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Cooperatives as an ideal business form for the Internet age

Company are now forced to rethink their business strategies: from mass production to cooperation.

Self-employed entrepreneurs make mass products

So far, due to the high production costs with a comparatively short range, mass production has been in demand. Now niche markets are on the rise - cooperations.

So far, the marketing strategy of many companies has primarily aimed at attracting as many people as possible and controlling the masses. Many entrepreneurs see themselves as the center of the world:

The new king customer

The customer should please come to you if he wants to buy something. The legal form of the GmbH is roughly as autocratic in Germany: Above the Manager, and everyone does 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.

The Internet is not a mass market

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

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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

The key here, however, is the networking and Communication with active as well as potential customers, but also with competitors. The entire advertising strategy is essentially based on this: Since the 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 what's more: customers also help the company to optimize products and service because they are on Error draw attention and make suggestions for improvement. A system of open exchange and healthy togetherness from which everyone benefits.

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.

Unworldly idealists?

But cooperatives are not Business Model For idealists foreign to the world: They are structured in a similarly democratic way to associations, but in contrast to these, they usually neither work for the public benefit nor are they non-profit making. They serve our own economic interests.

The cooperative is the only type of company that has one clear outlined legal mandate, namely the promotion of its members. It is not about pure increase in money and the highest possible returns. Rather, it is Objectiveto achieve something in cooperation with others and to build up 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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4 responses to “Cooperatives as the ideal form of business for the Internet age”

  1. Simone Janson says:

    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 says:

    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 :)

  3. candidates blog says:

    My essay on changeX cooperatives as a legal form for the Internet age - Part 3: Under ...

  4. Competencepartner says:

    My essay on changeX cooperatives as a legal form for the Internet age - Part 3: Under ...

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