Most of what makes a worker co-op successful is what makes any business successful.
- Strength of your team
- Know your customers (what they want, when, how)
- Consistent tracking of your business finances (cash flow, balance sheet, and P&L)
- Working your network
- Management experience
- Ability to adapt and evolve
- Transparency within the teams
- Clear decision-making process
- Strong accountability systems
List of Pros of Cooperatives*
1. They instill an atmosphere of cooperation.
Advocates of cooperatives emphasize the overall social and psychological influence brought about by the worker-control parameters in these associations. This factor is believed to help transform the adversarial relationships that are common in most classical firms into an atmosphere of cooperation. Considering the idea of a cooperative, once members start to identify their individual and collective efforts with the organization’s improved performance, cooperative problem solving also starts to take place. This more communicative workplace will result in improvements in production processes, thanks to a good flow of information across the floor. Also, it leads to a heightened satisfaction spreading throughout its members, which can help with lowering worker turnover and absenteeism.
2. They are democratic.
One of the greatest perks of having the cooperative model in business is the democratic approach to ownership. Members get to practice democracy in a place where they spend most of their day. Managerial, Operational and Profit sharing are decided by the collective. Members can choose their own leadership structures, accountability systems, benefits, and other perks that normally would not trickle down to wage workers.
3. They provide great economic benefits to members.
Generally, each type of cooperative comes with broadly defined economic advantages. For members of consumer cooperatives, they are entitled to receive patronage dividends, which are distributed from net earnings and determined by the amount the members spent on their products since the payout of the last period. Also, members who work within the cooperative are qualified to get substantial merchandize discounts. For property-owning members of residential cooperatives, they will serve as stockholders, so they will receive benefits from the incurring interest and maintenance costs.
4. They can make for engaged employees and customers.
When employees are given a greater stake in their business’s outcomes, they would be more engaged and would perform better. Whatever their roles in the business, they are given the right to take part in making decisions, which will be better informed if employees have a role to play in the management process. Customers will also be more likely to continue patronizing the business if they are members having a stake in its future.
5. It keeps more money in the local community.
* Blogger. "10 Pros and Cons of Cooperatives." Green Garage. Green Garage Blogger, 1 Apr. 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. <https://greengarageblog.org/10-pros-and-cons-of-cooperatives>.