Starting Your Own Business: COOP

The idea of forming a COOP or partnership has been around for a long time. A COOP allows multiple parties to participate in a business and benefit based on the total offer to their clients. 

This allows the coop operations to be less risky financially. It will still require tight agreements and understanding regarding each party's role. 

Here is a simple concept for a COOP. 

During the pandemic food preparation, shopping and delivery have been a challenge. One team with a heavy Hispanic demographic did some research on 3-4 local meal preferences in their area. What was missing was the true home cooking that people were craving following the closure of some favorite restaurants. 

The COOP which consisted of operations, food preparation and delivery worked in coordination to market their services via social media, and provide the hot food to a limited area. Caution was taken to insure the handling of the food and delivery was done at a distance and in accordance with the local health rules. 

The COOP was wildly successful and allowed each participant to only focus on what they did best. It provided flexibility for the team and commitment to the others. 

You can never take your foot off the gas. As things improve and restaurants start to reopen the COOPs need to continue to research areas of value and preference.

Weekly calls are important and a project manager should be nominated. 

Here are critical areas to keep in mind. 

  1. Supply chain: Where will the resources be procured and can a deal be arranged based on volume purchasing. 
  2. Financing: There must be an identification of your true costs. In the above case food costs, storage, packaging, gas for delivery, insurance. How much does each COOP participant contribute to the overall costs of the business. 
  3. Staffing: who is responsible for cooking, collecting orders and delivery options. 
  4. Advertising: In this case “guerilla marketing” may be best. Next door and free publications are good but single page brochures that could be displayed in local establishments are critical. 
  5. Make the process simple. Provide options for online orders and phone orders.  

Here is another idea that has been successfully rolled out in multiple colleges in the country. 

College delivery and storage services:

  • College movement has always been a challenge for students during the summer or winter semesters. They may be forced to move all of their furniture and personal items into storage for just a few months. The cost of hiring a moving company, and getting reasonable storage space is a challenge. 
  • College students have come together to lease moving trucks, negotiate good rates for storage and coordinated delivery for the students following their move. 
  • The service is limited usually to 1 mid to large size university town where there are several thousand students. 
  • Operational roles and supplies must be accounted for in a project plan. A clear understanding of what other companies are providing is critical for pricing and scope of work. 
  • Insurance when dealing with equipment, and client belongings are to be clearly defined so proper coverage and pricing can be attained. 

This COOP presents an open ended opportunity with a huge number of campuses across the country. Clients are looking for simple one stop shop solutions at reasonable prices. 

This training will focus on defining potential COOP opportunities and how to get started. It is a 2 part class with additional drop in consultations available during or after the training process.

Click here to register as a team of 2-3 or one on one personal training.  

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