“What’s the difference between a cooperative and a franchise?”
It’s a question that perhaps you’ve heard before, and maybe you’ve even asked it yourself. While the definition of both can vary from industry to industry, there are some aspects of cooperatives and franchises that remain the same across the board. Each offers its own advantages, and as a business owner or entrepreneur who’s investigating the difference, it’s important to distinguish which one is going to be more beneficial for you. At Lighting One, our co-op program is designed to provide our members with outstanding benefits and connect them to the leading suppliers in the lighting industry. In this blog we’ll look at the differences between a co-op and a traditional franchise.
The Franchise Model
Drive into any mid- to large-sized town in this country, and you’ll see franchise locations. From fast food restaurants to electronics stores, franchises are everywhere, and some have changed the face of American business as we know it. With many franchise models, a parent company has a system that’s already in place, and the people (franchisees) who sign agreements must adhere to that system. There’s also the risk of the parent company not renewing a franchisee’s agreement, which can leave a person back at square one when it comes to their business. Franchises can provide the support system a new business owner needs to get started, but may not be the best course for everyone.
The Cooperative Model
There are thousands of cooperatives across the country in various industries, and they provide millions of jobs each year. While similar to franchises in some ways, co-ops provide one unique distinction. The business owners who belong to the co-op come together to reduce costs and create a network of collaboration where everybody benefits. That’s not to say owners can’t benefit in a franchise system, but a co-op can allow a person to be more competitive within their industry.
When it comes to Lighting One, our cooperative program is designed to unite lighting showrooms around the country, giving each one better selection, better buying power, and better connections to manufacturers and suppliers. No matter how big or small their showroom is, an owner can build relationships with other stores and increase their profitability while remaining competitive in the lighting marketplace. They’re also free to set up their store as they see fit, hiring people and creating the structure that best meets their business’ needs while providing their clientele with the best customer service.
If you’re interested in learning more about our lighting co-op, please contact us right away. We can explain the benefits you’ll enjoy as a member, and how you can get your new showroom off the ground in no time. You won’t have to worry about adhering to a franchise system or changing how your store does business, and you can reap the rewards of working with people all across the country.