There’s no doubt about it – Coworking spaces are one of the hottest businesses on the market, especially in the real estate sector. From freelancers to tech startups, these shared office spaces offer up a unique and cost-effective workspace for entrepreneurs all around the world.
But if you’re looking to start your own Coworking space, where do you begin? Here’s everything you need to know about launching a successful Coworking space business.
Coworking has become an increasingly popular way to work due to its convenience and flexibility. Traditional office spaces have gradually been replaced by shared office spaces with a variety of benefits.
Working in a Coworking space gives people the opportunity to form long-lasting connections with like-minded individuals. Furthermore, Coworking spaces are typically equipped with professional facilities such as digital resources and high-speed internet connection for maximum productivity and efficiency.
Above all, the cost savings associated with choosing Coworking over traditional office spaces is unrivaled. You’re not locked into taking on expensive leases; instead, you pay based on your needs and usage. This makes it easier for entrepreneurs to scale their businesses without any costly overheads or commitments.
With the right setup and amenities, there’s no doubt why so many people are turning towards Coworking as a solution for their business needs.
How To Start A Coworking Space
Ready to build a business that will revolutionize the way people work? Starting a Coworking space is one of the most rewarding, fulfilling endeavors an entrepreneur can take on. Not only are you potentially creating an incredible experience for your members, but you have the power to foster purposeful collaborations and create lasting connections.
From offices and amenities to local community-building activities, there’s so much to consider when planning your space. But if you lay out a few simple steps now, setting up your own Coworking space will be a piece of cake!
Here we’ll discuss how to start a Coworking space and provide advice on launching your space in no time.
1. Planning Your Business Model
Start planning your Coworking business with confidence – research what it takes and become informed. These days, the basic framework of any Coworking space business includes a healthy proportion of private spaces for team events and open workspaces for entrepreneurial ventures. Not many people prefer having a private office space. But for those who do, ensure a lively and engaging space with a few desks and more room to move around.
Startup Costs & Ongoing Expenses
First things first – what will it cost to start and run your new Coworking space? Startup costs include rent or mortgage payments for the space itself as well as any furniture or equipment you might need. This could include things like desks, chairs, computers, projectors, whiteboards, etc. You’ll also need to consider any licenses or permits you might need from local authorities.
Once you’re up and running, there are ongoing costs such as utilities (electricity and water), pay for employees or independent contractors (such as cleaners), insurance coverage for liabilities or damages that may occur within the space, repairs or maintenance for broken furniture/equipment, marketing expenses to help promote your business online (social media ads/influencers/etc.), etc. All of these need to be taken into account when coming up with an accurate budget for your Coworking space venture.
Understanding Your Target Market
Once you have an idea of what kind of costs you’ll be dealing with each month, it’s time to think about who your target market is going to be. Are you looking to attract freelance professionals? Small businesses? Remote workers? Knowing who your target audience is will help you determine how much to charge your customers and what kind of amenities they might expect from your workspace.
It’s also important to consider what type of services or products you might offer in addition to workspace rental fees – this could include anything from coffee service to office supplies or even workshops or networking events.
Once you understand who your target market is and what services they’re looking for from a Co-working space, it’s time to decide how much you want to charge them for access. Different pricing models exist depending on what type of customer base you want to attract – daily passes vs monthly memberships vs yearly subscriptions all come with different prices attached so it’s important to do some research on what other businesses in the area are charging for similar services before deciding on a rate that works best for yours.
You also want to make sure that whatever price point you choose makes sense financially – covering all startup and ongoing costs plus making a profit at the same time if possible!
Naming Your Business
The final step in planning is selecting a name for your business. This isn’t always easy but it’s incredibly important because it helps establish brand recognition among customers both current and future.
Pick something that speaks directly to who you are as a company while still being unique enough not to be confused with any competitors out there. If possible, try incorporating some keywords related to ‘Coworking’ into the title as this will help users find your business more easily when searching online.
