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If you're a talented designer-maker and looking to grow your business you have come to the right place. Apply here.
Are you looking to grow your business and creative practice?
This is how we support businesses at all stages...
When you join us, we partner with you in a process designed to help you develop and grow your creative business. You are firmly in the driving seat and our on-site coaches are on hand to guide you through the journey. The starting point is an induction; during which you receive our Making It Toolkit full of specialist information, contacts, templates and worksheets which are indispensable to a designer-maker business.
The next step is to meet, discuss your business and identify your goals and specific needs. Together we then create a personalised action plan to help you move forward. Each business takes a different journey from this point depending on their model, stage of growth and specific needs.
One of the unique services at Cockpit is the on-site, one-to-one support from our Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI) qualified coaches. We take a co-active approach, working with you to develop the skills and creativity you already possess. Drawing on our industry experience, we help you to identify opportunities for change that are right for you and your business.
One of the great benefits of being at Cockpit is that you are part of a fantastic network of talented designer-makers, often sharing similar experiences to one another. We facilitate peer-to-peer action learning and group coaching sessions, coffee dates and run a ‘buddy scheme’ so that you can share this valuable knowledge together in an informal and relaxed way.
Quick questions always crop up in business and as we are based on-site we can deal with your queries in person or by email and phone. We may also refer you to our network of Cockpit Associates including accountants, lawyers, marketers, retailers and IT professionals for specialist support.
At Cockpit Arts we also offer a specialist professional development programme, New Creative Markets, which is specifically designed to help designer-makers increase the sales of their work and achieve greater sustainability.
The New Creative Markets project is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.
In addition to our team of in-house team of experts, we refer studio holders to our network of industry associates for specialist support in areas such as accounting, intellectual property, manufacturing and branding. Associate membership is by invitation.
Studio holders wishing to take on their first employees can join the Creative Employment Programme, supported using public funding by Arts Council England. The programme provides employers with a programme of support, which has been created in partnership with the Learning and Development Corporate Banking Division at RBS, as well as small grants to support the cost of employing an apprentice or intern for up to one year. We also provide practical support from writing job descriptions to setting up payroll systems.
Studio holders needing an injection of cash to take their business to the next level can apply for small, low interest loans through this scheme. The Cockpit Arts & Ingenious Growth Loan Fund provides intensive business planning support and on-going coaching alongside affordable finance. Studio holders are eligible to apply provided they have been here for 12 months, and can apply for loans of up to £10,000. Interested? Contact your business coach to arrange a 121.
Each year you complete a business review to reflect on your progress and review your next steps. We collate and analyse the business review data (which is held in the strictest confidence) so we can evaluate and measure the impact of the support we are offering, identify future needs and research trends.
No one said running a business would be easy especially when you are a small creative company juggling a multitude of roles. Putting systems in place and planning ahead can help you on the road to success, which is why Cockpit Arts has created the Making It Toolkit – tailored specifically for designer-makers.
This Toolkit PDF covers four key areas – Values, Vision and Goals; Management and Operations; Sales and Marketing, and Finances in the form of interactive worksheets. Once completed, these worksheets form the basis of a business plan that you can use to help keep your business on track.
You can download a PDF of the Toolkit introduction pages here for a complete list of contents.