The startup Monadnock Food Co-op opened its 13,000-square-foot store just a wee bit ahead of schedule last month in Keene, New Hampshire. Yes, you read that right. Ahead of schedule. Of course having a committed board and manager are key to that accomplishment. Yet the reason for this is that their group was able to stay on task and complete projects on time. Board president Joe Marks credits two CDS Consulting Co-op templates, the Startup Policy Template and the Board Annual Calendar Template, for giving their co-op the framework for helping them meet their goals.
Marks said they used the calendar template to sequence everything from the annual meeting, to building their agenda and receiving monitoring reports. He said that it’s worked out really well for them, especially at the beginning. “Working off a model built off of other co-ops helped us get closer to being open. I can’t imagine how much more work this startup would have been without it.”
Marks said that they’ve been using all available resources “all along” the process. After the co-op incorporated in 2010, they joined the CBLD program. Marks remarked that the food co-op sector “has a tremendous willingness to look for best practices.” He also said that being on a schedule for monitoring reports means that they’ll get information right away about what is working or not when the co-op opens. “You have to get that stuff right the first time. We’re much more prepared and we’ll be in a better position to make good decisions,” Marks said.
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