Co-Op Competition

How does the business compete with existing businesses.
How will existing businesses compete with us?

The multiple local owner model suggests brand loyalty.  Not just from the people involved, but from their friends and families as well.  With specific projects such as a pizza shop, Would your own mother buy a pizza from Domino's?  The most important job of the owners and sharecroppers is to promote every aspect of the enterprise, be it kitchen, farm, buyers group, tool library or pizza shop.  With the kids involved, they will steer pizza consumption towards the shop.  We are not just promoting the pizza or whatever product we choose to pursue.  We are promoting local jobs and local ownership of the profits, the franchises and corporate stores can't touch us.

The Cans for College Project is sucessful when everyone gets involved.  More involvement begets greater impact.  All we are doing here is giving the environment a helping hand by recovering waste and helping kids in need start out on a solid footing.  We start handing out scholarships to local high school graduates, the local citizens will take notice.  This is advertising and exposure that can't be purchased, and the results are life changing.
Number of companies in this area that I know of that pass out scholarships on the scale possible with the cans project: ZERO

A corporate pizza shop will take notice of the new kid on the block.  History shows us the tactic is to offer deep discounts and back that up with an advertising campaign.  The objective is to bury the new shop, undercut their prices, and close them down from lack of market share.  This will be ineffective against a pizza shop that is owned by the customers, adored by the local population, and promoted by word of mouth by hundreds of people.  The unique feature of the store run by owners rather than employees insulates us from this tactic.  We are not spending money on labor.  The competition would only be cutting their own throat.  

There may be some restaurants that come out with featured items which mimic the supper house, 5 dollar lunch, and holiday pies.  Still, that local ownership by a large group presents a tough nut to crack for our competition.  If product mimicry comes to bear, we are doing it right.  

We start a farm.  What can Walmart or KCs produce do to beat us?  A 10 acre plot would produce enough to service the needs of the group with not a whole lot for the general public.  All we are taking from Walmart is a small percentage of market share of the produce department.  Not so much they'll notice, but if they do, I don't expect Walmart to start a farm anytime in the near future.  Perhaps the competition would buy our produce.  If we did take enough market share away from Walmart that it significantly impacts store sales volume, I would call our enterprise a success.

Another group may form.  It would be in their interest to work around us with different projects: a sub shop instead of a pizza shop, a berry farm instead of vegetables, a focus on Arts rather than Culinary.  First, they are not taking anything away from us.  Second, there are plenty of ways a 2nd independent local group can benefit from cooperating with us for mutual benefit.  The formation of another group, a copycat, would suggest the business model is viable.

Any other company has a single theme, product, or service.  This enterprise has several, each adding value and efficiency, and seemingly limitless capacity to add more projects.  In the event a competitor somehow defeats us, it would only be one aspect of operations.  The nature of our operation means we can continue regardless of competition.

They can't touch us.


Cooperative Enterprise, Plan Outline