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Developing a cohousing business plan

To be taken seriously by funders, potential development partners such as Housing Associations, many professionals an some potential members, you will need a business plan. You will need one anyway to be clear about how your development is going to work.
There is a lot of information and resources available to support business planning. Although most of this is targeted at commercial businesses, the principles are the same. Try: How to write a business plan which combines advice and templates.

The business plan provides an opportunity for the group to assess for itself

  • The skills it has within it
  • Its overall financial resources
  • The likely costs of the development and the parameters for pricing the houses
  • How the houses will be marketed
  • The potential risks and how they can be ameliorated

    The business plan will require people to give considerable information about their financial circumstances to enable the group to build up an accurate picture of its total assets. The plan writers need to respect this information but, at the same time, the process of sharing it makes an important contribution to the development of trust within the group. Understanding different perceptions of risk within the group and different levels of tolerance towards it will also be important. Understanding the diversity of financial situation within the group will help you to start thinking about how you are going to deal with costs and charges later on.

    Although the business plan is best written by a very small number of people, it is very important that everyone in the group understands its basic purpose and the general thrust of what it is saying. Taking time to ensure that everyone “owns” it, is time well spent.