Have you ever thought about starting a coworking space?
Coworking spaces have grown in popularity as a result of the advent of remote work and the changing dynamics of the modern workforce. These places have been a popular choice for people looking for flexible and collaborative work environments, particularly those who do not want to return to regular office settings following the pandemic. Collaboration is key – WeWork CEO Shawn Lukas once observed: It takes innovation and creativity to the next room.
If you’re thinking about opening your own coworking space, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the necessary stages to ensure a successful endeavor in this flourishing market.
Adopting the concept of a hybrid workplace, in which remote work and office time are blended, has become critical for businesses as they adapt to a changing landscape.
As organizations increasingly shift to a hybrid model, coworking spaces have become a renaissance, offering an ideal solution for individuals seeking a work environment that avoids the isolation of remote work while providing an alternative to traditional offices. Studies indicate that a significant percentage of workers desire a mix of home and office work, highlighting the appeal of flexible work arrangements.
1️⃣ Select a suitable location
To ensure the success of your coworking space, certain critical steps must be followed. First and foremost, selecting the most suitable location is paramount. A strategic location that offers convenience, accessibility, and proximity to transportation hubs, amenities, and potential clients will greatly contribute to the appeal and viability of your coworking space. Moreover, the design and layout of the space should prioritize the integration of physical and digital experiences, promoting equity, engagement, and ease for the members of your coworking community.
2️⃣ Consider the venture – manager question
Will you buy or rent a space on your own, assuming the associated risks? Alternatively, you can opt for a joint venture, sharing the risks with other parties involved in the project. Generating accurate projections, estimating capacity, capital costs, fixed costs, and revenue, as well as determining your break-even point, are crucial steps in creating a solid business plan.
3️⃣ Define your coworking business model
When embarking on the journey of building or developing a coworking space with a community, it’s essential to approach it holistically and define your business model. Understanding the different options available can help you choose the most suitable plan for your space. Some successful models include coworking + offices, coworking + consultancy, coworking + events, and more. By blending different elements, you can create a unique offering that meets the needs of your target audience.
4️⃣ Identify, create and describe your coworking brand
Creating and describing your coworking brand starts with identifying your core values and beliefs. Take the time to discover your original story and understand why you embarked on this journey. Consider your professional background and think about how and where you want to add value to people’s lives. Reflecting on the five manifested community values of collaboration, community, sustainability, openness, and accessibility can help you define your unique value proposition.
Once you have a clear idea of your brand identity and value proposition, it’s important to address the practical aspects of starting a coworking space. Funding a coworking space can be challenging, as good office spaces often require a minimum investment of €25,000. Decide on the ownership structure that suits your goals—whether you want to operate independently or become part of established franchise organizations such as Impact Hub or flex space providers like Regus.
5️⃣ Managing the operations and amenities
involves establishing a well-defined membership model, offering flexible pricing plans, and providing a range of amenities that cater to your members’ diverse needs. Consider incorporating features such as high-speed internet, comfortable workstations, meeting rooms, event spaces, communal areas, and access to essential office equipment. Creating a supportive and collaborative community atmosphere through networking events, workshops, and skill-sharing sessions can also enhance your coworking space’s appeal.
6️⃣ Optimize Coworking Space Visibility
To optimize the visibility of your coworking space in the digital realm, incorporating relevant keywords related to the coworking industry is vital. Search engine optimization (SEO) techniques can improve your website’s ranking, making it more discoverable to potential members searching for coworking spaces. By focusing on targeted keywords such as “coworking space,” “flexible workspace,” and “hybrid workplace,” you can enhance the online visibility and reach of your coworking space.
As the future of work continues to evolve, coworking spaces are poised to play a pivotal role in providing flexible and collaborative work environments. By following the essential steps outlined in this comprehensive guide and adapting to the changing needs of the modern workforce, you can create a successful and enjoyable coworking space that caters to the demands of remote workers and professionals seeking flexible work arrangements.
7️⃣ Adapt to trends by paying attention to them
In addition to the practical aspects of starting a coworking space, it’s also crucial to recognize the broader trends shaping the industry. Understanding these trends can help you stay ahead of the curve and provide a cutting-edge experience for your members.
One significant trend is the increasing emphasis on well-being and work-life balance. As professionals strive for greater harmony between their personal and professional lives, coworking spaces can incorporate elements that support their physical and mental well-being. Consider incorporating amenities such as fitness areas, meditation rooms, or wellness programs to promote a healthy work environment.
Another trend to consider is the integration of technology and smart workspace solutions. As the digital landscape evolves, leveraging technology in your coworking space can enhance the overall experience for your members. This can include features like automated access control systems, smart lighting and temperature control, and advanced collaboration tools. By providing a technologically advanced environment, you can attract tech-savvy professionals who value productivity and efficiency.
Furthermore, sustainability and eco-consciousness are becoming increasingly significant considerations for individuals and businesses alike. Incorporating sustainable practices into your coworking space can not only reduce your environmental impact but also attract environmentally conscious professionals. Utilize energy-efficient appliances, implement recycling programs, and consider incorporating eco-friendly design elements to create an environmentally responsible workspace.
8️⃣ Build and foster a community
Fostering a sense of community and networking opportunities is crucial for the success of your coworking space. Create spaces and organize events that encourage interaction, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas among your members. This can include networking events, workshops, and educational sessions that cater to the diverse interests and professional backgrounds of your community members. By nurturing a vibrant and supportive community, you can enhance the overall experience and value proposition of your coworking space. As you move forward, hiring staff and establishing a community become essential tasks. Building a community is not easy, but it is one of the most exciting aspects of coworking. Don’t wait until the doors of your space are open to start building a community. Your space won’t fill up independently unless you have an exceptional community manager in the right location.
Instead, proactively seek out potential members through various channels such as TEDx events, the Chamber of Commerce, sports clubs, religious institutions, other coworking communities, or Meetup groups. By avoiding the “danger zone” of neglecting community building, you can save yourself from experiencing significant failures and costs during the crucial six weeks before and after launch.
To wrap it up:
The rise of remote work and the changing dynamics of the modern workforce have made coworking spaces increasingly popular. To ensure the success of your own coworking space, consider factors such as location, design, amenities, and community-building initiatives. Here is where you get help.
Stay updated on industry trends, such as well-being, technology integration, sustainability, and community engagement. By embracing these trends and offering a comprehensive and enjoyable coworking experience, you can position your venture for success in the evolving world of work.
Ways to start a coworking space include finding the right location, designing the space for optimal functionality, providing amenities that add value, and building a strong community.
Additionally, staying up to date on industry trends and offering features such as wellness programs, tech integration, sustainability practices, and community engagement initiatives can help your coworking space stand out from the competition. Developing an effective marketing strategy is also key to the success of any coworking space.
Leveraging digital marketing channels such as social media, email newsletters, and websites can help to build an engaged community and drive interest in the space. Additionally, forming partnerships with local businesses and organizations can help to expand your reach and create a larger customer base.
Still not easy? Check out our Coworking Kickstarter Program