way they took care and considered my business at every level, from the financial aspects to PR and marketing activities and planning. I was looking to be guided and directed and I have finally found the right people. I find the process very exciting and my business is going from strength to strength.”