Solutions

Guiding the Fundamentals of Co-op Business

By |2022-01-18T10:18:45-05:00April 10th, 2019|

Ray Williams is Seward Community Co-op’s operations manager and recognizes that even though the co-op has achieved a lot over the years, especially in terms of growing its operations and diversifying staff and leadership, it is also an organization currently in transition. “The past few years have been very intense with opening the second store, increased competition and unionization.” Like many grocery cooperatives, Seward has felt the pressure to provide good wages, pay vendors a fair price, maintain high standards of service and remain sustainable and profitable.

How Coaching Benefits You as a Leader

By |2022-01-14T12:42:51-05:00March 14th, 2019|

In a competitive economy with slim profit margins, hiring a consultant or a coach can feel like a luxury line item.  Yet feeling overtasked and having to do more with less is the perfect reason for hiring a coach.  Coaches can help leaders prioritize and focus their energies, leverage their skills, and learn new ways to respond to both interpersonal and marketplace demands.  In [...]

Focus on Outreach During PR Crisis

By |2019-09-10T20:10:06-04:00January 9th, 2019|

Nothing stings more than public criticism, and the longer it’s sustained, the more damaging it can be to an organization’s reputation. Especially when, despite everyone’s best intentions, something goes wrong, or people are upset about something. In today’s wired world, the opportunities for people to share their impressions online have grown exponentially, sometimes amplifying negative word of mouth. It can easily become a chronic [...]

Restoring Trust and Vibrancy in a Co-op Community

By |2021-12-07T17:49:36-05:00January 9th, 2019|

Central Co-op Seattle, WA Year founded: 1978 Number of members: 14,200 Consumer member investment: $100 Worker member investment: $6,340 (12 years) Number of employees: 120 Locations: Seattle and Tacoma (opening date late spring TBD) When the Central Co-op in Seattle, Wash. proposed a vote to merge with the Tacoma Food Co-op in 2015, the memberships of both co-ops overwhelmingly approved it. Both communities saw [...]

Perpetuating Board Leadership Through Co-op Storytelling

By |2019-09-10T20:10:14-04:00December 12th, 2018|

Board perpetuation is a perennial topic for boards. Turnover happens year to year as a cyclical part of board service. So, finding ways to maintain consistently strong governance needs to be a priority and continual task. Things can never stay exactly they as they are (or used to be), so how do boards keep positive momentum going? How do they individually and collectively share [...]

Expanding the Boundaries of Retailing in Local Communities

By |2021-12-08T11:19:07-05:00November 7th, 2018|

Contemporary food co-ops have begun important discussions in their organizations around equity and inclusion. As part of that process, they’ve had to accept and deal with some painful truths that their co-ops have not always been perceived as inclusive, especially through the shopping experience.

Marketing Planning that Cuts Through the Clutter

By |2019-09-10T20:10:50-04:00October 10th, 2018|

Retailers face lots of challenges, profit margins are small, inventory needs to turn, and the competition is fierce. Getting customers into the store and keeping them satisfied should be everyone’s focus to boost sales and enhance profitability. Retailers faced with flat or declining sales need to take a closer look at their marketing and customer service experience. Since food co-ops are owned by the [...]

Introducing Your Co-op to New Communities

By |2019-09-10T20:11:17-04:00July 12th, 2018|

Business introductions are a networking staple—and they run the gamut from the ho-hum ‘We are here to sell you something’ to the dynamic, ‘We love to support communities and make a difference in people’s lives.’ As co-ops continue to seek out ways to innovate, offer more goods and services, and reach out to new communities, it is worth the investment of time and resources [...]

Welcoming Managers New to Cooperatives

By |2020-12-31T19:57:00-05:00June 13th, 2018|

Remember the first time you walked into a food cooperative? Maybe your initial reaction fell somewhere along the continuum of “I found my people” to “what in the world is this place?” Maybe you liked the food. Maybe you liked the mission. Or the people were nice. And that convinced you to stay. Ultimately, when people walk into a food co-op, we want them [...]