If you’re the owner of a small business and have limited resources, use
the power of numbers to obtain more customers or clients. Create an
Creating such a co-op is simple. First, make a list of other small
business owners you know personally, trust, and respect. On your list,
include some businesses that have products or services similar to yours
and others that provide very different ones.
All of these small business owners probably have limited resources, too.
Arrange a meeting with several of these owners and sit down together at
a relaxing location (like a coffee shop or bookstore) to discuss how you
could all benefit from an informal cooperative (co-op, for short).
For example, do you all attend trade shows for your businesses? Could
you share a booth with one or two of these other small business owners
to cut the cost of a booth? Do all of you have web sites for your
companies? If so, it would be easy to create a blog for your co-op, with
links to the web site of each co-op member. Then, each member could
take a turn updating the blog, which should result in increased web site
traffic (or at least more publicity or exposure) for each member.
Co-ops are also helpful when you would like to join professional
organizations but can’t afford the dues by yourself. Join as a co-op and
you’ll probably get membership benefits for at least several of your
members. Join several different organizations so that each co-op
member can enjoy membership in at least one organization of his or
Here are some examples of the types of businesses that would make
Car dealerships – car washes – auto parts stores
Childcare centers – children’s bookstores – children’s clothing stores
Graphic designers – freelance writers – small printing companies
Animal clinics – pet stores – pet grooming centers
Advertising agencies – specialty food stores – gift basket companies
Freelance writers – gift stores – day spas
Are you beginning to get some ideas?
Start thinking about creating a business co-op and you’ll probably think
of many other cost-saving and service-sharing ways to fit your particular
Create an informal co-op, then sit back and watch your business