Grow Your Business

Business Plan Outline

By |2019-09-10T15:56:24-04:00February 28th, 2013|

SYNOPSIS Executive summary. Write this last. Highlight key information from the plan-who you are, what you are going to do, why and how it will be financed. (Not in detail, that comes in the plan itself.) BACKGROUND History. One page on how the Co-op got to this point: How/who/why it was started (vision), bringing it up to this time. Key accomplishments to date. Ownership. Legal [...]

The Growth Roadway

By |2019-09-09T23:16:14-04:00November 16th, 2012|

By Art Sherwood 163 November-December 2012 Expansion and growth are on the minds of many cooperative board and management leaders. And this makes sense, since growing our cooperatives’ abilities to deliver on their organizational Ends is of critical strategic importance. It certainly was on our minds at Bloomingfoods Co-op (Bloomington, Ind.) this last year as we addressed growing to include a fourth store and [...]

Reporting During Expansion

By |2020-04-27T17:32:31-04:00October 19th, 2012|

Boards delegate to their GM the task of effectively managing the co-op’s operations, which requires a clear system of accountability to ensure the GM is doing this job well. How can a board and GM maintain this system of delegation and accountability during the more risky and busy time of an expansion project? How can the board be sure that good financial management continues [...]

Case Study: Wheatsville’s BIG Direction

By |2019-09-10T20:36:43-04:00May 31st, 2012|

Wheatsville Food Co-op has always had big dreams to have multiple locations— going back to the days since it was founded. Now they are in a position to begin to make them come true. The co-op has, as general manager Dan Gillotte put it, “solidified home base” with its latest renovation and is primed to branch out into multiple locations. This has been an [...]

Bill Gessner Enters the Cooperative Hall of Fame

By |2019-09-10T20:36:51-04:00May 18th, 2012|

Bill Gessner likes working with people, and most of the time, you’ll find him wherever groups are creating plans for the future.  Throughout his career, Bill has worked with hundreds of food co-ops and many development organizations.  It is not an exaggeration to say that his ability to work with diverse groups of people has helped the food co-op sector grow and thrive.  He [...]

What Cooperators Have to Say About Bill Gessner

By |2019-09-10T20:37:00-04:00January 31st, 2012|

Alysen Land, general manager, Ozark Natural Foods: “Bill has helped our cooperative grow and continually improve. Bill has helped me weather difficult times in my career, and has proven to me again and again that he is a good friend and fellow cooperator.” Jeanie Wells, operations, expansions, and startup consultant, CDS Consulting Co-op: “I first met and worked with Bill in the 1990s and [...]

Harrisonburg’s Friendly New Neighbor

By |2019-09-09T19:49:17-04:00September 16th, 2011|

By Ben Sandel 156 September - October - 2011 PDF download of article: pdf of article In March 2006, about 30 people came to a meeting at the Little Grill Collective restaurant in Harrisonburg, Va., to talk about starting a cooperative. The Little Grill had opened a 600-square-foot health food store (called The Little Store) in a rundown plaza on the poorer side of [...]

The Right Fit: Facility Considerations for your Co-op

By |2019-09-09T19:47:44-04:00September 2nd, 2011|

By Debbie Suassuna 156 September - October - 2011 There are a number of characteristics that can add to or detract from a natural food co-op store’s opportunity for success. We’ve covered location and site characteristics to be considered in planning a natural foods co-op store. This article discusses facility characteristics: size and shape of the facility, its layout on the site, and the [...]

Finding the Right Site for your Co-op

By |2019-09-10T15:27:51-04:00July 11th, 2011|

By Debbie Suassuna 155 July - August - 2011 When you are evaluating a natural food co-op store location, there are a number of characteristics that can add to, or detract from, the store’s ability to generate sales. This is the second in a series of articles oriented toward discussing the types of issues to be considered in locating a natural food co-op store. [...]

Bill Gessner to Be Inducted into Co-op Hall of Fame

By |2019-09-10T20:34:40-04:00January 31st, 2011|

Bill Gessner likes working with people, and most of the time, you’ll find him wherever groups are creating plans for the future. Throughout his career, Bill has worked with hundreds of food co-ops and many development organizations. It is not an exaggeration to say that his ability to work with diverse groups of people has helped the food co-op sector grow and thrive. He [...]

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