Mark: Sounds like you are bringing a great background to the coop you hope to establish. First, I think you will need 501(c)(3) status. Either get it yourself or umbrella under another non-profit. Second, stay friendly with all neighborhood bike shops. This can help you initially get the parts you will need at a low mark up. Or if you can, establish an account with a wholesaler. Third, create a dynamic website and business cards as well as other means to get the word out. Fourth, surround yourself with like minded tremendous core of volunteers. Fifth, develop a sense of mission and identity. This will help you target just what you wish to accomplish with your coop. Sixth, determine how you are going to fund your coop. Grants, donations, a rich uncle? Best of luck and remember to always keep it fun. This will help you to stay the course and not get burned out. Bruce

--- On Mon, 10/20/08, bike against <> wrote:
From: bike against <>
Subject: [TheThinkTank] Fwd: A Little Help Please!
To: "The Think Tank" <>
Date: Monday, October 20, 2008, 12:05 PM

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mark H Hendricks <>
Date: Mon, Oct 20, 2008 at 10:17 AM
Subject: A Little Help Please!

Dear Friends:

It's time to start a cooperative here in The Quad Cities (border of Iowa and Illinois).  Please tell me what I am up against and the pitfalls you might help me avoid.  I am 52 and very experienced at helping businesses market and sell.  I used to run the largest independent Raleigh distributorship (ancient days) and have over twenty years of winter cylecommuting experience.  Any advice you might offer would be greatly appreciated.
Best Regards
Mark H. Hendricks
1-309-762-3252 (direct)

Rafael Cletero
Project Coordinator
Fort Collins Bicycle Co-op
ph (970) 484 38 04
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