Cornerstone offers its services to small Somerset businesses at any stage in their development, including pre start-up businesses that haven’t yet started trading. Indeed it is our experience that it is at this stage that mentoring can be of most benefit.
This year has seen a significant increase in demand for Cornerstone services generally, and particularly from this pre-start sector. In response to this increase, we have now recruited additional mentors and have streamlined our procedures to ensure they work for all the businesses that approach us. These changes are reflected in our new ‘How Mentoring Works’ page.
The main improvements are:
- Our Mentoring Agreement has been simplified and incorporated as terms and conditions of service into our Application Form. When a signed Application Form is submitted, this shows acceptance of these terms, and removes the need to discuss this with the mentor later.
- The introduction of an initial, short period of mentoring that may be extended. We have found that in many cases the business owner’s needs are satisfied in the early stages of mentoring, and that a more protracted programme is unnecessary.
This is particularly the case with pre-start-up businesses, where the immediate mentoring need is to get to the point of trading. So now the duration of the mentoring will be entirely decided by discussion between the mentor and the business owner.
We believe that these improvements will allow a more flexible approach that can be better tailored to the needs of each business.
Business in Somerset is clearly thriving, with new and interesting ideas being explored by people who may never have thought they would be ‘going it alone’. With the new, streamlined, application process and our ever increasing number of committed and successful business people waiting to offer support, Cornerstone is here to make sure there is someone a small business can turn to.