How to Build a Successful Coworking Space: Experts’ Guide
It’s one thing to start a coworking space with some basic amenities and a target market in mind. It’s a different matter altogether to ensure that professionals and companies looking to save on office costs find your solution ideal. You can improve your chances of success by learning to create positive workspace experiences that enable your customers’ businesses to thrive and grow.
Here are some expert tips to get your startup off on the right foot.
Create Your Office Spaces for a Specific Market
When it comes to creating coworking spaces, a one-size-fits-all solution can’t cut it. However, you couldn’t possibly customize for every customer category. It’s much more practical to focus on a niche market and build your spaces and amenities with their needs in mind. Key factors for your consideration include:
- Your audience’s age
- Your target’s experience levels
- The culture and values your potential customers need to be fostered in the work environment
- Target industry/specialty/profession (freelancers, salespeople, educators, conferences, etc.)
Location, Location, Location
Before choosing a location to set up your coworking space, ask yourself if you’d establish your business there if you were the target user. The site has to be reachable and convenient for the market you’re after. Consider these points:
- Is the site affordable?
- How strategic or competitive is the business location?
- Are there restaurants, take-away joints or similar services around the location?
- Is the office easy to access by public transport or private means?
Choose an Ideal, Agile Layout
More users will stay or return if you optimize the layout of your coworking spaces to satisfy their unique needs. The shared work environment should be versatile enough to accommodate user requirements that may change from time to time. You may incorporate ideas such as:
- Open plan areas to foster collaboration among project team members
- Private areas for independent teams
- Acoustics (soundscaping) to promote privacy, wellbeing, and productivity in the workplace
- Digital signage/display, such as tablet touch screens that indicate available office/conference spaces
- Excellent lighting
Facilitate a Coworking Community
Between sitting at a desk and taking a couple of breaks in the office, most coworking people seek out networking opportunities. It’s important for both their career growth and your own business’ success. You can make this a reality for your customers by fostering a sense of community. Some practical tips include:
- Signing up like-minded professionals who appreciate the values and ideals you stand for
- Organizing events that bring members together
- Proactively connecting members with their peers
- Establishing networking areas, such as around shared coffee spots
Make Adequate Provision for Any Coworking Events
You can build a solid coworking community with get-togethers. However, these events can also be distracting when not well planned. Consider these tips to avoid inconveniencing anyone:
- Ensure there’s enough physical space and privacy for coworking events
- Notify other members of any scheduled event in time
Prompt payments enable your coworking space business to maintain healthy operating cash flow. Just like most consumers nowadays, your tenants will appreciate the ability to quickly and safely pay for your solutions. You can simplify the process by offering a coworking space app that facilitates remote booking and payments. Consider incorporating multiple payment options that are reputable and secure, such as PayPal and credit cards.
Offer the Right Amenities
Amenities and services are a key attraction for people needing coworking spaces. Study your target market carefully to invest in the right spectrum of basic and complementary solutions. Some practical ideas to help you beat your competition include:
- Office technology and equipment, including computers, secure Wi-Fi, printers, and copiers
- Furniture (ergonomic chairs and desks)
- Refreshments (coffee dispenser, cafeteria, food)
- Gym (if you’re targeting fitness enthusiasts)
- Mother-friendly programs, such as breastfeeding support
Avoid These Missteps at the Outset
Here are common mistakes you should avoid to establish a solid groundwork for coworking success:
Not screening members: You should thoroughly research and vet prospective “tenants” to filter out troublesome people.
Booking bottlenecks: Consider deploying booking software to manage room scheduling and occupancy efficiently.
Not studying the business location thoroughly: Before setting up your coworking space, ensure the location has sufficient traffic for the numbers you’re targeting. Also, take into account accessibility and companies in the area.
Not providing the right technology:You might lose to your competitors if you don’t provide technologies like broadband internet, internet-enabled gadgets, digital signage, or conferencing infrastructure.
Do you need help in starting a business in Ventura County? The experts at Business Forward Ventura County have prepared a ton of resources you can utilize to steer your company in the right direction. Contact us today to learn more!
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