Grab & Go

Cross-Merchandising Wine & Beer

By |2019-10-22T20:52:14+00:00April 26th, 2019|Improve Operations|

Everybody loves a great dinner party, especially when we take things outdoors and make it a picnic. Deliciousness needn’t be hard. Your member-owners are looking to make great food with excellent beverage pairings, so help raise basket totals while improving engagement! Become the place for wine and beer with these simple, yet effective ideas for cross merchandising: Sangria Central in Produce: Out of department [...]

How Cooperative is Your Customer Service?

By |2019-09-09T15:18:57+00:00May 29th, 2018|Improve Operations|

Too often, customer service and membership trainings become a quick checked box on the first day on the job, and over time, staff become disconnected from the true meaning of service and the significance of their co-op in the community. As competition in our marketplace continues to tighten, it’s imperative that we strive to create a culture of continuous improvement and enthusiasm for the [...]

Ensuring Internal and External Pay Equity

By |2019-09-09T15:13:13+00:00April 26th, 2018|Build Workplace Culture|

Many co-ops using policy governance have an Ends policy requiring staff compensation that is both internally and externally equitable. However without diligent attention, pay scales and what individual staff end up making can get out of whack over time. Below are a few tips to keep you in compliance. Compensation market study. Make sure you are staying up-to-date on what the external market is [...]

“Better safe, than sorry!”

By |2019-09-07T02:02:18+00:00February 23rd, 2018|Improve Operations|

If one were asked to summarize an Emergency Preparedness philosophy in a succinct, no-nonsense maxim, "better safe, than sorry" would definitely be it. Defined simply as: "a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action," responding safely and effectively to any emergency requires thoughtful planning ahead of time, streamlined procedures, trained staff, and capable leaders. Planning. Just because you can’t plan for everything, [...]

Is An Owner Capital Campaign Right For Your Co-op?

By |2019-09-07T01:57:08+00:00January 25th, 2018|Grow Your Business|

It seems like many co-ops are either in the middle of, just finished, or are about to start a project. And all of those projects need adequate capital to be successful. Raising money from co-op owners has become a standard component of project capitalization and the amounts co-ops are raising has been growing. As with any entrepreneurial venture there are risks, both in raising [...]

Bridging the Gap. Interim General Management

By |2019-09-07T01:45:11+00:00December 14th, 2017|Improve Operations|

Like any business, cooperatives need capable management at all times. Emergency management succession planning is essential but despite this planning, sometimes a co-op finds itself in need of a steady experienced hand to manage the co-op during a GM transition. Interim General Managers (IGMs) provide stable and competent management allowing the board of directors to focus on hiring. Here are some steps and things [...]

Pro Formas and the New Competitive Challenges

By |2019-09-10T00:03:32+00:00October 26th, 2017|Grow Your Business|

In the grocery world, we live in challenging times. Costco and Wal-Mart carry organic products. Supermarket chains tout local produce and have a house brand of organics. Home delivery has everyone buzzing; even Amazon is getting into the action. Pro forma financial statements are forward-looking projections of how your co-op will perform given a specific set of assumptions. They are useful in many ways, especially for new stores and expansions [...]

Responding to Workplace Conflicts

By |2019-09-07T01:34:18+00:00September 28th, 2017|Build Workplace Culture|

Whenever people work together, conflicts will naturally arise. Here’s a framework to help leaders resolve conflicts. This article will describe three categories of conflicts and a process that can be used to resolve each. _______________________________________________________________ Allegations of management misconduct If employees believe a manager has committed unethical and/or illegal acts, (e.g. theft, harassment), they need to inform the GM, or if the GM is [...]

The Cooperative Advantage

By |2019-09-09T23:30:00+00:00August 24th, 2017|Cultivate Your Community|

Sometimes the obvious isn’t so obvious. Just because we have co-op in our name does not mean that people will really understand what that means. The formal definition of a cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. But we need to give that meaning life. [...]

Gaining Grocery Fluency

By |2019-09-07T01:11:58+00:00July 27th, 2017|Improve Operations|

Most directors are drawn to serve on the board of their local food co-op because they embrace its values and mission, and not because they yearn to become grocers. And yet their role as the elected fiduciaries, they must exercise oversight and make key decisions that can impact the health of the business in multiple ways. Knowing something about the industry and the business [...]