Business Planning

All businesses need planning.

It is often said that “form follows function” and this is a good way to think of the planning stage for a business. The functions – what a business will do – need to be settled first before the most appropriate business model or form is chosen.

Business planning is first about developing and refining your idea, followed by consideration of whether a co-operative model is the right form for your idea. Knowing who are the potential members and what the business will deliver helps to begin your thinking about whether the idea is feasible.

Choosing a business model is about identifying the features of the co-operative that best suit your business idea. Will the co-operative be for profit or not for profit? Does it need share capital? Determining these questions then leads to a more precise business plan that becomes the budget for the first year of operation. The implementation of the business plan relies on having an engaged membership and an effect governance and management structure. Getting these matters settled before starting your co-operative will provide a strong base for success for your co-operative.

Need to raise finance to start your co-operative? Head over to Run a Co-op and read our Raise Finance section for new and existing co-operatives. 

Get tips on how to test your business idea.

Learn about business planning, co-operative structures and more to start transforming your idea into reality.

Looking for help with co-op business planning? The BCCM offers support, information and resources for new groups undertaking co-op business planning.