The 2023 cohort is underway, check back in 2024 for more details on registration.
Circles of Seven, or C7TM is a business mentorship program. It is based on the belief that we best learn from each other. By bringing small business owners together and providing a learned mentor, small businesses can create, grow and prosper.
It also is based on the fact that many small businesses often need somewhere to turn to for basic questions. Many feel alone in their journey through the entrepreneurship wilderness. However, others have gone before them, and their peers often face the same challenges. A C7TM group can provide answers and a support system.
A C7TM group is open to small businesses that have been in operation for at least 12 months before the date they apply. They must have an organized structure (sole proprietor, Corporation, etc.) and have a product or service they sell. The protege is either the owner or the highest-level manager who can make decisions about the business operations and finance and is solely responsible for the business’s outcome.
Participation is not limited by the size of your business or your years of experience; however, more seasoned business owners may find the discussions rudimentary. If this is the case, you may consider being a Mentor.
C7TM is designed to provide assistance and mentoring to ongoing businesses. If you are a start-up or just considering a business idea, this program is not for you. This is not for you if you participate in a multi-level sales organization.
The discussion at each C7TM meeting varies, but the common thread is the topic for the month. Meetings last, at a minimum, 90 minutes. Before each meeting at the beginning of the month, participants will be able to log in and see the topic of the month. There will also be some reading assignments and perhaps videos or other information to digest. Proteges are expected to be prepared and read and engage with the material.
During the meeting, there will be time to discuss the topic for the month and anything the readings or other media may have sparked. The Mentor is free to manage the meeting as they see fit; however, they are obligated to cover the month’s topic.
The C7TM meeting is less about homework assignments and more about talking, learning, and supporting each other. Think of it as a hyper-intense networking event that supports your business needs. You are all focused on each other and focused on the topic.
The cohort runs for nine months. Typically it will run during a school year schedule, from September through May.
At the beginning of the session, the entire cohort will meet each other and receive their mentor assignments. At that meeting, mentors and proteges will receive a standard set of guidelines on how the cohort will run. Mentors will have already received their training. It will be a casual affair.
At the end of the nine sessions, all proteges get a “diploma” indicating the successful completion of the program at the “graduation” event. We will all rejoice and cheer for the perseverance and dedication of each of the proteges and recognize the selflessness of the Mentors.
To be part of the program, a ONE TIME fee of $95.00 is billed. The investment into your future is due before the beginning of the program.
The place and time of your meeting is one of the first things your cohort will get to decide as a group. Many groups meet at the mentors’ place of business if they have the room and facilities to do so. Others might meet at a public library meeting room, a Chamber of Commerce, or the group sponsoring the program. They often have meeting rooms available for the community. Many banks have public meeting rooms also.
You have embarked on the journey of starting your own business. Now, it’s time for some introspection about the first couple of years, identifying areas where you require support, and assessing the resources at your disposal. You will explore the potential for growth while introducing your business to the group. During this session, we’ll candidly discuss both the positive aspects and challenges you’ve encountered along the way.
Managing Time – This session focuses on the concept of work-life balance and the art of setting priorities. The discussion will revolve around helping business owners effectively address the numerous challenges and demands they encounter as entrepreneurs.
Funding your Business – Whether you’re currently operational but struggling with weak or non-existent cash flow, or experiencing success and seeking significant expansion, the question remains: how do you navigate these situations? This session will explore strategies for managing such challenges. You will delve into the topic of securing external sources of funding and investment, considering options such as equity, loans, and other forms of assistance to support your business growth.
Do you have a handle on all aspects of your financials? This crucial session revolves around comprehensive finance management, encompassing revenue, expenditures, invoicing, discounting, and various strategic approaches. Unlike funding discussions, this session focuses on the importance of meticulous financial tracking and effective financial strategies to optimize your business’s financial health.
How are you attracting your customers? Are referrals and word-of-mouth playing a significant role? In this discussion, you will explore various marketing and public relations strategies to help you enhance your business growth, covering a wide range of effective methods to connect with your target audience and boost your revenue.
This session delves into the ways social media can elevate your business. Building upon previous discussions about marketing and promotion, as well as topics like branding and communication, you will explore how effectively leveraging social media can have a profound impact on your business’s success.
Transitioning from a one-person operation to building a team requires careful consideration and effective hiring strategies. Whether you’ve experienced this process before or not, this session focuses on the hiring process, common pitfalls to avoid, and best practices for conducting interviews. You will explore valuable insights and techniques to successfully bring new team members on board and build a strong workforce for your business.
Having acquired additional support, you find yourself responsible for managing people, resources, and vendors to achieve your business goals. In this discussion, the spotlight will be on fostering the right culture within your organization and mastering the art of effective leadership. Explore valuable insights and strategies to create a positive and productive work environment, enabling you to excel as a leader and guide your team towards success.
Discover the realm of new possibilities! Whether it’s introducing new services, innovative products, or seizing unforeseen opportunities, this session explores the dynamics of adapting to unexpected circumstances like regulatory changes, recessions, and pandemics. Engage in discussions on effective pivoting strategies and the process of reinventing products and services to navigate challenges and embrace growth in an ever-changing business landscape.
Reflecting on the key takeaways; how has your business evolved? Are there areas that require further assistance? Based on the knowledge gained throughout this session, what action plans will you now put into motion? This summation of the session encourages introspection and decision-making based on the insights gained, paving the way for future actions and improvements in your entrepreneurial journey.
*Curriculum is subject to change.
To be considered for the C7 program, you must complete an application to ensure that you are a suitable fit for a C7 group. If you are accepted, you will receive an email containing further details and an invoice for the program fee of $95.00.
Have questions? Email Ann Flad-Jesion at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.