The job that probably takes the most foresight, analysis, judgment, and timing is acquiring a business site, building, machinery and equipment, and other supplies. The steering committee’s business analysis is the blueprint. The newly selected manager should participate in facility decisions.
Facilities should be located conveniently for members but enable establishing good distribution links with suppliers, markets, and other business services.
Directors need to study facility requirements thoroughly. Their decisions will influence the cooperative’s operations for many years. It’s important to avoid using so much capital for fixed facilities and startup that cash flow is jeopardized.
A useful planning tool is an acquisition schedule and budget. It would list items in the logical order they should be acquired, based on need, delivery time, loan requirements, funds available, and other factors. This should be built into the cash flow projection for the startup period. Changes to this plan should be analyzed before enactment.