A co-op business plan template, by Russ Christianson.
A business plan is a vital document for any successful co-op. Ideas are simply that until they can be effectively communicated and implemented in a systematic manner. A comprehensive, written document that expresses ideas and assigns specific responsibility to individuals and\or teams within your co-op provides the map for the whole organization to follow. Without a written plan, people go in their own directions, their destinations always moving before they arrive. A co-ordinated effort in a co-operative organization depends upon a written plan that everyone can follow and use as a basis of evaluation for their performance.
Your co-op’s business plan should be treated as a living document. As circumstances change, change your objectives to maintain their realism, challenge, and motivational impact. Regularly refer back to the plan and revise it as you gather new information, knowledge and experience. The document is not written in stone and as your co-op business grows and changes, so should your written plan.
The people who will be responsible for implementation create the most effective business plans. Board members and managers share the responsibility to develop a co-op’s business plan, and active participation should be encouraged for all employees and other appropriate stakeholders. A plan, which is generated by a single person and then forced upon those responsible for making it happen, is bound to fail.
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