If you’re interested in starting your own business, the task ahead can be intimidating. From raising the capital to determining the business model then to figuring out how to stand amidst the competition, there is no limit on the challenges. As the real estate prices continue to rise, more and more companies realize the need for having a more cost-efficient office and thinking of joining or starting their own coworking space. It’s evident that the future of coworking has never been brighter. Many groups of individuals are using co-working space nowadays, such as full-time freelancers, startups, professionals who work after hours on side projects, and remote employees. It’s undeniable that the coworking industry is booming nowadays. So, are you planning to start your own coworking space business? Here are some essential tips on what you need to know:
Gather interests from people
Do your research and be sure that there is a demand for a coworking space. Don’t assume that if you build one, eventually they will come. Instead, you can host preliminary interest meetings to get a sense out there and what their needs are. You can create a Facebook Group, and invite as many colleagues and friends to join.
If you do not have a significant demand for a coworking space yet, you can still pursue the idea to start on a smaller scale. It might require finding a convenient place to meet a few times per month. From informal gatherings to formal interest meetings and regular pop-up coworking events and beyond. Remove the pressure from yourself by taking the time to entice people who will become members after you open.
Plan a sustainable business model
There are a number of proven sustainable business models for coworking space. Feel free to mix and match from the following.
Coworking + offices
This is the most popular option for many coworking space owners. Offering a space to people that is also home to a vibrant community of coworkers makes it much more enticing.
Coworking + events
Planning to host a calendar of events can give you double benefits. As you host events, it gives you a source of revenue and at the same time, providing a natural pipeline of new potential members coming into your space. Doing events is one of the creative ways to do marketing. You can produce your own programs or work with external content providers. You can either charge them or find sponsors to cover the costs. You can have events that enhance skills since many people are looking for ways for personal development. You can focus on evenings and weekends, or have continuous programming throughout a week.
Focus on Location
You will want a space that is convenient, safe and easy to find. Look for a location where people want to go and that is not far from amenities. It is important to be in the ecosystem of the market you are targeting. Or, you can target a location where demand is high but supply is very less. Be located in areas where public transportation is readily available.
Utilities to Use
Having a creative and comfortable work environment is very important for people who will work in your space. However, it is more important to consider providing the right utilities especially a high-speed internet connection for the users. Start looking into utility companies and work with them to make specific arrangements.
Start doing Marketing
It’s never too early to start marketing your space. As you start gathering interests from people, it is recommended to do some marketing research as well as a competitive analysis of other shared spaces within your region. This way, you can find areas where demands aren’t being met and transform it into a new opportunity as you start to plan for your coworking space.
Furthermore, establishing an online presence is another key component that you might want to start already. You can start your online presence with online content in the form of blogs, newsletters, and social media to make a difference.
Build a Team
Don’t try to do everything by yourself! If you have other people that can contribute well in your plan, empower and encourage them to help you tackle the countless things you’ll need to do. These people might be an expert in creating events and doing marketing-related activities. Allow them to provide feedback on your brand, floor plans, furniture, and choice of location. Doing this will not only make your life easier, but also inviting them to get emotionally, mentally, and physically invested in the project.
If you are still unsure to proceed, consider contacting other coworking spaces from other cities that serve similar targets and ask for advice. One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. Having a support network during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners. Hope this has given you knowledge on starting up a coworking space.