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 Post subject: co-op model, private club model, condo model?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:48 am 
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Location: NE Minneapolis
explanation so we're on the same page:

co-op model: one time fee, gets access anytime, can volunteer for discounts (web site, storefront, cleaning, teach a class) non-members can take classes, or pay a daily or weekly access fee.

private club: one time fee, only members get access.

condo: one time fee, annual upkeep dues. i.e. more members, annual property taxes and energy costs are spread out more, and you pay less

a cocktail of these may be apt, and i think that realistically either one time or yearly membership fees income needs to be split between capital costs and some sort of endowment to protect against future membership drops or major building upkeep costs (replacing the heating plant or the roof)


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 Post subject: Re: co-op model, private club model, condo model?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:45 pm 
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
co-op is my vote, but I don't think any of these could be done in a one-time fee form, at least not until there's quite a mass of members. Cheaper per-month dues with a daily rate for guest use makes more sense to me.

Condo/cash-up-front makes me nervous, not that I'd be unwilling, but less likely to participate in that mode.


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 Post subject: Re: co-op model, private club model, condo model?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:40 pm 
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Also, there could be several kinds of membership. We might be able to accommodate more kinds of makers in a diversity of economic situations that way.


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 Post subject: Re: co-op model, private club model, condo model?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:26 pm 
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can you elaborate on "several kinds"

my thought at this point is a basic annual membership gets you in the door and access to basic hand tools, you then take classes/get certified to use more dangerous/expensive things for a one time fee.


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 Post subject: Re: co-op model, private club model, condo model?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:25 am 
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I guess what I really meant was to agree with your "cocktail" notion. I mean that when I went to TechShop, the deal was something like $125 per month gave you unlimited access to the tools for which you were certified. That's great for a certain niche of user. And for a traditional business model. However (though I don't really know if someone here has a spare quarter mil), we might be better served allowing people to participate under *all* of the following terms (and others) to suit their needs:

Founding supporter - these people are actual owners of the enterprise. Maybe they kick in $10K per share and commit to the "condo" fee when the rest of the enterprise isn't covering it.

Coop member - pays an annual (or one-time...I've seen both models called coops) fee for use of the space and maybe extra fees for extra services (e.g. classes, storage cribs, etc).

Monthly members - like coop members but pay month-on-month. Probably for people who need space for a specific project.

Day-pass - as above, but more so.

Non-member class participants - The one-time class fee pays for their instruction and use of tools during the scheduled class time-slot(s).

And to whatever extent the enterprise needs employees, a benefit to those folks is free membership of some kind, I'd think.


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 Post subject: Re: co-op model, private club model, condo model?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:51 am 
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i like that break down. depending on structure, and skillset, we may be able to have founding folks "buy in" in kind rather than with cash. we're going to need cash, but we're also going to need a decent bucket of skilled labor. i.e. an architect or electrician could pay by providing x# of hours of service to the group.

i'd encourage this to be based on skilled labor industry billable price point *.5 so that an architect who typically is billed (not earns) at 100/hr would have to put in 200 hrs of *skilled* volunteer labor to get a full 10K share. i.e. if they're in final design meetings that counts, but sweeping the floors and helping do demo work only earns say the ... $10/hr credit? for donated labor? that way jimmy q maker w/o specalized skills, but is useful with tools can say buy a partial share with 100 hours of work, but items we'd need to pay skilled folk for we can get at discount, but they'd be invested in the project.

10K gets you a major share, a permanent seat on the advisory board with 10 votes and ownership stake, 1K a minor which gets 1 vote on advisory board, but not a *seat* on the board per se. say annual membership is 200$ after 5 years you get 1 vote, or once you contribute that much.


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 Post subject: Re: co-op model, private club model, condo model?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:39 pm 
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A tiered model makes alot of sense to me but it can be challenging to work out the details on it. I can see why Tech Shop stuck with the $125 flat "member" fee but they do also offer single-day rates and student fees.

Any shop like this is going to be a boon to local artists, the bicycling community, circuit benders, and many other folks that don't have immense resources to pool from so if it's possible finding a way to accommodate lower priced membership is going to be important.


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 Post subject: Re: co-op model, private club model, condo model?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:40 pm 
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It's also possible that small businesses would want to buy in in some way so that they had this resource to which they could send a person for the occasional fab project. I'm not sure how that would work or who the market it for such a thing, but I know at work we do what we can regarding modification of assembly lines and such in-house and then maybe give up if we don't have the right tools.


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 Post subject: Re: co-op model, private club model, condo model?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:02 am 
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I like the co-op model. I think I probably would just come in on infrequent days, when I needed to build something I couldn't do at home, rather than spring for a monthly membership. The co-op model also might be a way to reach more potential members, since they can "try before you buy".

I don't think a one-time fee for everyone is feasible, I think we would run out of money eventually, or it would be more than most people could afford. However, I think lifetime memberships would still be a good option to offer.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "condo". To me "condo" means you share the building, but you own your own space. At least that's what it means for a condo you live in. If that were the case for a maker shop, then the number of members would be limited by the size of the space. I'm pretty sure that's not what you meant.


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 Post subject: Re: co-op model, private club model, condo model?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:43 pm 
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condo would be more of a direct ownership model that runs it as a business than as a co-op. similar, but more of a long term buy in than an annual membership.

the key to doign a one time cost is you budget based on ongoign membership growth, and operational costs being offset by earned income.

i.e. buy in fee goes to capital fund, but daily use fees and shop comission, class fees, material sales go to operational expenses.


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