On Monday, February 29th, we met with Declan and Travis of Placetailor to discuss our three business model canvases as well as to complete and sign our working agreement. First, we determined which route we were most excited about and wanted to further explore from our original project ideas. We decided to incorporate quite a few of them into one bigger picture: a project we are calling Co-Everything.
Co-Everything is a single platform or reference list meant to help develop a network of cooperatives, local businesses, and future clientele in the Boston area. We aim to develop this platform to connect co-ops, local businesses, and freelancers with not only each other, but with a consumer base as well. With our new excitement for the project at hand, we began focusing on creating a functional business model canvas for it.
Co-ops need help connecting to other co-ops, connecting to clientele, advertising their services, and formalizing their transactions. And, on the flip side, consumers need help finding providers that match their values. By creating this platform, discussed as a possible website or mobile app (or both with a responsive design), this will be targeted towards consumers who are looking for specific services and those who want to support co-ops, local businesses, or freelancers. Co-ops can also benefit by not only by growing their consumer base, but by networking with other co-ops, local businesses, freelancers, and service providers.
A way we thought of setting up the platform would be to have an entry, or subscription fee for co-ops, local businesses, and freelancers that want to join the company. This fee would then give them ownership of the company as well. Some ways that we would gain consumers and grow Co-Everything would be to design a platform that is most importantly intuitive and simplistic for both owners and consumers to interact hassle-free. Then, we can grow the ownership by leveraging our current networks in order to firstly get co-ops on board with joining Co-Everything, and then grow the network further by asking users to review and recommend this platform to others. We’d then incentivize co-ownership of the platform by providing special privileges for co-owners (such as discounts on co-op to co-op services, etc.). When the network gets larger, it will be incentive enough for other co-ops to hop on the bandwagon and join the network. Another idea is that the consumer could also buy in with a membership fee in return for privileges of their own.
We did a little research and found that the Greater Boston Chamber of Cooperatives, Coopify, and Loconomics have tried to do something similar to this, and we’re hoping that a product like this would help decrease the need for endless search efforts to find services that a consumer may need and that this intuitive platform would be a catalyst for seamless transactions.
Here is a link to our Business Model Canvas for Co-Everything: https://www.launchpadcentral.com/team/spring-2016-placetailor/canvas?week=4