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Examine Your Co-Op(tions)

Feeling small and inconsequential? Get some small and inconsequential friends together, and you can be big.

By Nichole L. Torres

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Starting a business can be a lonely affair. Most timesyou're not only the CEO, but also the marketing director,mail-room clerk, accountant and sales rep. Independence is great,but do you really want to be completely alone?

If you answered a resounding no to that question, a cooperativemight be right for you, for a number of reasons. For a quickrefresher, a co-op is a business that's owned anddemocratically governed by the people who buy its goods (in thecase of a consumer co-op) or use its services (in the case of apurchasing or marketing cooperative). Allying yourself with otherbusiness owners in your industry can give you both camaraderie andthe ability to compete more effectively with larger, or evennational, chain stores.

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