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Thread: CO-OP Bike Shop

  1. #1
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    i think its a bit risky as a business decision. there needs to be a definitive chain of command or else all hell can break loose.
    there are plenty of partnership businesses that start out great, but end up turning into bitter legal disputes that make a divorce seem like a vacation.

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    There are a couple already, Bike Saviors and The Rusty Spoke, possibly more. Bike Saviors is a bit older and organized, check them out, they're in Tempe.
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

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    I think the co-op would need well defined rules and procedures in place to succeed. W.L. Gore has an egalitarian management style and it seems to work for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bazooka_beard View Post
    There are a couple already, Bike Saviors and The Rusty Spoke, possibly more. Bike Saviors is a bit older and organized, check them out, they're in Tempe.
    Those two are setup as non-profit,not the format I was thinking of ,or the shops in the examples I gave.

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    Interesting story about Burley bikes that were made in Eugene,Or. with a worker-owned co-op. It did finally fail as a co-op after 30 years.

    Bike co-op goes flat: difficulties faced by worker-owned bike co-op offer lessons for others of potential business pitfalls | Rural Cooperatives | Find Articles at BNET




    Guess I should have worked equestrians into this thread?
    Last edited by Azpilot; 08-30-2011 at 07:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azpilot View Post
    Interesting story about Burley bikes that were made in Eugene,Or. with a worker-owned co-op. It did finally fail as a co-op after 30 years.

    Bike co-op goes flat: difficulties faced by worker-owned bike co-op offer lessons for others of potential business pitfalls | Rural Cooperatives | Find Articles at BNET




    Guess I should have worked equestrians into this thread?
    Hahaha. Everybody wants to talk horsesh*t!

    Where would this be? It could definitely work, just have to be the right people with the right ideas...and of course all the right legal mumbojumbo drawn up first.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
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    Business requires tough decisions to be made and groups with competing interests can never make tough decisions because it always impacts some members more than others. Give it a go however as it would bring home real quick the realities of business....the lessons learned would be more valuable than a college education!

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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    Hahaha. Everybody wants to talk horsesh*t!

    Where would this be? It could definitely work, just have to be the right people with the right ideas...and of course all the right legal mumbojumbo drawn up first.

    It could be done right here in Phoenix, my thoughts on the co-op approach is if one were to go it alone it would require a large investment (risk) of cash and long hours as opposed to a co-op where things could be divided among several owners.
    Last edited by Azpilot; 08-30-2011 at 10:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjaghblb View Post
    Business requires tough decisions to be made and groups with competing interests can never make tough decisions because it always impacts some members more than others. Give it a go however as it would bring home real quick the realities of business....the lessons learned would be more valuable than a college education!


    A must is to find partners with similar goals and most importantly expectations,its not like sole ownership businesses don't have a high failure rate. I personally would not want to start a business as a sole ownership where I had to put in 12-15 hour days,7 days a week.

    This is not a get rich quick but rather working at something you enjoy without getting burned out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azpilot View Post
    It could be done right here in Phoenix, my thoughts on the co-op approach is if one were to go it alone it would require a large investment (risk) of cash and long hours as opposed to a co-op where things could be divided among several owners.
    A partnership can work, even three people all pitching in for the same thing can do good. If you get more than that, you can wind up with too many different personalities and too many hands in a small pot. I've witnessed families go through severe turmoil because of going in business together.

    I think a small business like that shouldn't have more than 2 owners active in the business. Any more than 2, IMO should be silent partners.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
    - Julie Furtado

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    Good advice Woahey.....I would add if you do go in as a partnership (the co-op thing is just a fantasy....plenty of examples of that being tried and not working) to pool resources....very valid strategy and very successful many times just spend as much time on an exit strategy in case things don't work so everyone knows what to expect. Super important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjaghblb View Post
    Good advice Woahey.....I would add if you do go in as a partnership (the co-op thing is just a fantasy....plenty of examples of that being tried and not working) to pool resources....very valid strategy and very successful many times just spend as much time on an exit strategy in case things don't work so everyone knows what to expect. Super important.

    Maybe that's why Dave Ramsey always says " the only ship that won't sail is a partnership".

  14. #14
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    So Steve Jobs' and Steve Wozniak's partnership didn't sail. What Dave is trying to say is a sole prop. is the BEST answer and WAY less headaches than a partnership BUT in cases where one just can't go it alone (Steve J was a great business mind while Steve W was a great technical mind....combined they hit it out of the park) go in with your eyes open and have an exit strategy......plan as if it were going to fail so the split is amicable if that point ever comes. Friends and business never mix (I personally have an exception here but I got REALLY lucky) so just do it the smart way and it can work. The biking biz is very competitive and probably very low margin from what I see so thinking you will make great money is going to be difficult but not impossible. Those long days....7 days a week you are trying to avoid.....you will be doing that for the first few years without a doubt. I sound negative here but I can speak from experience that you just need to look at it realistically and plan for the worst and when those bases are covered....the best usually happens.

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