Coworking spaces is a very new and trending concept these days. Several startup business owners are relying on the shared office spaces for their initial business phase until they build a larger team, good enough to rent a permanent office space.
So if you are looking out for a new venture, the idea of starting a coworking comunity is something that you can give a try. Coworking spaces are convenient and it is a very lucrative business in today’s scenario. Moreover, shared office spaces are a great place for networking too.
What is a co-working space?
To understand the business model of coworking spaces you need to first understand what a co-working space is. Long story short, it is an infrastructure where people belonging to different companies share the office space.
Some of the common services shared by these companies working from the coworking spaces are the utilities, equipment; they have a common receptionist, parcel and mail collection services, and a few others.
Why Do People Head for Coworking Spaces?
Several working individuals, as well as companies, are making the best use of these coworking spaces. The reason why a company thinks that co-working spaces are a comparatively more viable option is as follows:
- The rent for large office space and permanent infrastructure is saved.
- Given that start-ups have lesser employee strength in the beginning it is pointless to have a large workspace allotted for small groups.
- You are spared the cost of buying large types of equipment and furniture.
- You have more flexibility in moving.
- As employees of different companies work in the same infrastructure you can have a good networking opportunity with people of different companies working in different verticals.
- A social setting can help you be more productive in the long run compared to an old school serious work ambiance.
- You can get the opportunity to work with people having various skillsets and learn from them.
- On a lighter note, you can surround yourself with driven, motivated, and enthusiastic professionals all along.
Possible Disadvantages of Coworking Spaces
- Like all other businesses, some possible cons of co-working spaces are as follows:
- There is a huge lack of privacy.
- If you have a large and growing team it becomes difficult to accommodate.
Coworking Space Business Plan
If you are a business-minded person and wish to set up a business in a different niche, Co-working space is a very profitable business at present. To start your own co-working space, it is important to follow a few steps which will not just help you plan and build the business but will also help you get an insight into the whole idea and purpose of the business you are about to set up.
Steps to a Successful Coworking Space Business are:
Step 1: Understand Your Purpose and Vision
Try to understand why you want to make start the coworking space. Is it only to make a living? Or is it to help a particular kind of person? Or is it to bring an income for your start-up? Or create a chain of coworking space in the long run? This will help you build a proper business strategy for building the coworking spaces and defining the purpose would allow you to get a definitive idea about move ahead.
As your business grows you need to make new strategies for consistent growth. But if you have a vision and purpose then it would easier for you to move ahead and plan strategically and not put in effort randomly at random verticals.
Step 2: Understand the Demand
Understand the market well. See what the people are looking for. Try to hold events and figure out the demand people have. Just because you create the space, people would not be coming to use it. Only when you can find out what they need and try to cater to that will they encourage your venture.
Talking to people, networking, understanding the demand, and trying to cater to it is important to be able to grow as a coworking space business.
Step 3: Try to Find the Problem Statement and Solve It
What are the issues a startup faces in the initial days when it comes to office space and infrastructure? Try and answer this question, talk to more and more people around, and understand the various problem statements that are available. Get an overall picture of the relevant and popular problem statements and focus on one niche or one problem statement at a time and try to solve it.
Focusing on too many problems at a time might not be a very good idea as it might just confuse you and mess things up. Focus on one problem; solve it and then go on to the next one.
Step 4: List Your Goals
Where do you see your business going in the coming days? Just the idea of making a co-working space and building it does not end your task. You need to have e definitive goal and try to figure out the roadmap to reach it.
Moreover, having a goal will allow you to strategise accordingly and complete one task at a time. You need to be intuitive and keep adding things to your list, keep modifying the ultimate goal, and pushing it ahead for further growth of your business.
Step 5: Pick a Location
Location for a coworking space is very important. Just because you have a location and built a space, not necessarily people will come. You need to pick a location where people are probable to come.
The location should be such that it should be convenient for the people to reach; it could be in one of the prime locations of the city. Do proper research and see before renting out a location the legal papers of the place, the mode of conveyance, and the like.