2. Becoming a Legal Entity
Once you’re past the vision and mission of planning your Coworking business model, it’s time to move on to the next step — establishing a legal entity for your business. There are several business structures available to choose from, including a Limited Liability Company (LLC), sole proprietorship, corporation, and partnership, so it’s important to look into each one carefully in order to identify which best suits your needs.
Additionally, the type of structure chosen will have implications on the financial obligations of running an organization. Consulting experts in this area or looking for advice online can help you make an informed decision about which business structure is right for you and your Coworking space.
3. Chart An Ideal Location
Once you know what kind of space you want to run, it’s time to find the perfect location. When opening a Coworking space, you’ll want to make accessibility and convenience a priority.
Look for places close to public transit and parking, as well as the amenities that an optimal workspace needs such as natural light, adequate furniture, and plentiful outlets. Coworkers don’t want to have to go out of their way just to get there – make sure your spot is easy to commute to and from.
Do you want to really elevate your Coworking experience? Or add class and style? Set up shop in an area with some amazing food spots or coffee shops nearby – everyone loves great coffee and lunch options.
4. Scope Your Competition and Test The Waters
Once you’ve taken your dreams to the drawing board and made solid plans for your Coworking space, it’s time to scope out the competition. Coworking spaces are becoming increasingly popular, and plenty of other entrepreneurs have likely had a similar idea.
It’s important to research what your competitors are doing right and where they’re going wrong — learning from their mistakes will help you create something unique and stay ahead of the curve.
Testing the waters by offering a few hot desks can be an effective way to gauge response before investing in more substantial expansion plans. By understanding what works and what doesn’t, you can make sure your first Coworking space becomes something special that appeals to your target crowd.
5. Invest In A Well Thought-Out Layout
As a starting point, many Coworking spaces feature a balance of collaborative ideas and areas meant specifically for focused work – perhaps this means common areas, private offices, and dedicated community desks. Of course, when it comes to truly providing the best experience for both visitors and employees alike, we must ensure necessary facilities are on deck, too.
That could mean furniture, fast internet access (and Ethernet if appropriate), conference rooms for larger groups or events, coffee & snack options for those quick breaks, designated parking spots as needed, separate storage solutions, and other needs such as maintenance personnel or even a reception desk.
No matter how small or large your space may be, careful thought should be put into every functional detail that you’ll provide within your Coworking space business.
6. Put Together A Coworking Space Management Team
This team should have all the right pieces to keep your facility running smoothly and fulfilling the vision of the space launched in Step 1. Assembling this team may take some time and research, but it is necessary to ensure everything runs efficiently.
You will need a receptionist, a physical space manager, a tech expert who can help people troubleshoot any technical issues they may encounter in the space, a community manager who can make sure all patrons are abiding by the rules, a dedicated marketer or social media specialist to keep up engagement with existing members and spread publicity about your new Coworking space, as well as a management software to make sure all of this is organized and streamlined for your customers.
7. Shop Around For An Ideal Management Software
A dedicated workspace management software solution streamlines both administrative and accounting tasks, so you can focus on what really matters – creating an amazing Coworking experience for your members.
Plus, with features such as real-time availability monitoring, mobile apps for users, event management, customer support, performance tracking, and more, you’ll have the go-to solution that helps power your business. When it comes to scaling up a Coworking space this is crucial – and oftentimes overlooked.
So, if you’re serious about making your dream come true and starting a successful Coworking enterprise, investing in the right workspace management software will be money well spent.
8. Building Your Community
Creating a sense of community in a Coworking space isn’t just beneficial, it’s essential. It helps people form meaningful relationships with each other and encourages collaboration, creativity, and camaraderie.
As an extra bonus, investing resources into fostering this sense of community will also distinguish you from other Coworking spaces as you become the sort of place where professionals want to work. The key is to create activities and events that bring everyone together so they can mix and mingle, or even better – join forces for projects or initiatives – even if only for a few hours.
