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My business is a work in progress, but I’ve now got more tools in my kitbag

My business is a work in progress, but I’ve now got more tools in my kitbag

Caia Slater, co-founder of Partnering to Excel, talks us through some of the valuable insights and experiences she gained through attending our Entrepreneur’s Workout in April.

After taking a short career break during the pandemic, Caia Slater and her business partner Jo Cragg-Sapsford began their business. The pair focus on designing strategic business and people solutions for SMEs across the country, working with businesses rather than for them. And with over 40 years of experience between them, they’re not short of ideas. But as with any new business, defining your direction and knowing how to best serve your clients is an unenviable task. After seeing a callout for businesses to participate in one of our Entrepreneurs Workouts earlier this year, Caia went along to the Swindon and Wiltshire event, ready to build a detailed picture of her potential customers and prospects. Let’s explore some of her key takeaways from the event.

The Business Model Canvas is a really powerful tool and one that you’ll continue to use

The Business Model Canvas developed by Strategyzer is the central tool used in the Entrepreneurs Workout; here are Caia’s thoughts on using it.

“The framework and the Business Model Canvas were really helpful, and I’ve used it three times subsequent to the programme. I’ve worked up a joint proposition with a financial accountant for doing HR and finance consultancy, I’ve used it with another company looking to produce a joint proposition for employee experience and customer experience, and I’m also using it now for a new golf venture, where we’re marketing the sport to women because it’s really good for building their network.”

“So, I just think it’s a fantastic toolkit, and it works in any situation to really consider your unique selling proposition and what your value proposition is to the client.”

You’ll make fantastic business connections

“One of my clients has come through the programme. On the second day, I called in to see her, and I don’t think she recognised me at first. I just waved and went ‘Oh, Hi, it’s me!’ and from there, we worked on our slides together for the final day of presentations. The networking that you can do off the back of the programme, either with delegates or with the leaders from SETsquared, is endless.”

You’ll work with an inclusive, supportive team

“The support from the team facilitating the programme has been brilliant, particularly from the mentors on the last day. Presenting our Value Proposition using the Business Model Canvas as the culmination of the week was a bit daunting but hugely helpful in putting what we had learnt into practice. Receiving constructive feedback and support from our esteemed business mentors for the day (think Dragon’s Den minus the funding bit) was brilliant, and there have been so many offers of help. The support from the SETsquared team has really been brilliant, and I’m sure that I will be calling on some of them in the future!”

You’ll gain tools and strategies to take your business forwards

“My business is still definitely a work in progress, but when is business ever complete? I feel as though I’ve got more tools in my kitbag now, so the Entrepreneurs Workout has just given me something that I will keep coming back to. The programme is just a really great resource.”

We asked Caia whether she would recommend the programme to fellow entrepreneurs. This is what she had to say…

“I would highly recommend the programme to any entrepreneur in the Swindon and Wiltshire areas, whether you’re just starting out on your business journey or pivoting your businesses’ direction. In fact, I’ve got brochures for the programme that I keep here to give out to people I meet. So, I actively promote it and recommend it to people because I just found it so beneficial for me.”

About SETsquared’s Entrepreneurs Workouts

SETsquared has supported thousands of start-ups to succeed and thrive. If you are a start-up founder in Swindon and Wiltshire, our Entrepreneurs Workout can help you lay the foundations for a profitable and successful business. Our fully funded, three half days, mentor-led webinar will dive deep into your business model, value proposition, customer segmentation, and revenue model to help you on your path to success.


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