You're getting closer to being able to trade! But first you need to:

Purchase and refurbish your premises

Securing your premises is the first step. You need to make sure that the look and feel of your enterprises are in line with what you're trying to do - this is a community co-operative, so needs to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. You'll also need to consider your core range of services and prioritise space - do you need a meeting room? Will you be offering cafe facilities? Do you want to offer Post Office services, a games room, or TV? You need to make sure you are using your space wisely to maximise your income and respond to what your community needs. You also need to decide on your stock policy and set your prices. This might be a good time to consult with your community again. 

Make sure you're compliant with all legal requirements and best practice trading processes

Health and safety in the workplace is monitored by the Health and Safety Executive, but it is the role of the Environmental Health Officers from the district council to visit enterprises like shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants to advise and make sure you're doing this properly. If you're going to be selling food make sure you visit for information. 

Recruit and train your volunteers and/or staff

Run a recruitment drive and begin training your volunteers or staff before you open. Lots of basic training can be given before you even have access to your premises or site. 

Publicise your launch date and open for trading!

The official opening day is your chance to really celebrate everything that you've achieved so far and it's really important that you tell as many people as possible when your opening day is. It's always worth holding your offical open day celebrations a couple of weeks after you've actually started to trade to give yourselves time to iron out any teething problems. Above all, hold a celebration with your community and enjoy your first weeks as a community co-operative! 

Next steps

The hard work doesn't end here. If you haven't already, have a look at our membership options for community co-operatives - it includes a health check to make sure you're on track and ongoing support so you're never alone.