These experiences can build strong bonds, which then leads to more productive long-term workspaces for everyone. All it takes is investing in the right atmosphere and providing the opportunity for like-minded individuals to connect; then let the natural flow of creativity commence.
Where Can You Go Wrong In Starting A Coworking Space? Experts Speak.
Coworking spaces are becoming increasingly popular for working professionals, entrepreneurs, and freelancers alike. But starting a Coworking space isn’t just about throwing some desks in an open room. There are lots of considerations to take into account before diving in head-first.
Here are some common pitfalls of starting a Coworking space that you should avoid.
Not Conducting A Thorough Screening Of Potential Customers
Miranda Yan, the cofounder of VinPit shares how the initial mistake of not properly and objectively screening their first tenants cost them. The two people were allowed into the shared space and behaved ideally for a short period post which they began showing their true colors.
They started acting rudely, talking loudly, and even hogging the shared supplies. Things spiraled further and one of the colleagues even caught the duo stealing a premium coffee maker from the premises. After a thorough investigation, Miranda found that they were infamous for running small cons like this and had legal troubles in various similar places. In the end, after a long and tedious legal battle, all that was left was bad blood and dealing with considerable legal fees.
Being Technologically Unprepared
Devin Schumacher, a founder at SERP, shares how technology like a fast and stable internet connection, internet-enabled devices, and a constant power supply are fundamental resources needed in a Coworking space that sustain your customers. Without proper investment in each required solution, productivity takes a back seat and the feeling of wanting to work in a shared space becomes null and void.
Generate High-Quality Backlinks
Generating high-quality backlinks to your website is an important part of SEO for financial services. High-quality backlinks will help your website rank higher in SERPs and increase visibility and authority. You can generate high-quality backlinks by guest blogging, participating in forums, and creating content that other websites are likely to link to. Additionally, you should reach out to other financial services websites and ask them to link back to your website. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the better your chances of ranking higher in SERPs.
Creating a mobile-responsive website is essential for any financial services business. Search engines are now ranking websites based on their mobile performance, so it’s important to ensure that your website looks great and functions well on desktop and mobile devices. You should also consider optimizing your website for voice searches as more people use voice search on their mobile devices.
Some tips for optimizing your website for mobile include using a fluid grid, compressing images and files, minimizing redirects, and providing plenty of white space.
Not Being Flexible Enough
With startups, it’s fairly common to come across terms and conditions that bind the tenants to long-term obligations and the workspaces are inconveniently unavailable during weekends or beyond the 9 to 5 timeline. Workers that grind full-time are thus at a disadvantage when seeking a shared workspace to encourage any side hustles.
Daren Nadav, Co-founder, and CEO at RocketLounge.com shares how simply offering various membership options without time constraints can satisfy the requirements of every potential tenant. Also, keeping at least one room available 24/7 with a reliable surveillance system ensures the safety of the premises and the tenants as well.
Failing To Promote Your Space
At the end of the day, no matter how great your Coworking space is if no one knows about it then no one will use it. That’s why it’s important to invest in marketing and promotion efforts—you need to be actively engaging with potential customers and letting them know why they should choose your Coworking space over any other options out there.
This could include running ads online or offline as well as building relationships with local businesses that might be interested in partnering up with you.
Final Thoughts on How To Start A Coworking Space Business
Starting a Coworking space business can be one of the most lucrative opportunities out there. It involves leveraging technology to connect coworkers with employers who need modern workspaces. Establishing a successful Coworking space may not be easy, but it is entirely doable.
First, research the market and competition for Coworking space in your area, develop an effective business plan, search for an ideal location and be ready to network and promote your new venture. Additionally, you’ll need to secure legal permits related to work safety and abide by health codes depending on your municipal regulations.
With proper planning and dedication, a Coworking space can become a highly functioning workplace for individuals and organizations alike. And if you need some professional help handling the marketing aspect of your business, Growth Hackers are the solution you need.
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