Step 6: Pick the Right Furniture and Utilities
A lot of start-ups do not wish to spend on expensive office furniture and equipment and that is one of the very important reasons for them to choose a coworking space over renting out a permanent office space. Choose your furniture wisely. The furniture needs to be very comfortable as well as creative.
You need to have a high-speed wi-fi which has to capacity to aid all the different companies and their intense work. Space the furniture out and make sure there is enough room to walk around.
Too much crowding of furniture might not be a very good idea. You can talk to utility companies for good packages and tie-up with furniture companies for good, creative furniture for better productivity at work.
Step 7: Select a Team
Choosing your team is very important to start a this business. Because several people need to be handled at the same time, so the team needs to be efficient enough to handle the queries of all the people at the same time. The team needs to be efficient in acting in real-time and make sure that the customers are taken care of well and there are no glitches in their workflow at any time.
Step 8: Consult Experts
Before you set up the business, talk to people who have already been in the business or who has been a part of the co-working space business. See what they have to say, understand where they went wrong and where you can make it better. Networking and talking to people will help you give clarity on your strategies and expected outcomes.
Step 9: Make a Unique Business Model
There are multiple co-working spaces in the USA and more and more people are resorting to these shared office spaces for better working experience. For making a good business model you need to ask a few questions as below:
- What value do you add?
As the competition is high understand what extra can you offer to your customers at a given point in time. Until and unless you can provide something extra to your customers compared to your competitors, they would never want to choose you over competitors.
- How do you plan to invest?
Define your business investment and decide how you want to invest if you want to make a lump sum investment or part investment in phases. This can help define your business strategies to a large extent.
- Who is the target audience?
Understand who do you want to cater to, individuals, start-ups, or big companies? Based on this your model might have to be tweaked. Depending on the kind of audience you are willing to cater to, your overall space setting would vary.
- What are your revenue streams?
How do you plan to generate your revenue? Having a revenue generation plan in place will help you get directed to your goal in a better way. You can talk to experts for this purpose as well.
- What marketing strategies do you plan to use?
Marketing strategies are useful in making your business public. You need to market your space to the right people at the right time. Online marketing is a very good idea at this time. Social media marketing is also very useful, given the fact that several people are glued to social media spaces for long periods.
- Are you looking out for partnerships?
You need to understand if you wish to partner up with people for your business or you want to walk to the road alone. Partnerships have both pros and cons. See if you are willing for an added helping hand for your co-working space business.
Some of the Common Areas Included in a Coworking Space are as Follows:
- Community area: This is an open-to-all area where people can meet, network, and discuss with each other.
- Fixed desk: This is a desk allotted to a particular employee belonging to a particular company. The company pays the additional charge for this space and no one else can occupy it at any time.
- Hot Desk: This is the area where people from all companies can work and they choose their different seating positions as they wish.
- Private Office: This is allotted to different individuals. This could also be allotted team-wise if a company thinks that some privacy is important for some tasks to be carried out by a team or an individual.
- Discussion Booth: This is a place where 3-4 people can sit across each other and brainstorm.
- Phone Booth: These phone booths are generally meant for client calls or to reach out to IT support.
- Cafeteria: If you are in the co-working space all day, you would need a place to grab a bit too. Having quality food at affordable prices is a very important thing when it comes to community working spaces and the food should be available at all times.
- Patio: This is dedicated to the purpose when you need to take some time off work or maybe grab lunch with the client.
- Meeting Room: The meeting room is generally meant for a client meeting or team meetings. You need to book a slot for the meeting room in advance.
Coworking spaces are in very growing demand in the USA these days and more and more people are taking to the community working. So if you are planning to start this business then this is a great time to start. Furthermore, the investment is not as much as you might think initially.
You can rent out several things and if you have an efficient team in place, moving ahead with the business might not be a very difficult task. Set-up time and cost are considerable, so plan to be able to finish it in time.