Differences between cooperatives and AG

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But why are cooperatives in demand again? The answer: Company Today, they are forced to rethink their business strategies. Until now, mass production was required due to the high production costs and comparatively short range. Now niche markets are on the rise - cooperations.


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Self-employed entrepreneurs make mass products

So far, the marketing strategy has targeted many Company above all, to attract as many people as possible and to control the masses. They see many entrepreneurs as the hub of the world:

To them the customer may please come, if he wants to buy something. The legal form of the GmbH is also almost self-governing in Germany: above the boss, and all do what he says.

The new economy works differently, as the American media expert Jeff Jarvis makes clear in his book, using the example of Google, one of the most successful companies of our time. This is an example that can be applied to other companies.

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The Internet is not a mass market

Jarvis' thesis: The Internet is not a mass market, but - on the contrary - enables a mass of markets because it facilitates inexpensive, decentralized production and enables targeted sales.

In this way, the web offers space for suppliers of niche products, whether it is the rare piano notes, overcoats or special coffees. Nevertheless, the manufacturers often reach a world market with customers from all continents, simply because a good placement with Google often already suffices to win new customers.

Cooperation and communication create trust

Crucial here, however, is the networking and communication with active as well as potential customers, but also with competitors. This is essentially what the entire advertising strategy is based on: since companies have small, manageable target groups, they can address them much more precisely.

For example, through specialist media and at specialist events, but above all also in direct dialogue: precisely because the niche provider is a specialist in his field, he can offer tailor-made services in very good quality, with convincing service and expertly outstanding know-how. In this way, he quickly gains the trust of the customers in his competence.

Customers help companies

And more, customers also help the company optimize products and services by drawing attention to mistakes and making suggestions for improvement. This is a system of open exchange and healthy coexistence so that everyone benefits.

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Incidentally, this also applies to the so-called competitors: Because who sets himself apart by specialized products or services from others, competition does not need to fear, but can cooperate with competitors to win new customers or act together.

How cooperatives work

Cooperatives work differently - as is well defined in the Cooperative Law: several people participate financially in a company; each pays a deposit, the amount of which is determined by the statute. No notary is required for this, just a declaration of membership. The shares of the cooperatives are not traded.

A cooperative is thus virtually unsaleable. Anyone who does not want to be a member will receive his money, if there were no losses, after an exit declaration. Furthermore, the principle that each member a Regardless of the amount of financial participation.

Possibility of cooperation

Like no other legal form, cooperative companies therefore offer the possibility of participation, participation and co-responsibility, they belong to their members. This is also the reason for the particularly positive image enjoyed by cooperatives.

They are generally considered solid, serious and down to earth. The numbers underline that yet: The insolvency rate is a sensational 0,4 percent.

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unworldly idealists?

But cooperatives are not a business model for worldly idealists. They are democratically structured as societies, but in contrast to these, they do not generally work in the public domain, nor are they engaged in charitable activities. They serve their own economic interests.

As the only company form, the cooperative has a clear legal mandate, namely the promotion of its members. It is not about pure money growth and the highest possible returns. Rather, the goal is to work together with others to create a certain market power.

Thanks to these structures, the old-fashioned eG could soon see a renaissance, because even if they have their roots in the 19. Century and many initially think of their grandparents when they hear cooperative - actually the eG is the ideal legal form for the Internet age.

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  1. Simone Janson

    Hall Mrs. Grötsch,
    I had reported at the beginning of the series about the Jeriva cooperative, which exists since 2004:

    But the Towerbyte eG looks is also a great example, thanks!

  2. Nadia Grötsch - Filmography by type

    In Jena, there is already an IT cooperative: The Towerbyte eG is the first software cooperative (since 2005), it consists of now 28 e-commerce companies (with about 350 employees) together and has their promotion and, above all, the promotion from start-ups in the area to the destination. So far very successful. Obviously we are pioneers :)

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  4. Competencepartner

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