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Delivered by Co-operatives UK in partnership with The Co-operative Bank

1.2 Create a feasibility study

This page outlines what information you need to create a feasibility study. This will test if your business idea works and if it serves the purpose you intend it to.

What is a feasibility study?

All businesses should create a feasibility study. It helps you to answer important questions about your business idea before you and others invest money and time into it.

You might think your idea is foolproof but this isn’t enough!

A feasibility study will help you to:

Testing how viable your business is. During the process of setting up a business you will need to provide evidence to show you have tested your idea. For example, it’s often a document that banks, funders or investors expect to see if you apply for loans, grants or business support:

Evidence can include:

  • Market research, feasibility study or a prototype. 

  • Show how you are filling a gap in the market or offering something new

  • What community engagement you have undertaken, e.g. pledges, surveys, social media, crowdfunding

  • What questions you have asked yourself and how you have thought about, planned and researched your idea. Your idea might be good enough as it is. But it might need some changes – or a complete rethink. This is the time to find this out before you start investing money and time into the business.
  • Your list of work that needs doing, and who will do what – make sure you have the right people involved from the start.

A lot of this information you will later include in your business plan. It defines HOW your business will work.

Read these feasibility study guides to get started on testing your idea. These cover the key sections of a feasibility study:

  • Why are you setting up your co-operative?
  • Who is your co-operative for? This will define your co-operative business model
  • Defining your organisational structure
  • Who is involved with setting up your co-operative?
  • Understanding your market
  • What investment will your co-operative need?
  • Critical factors to your success
  • Your implementation plan

Ready to create your feasibility study?

Next we ensure a co-op is the best option for your start-up business