A coworking space is a blessing for startups as it offers a plethora of advantages. It helps startups build a quality network, save on operating expenses, and expand creativity and the flow of ideas since it allows the founders to interact with different people from different business backgrounds.
The concept first started in Berlin in the mid-90s and has been growing worldwide over the past decade. Emergent Research, a research and consulting firm, predicts that there will be around 26,000 coworking locations with almost 4 million members by 2020.
So, if you are considering starting a coworking space, here are four tips that should help you build one without breaking the bank.
Ensure Other People Are Interested in Coworking with You
Coworking is a rising trend, yet many people still do not know about it or believe in its advantages and potentials. So, before opening up a space for coworking, make sure that there will be enough demand for it. It would help if you start building on your community of budding entrepreneurs and telecommuters from your area.
With the help of social media, you can start or join a Facebook group to talk to other people who can possibly take advantage of a coworking space. Ask questions, do surveys, and basically just get a feel of whether this business idea has the potential to take off.
But, make sure you only participate on those groups which have local members who are nearest to your space to set the target audience right.
Also, it is highly advisable to join groups with high engagement as there are many other groups in which people keep spamming and flooding the group wall with promotional pitches. Sharing your business on such groups might not be a good idea.
Even if you have the money to build a new building, slow down and hold off before investing that much right away.
Start with a small space that is easy to open and maintain. Take baby steps if you must. If your small space can conveniently accommodate a predetermined number of people, it would already be a good point to start.
You can always build bigger when the idea of coworking has taken root in your area and more people are considering it.
Choose the Right Location and Furniture
Convenience, safety, and easy access to utilities are some of the important characteristics of an effective coworking space. Once you find a reasonably priced space that meets these important criteria, the next step is to furnish it.
Make your space comfortable but one that affords enough privacy to other users.
Also, of utmost importance are the basic utilities, such as electricity, a high-speed and steady internet connection, and water.
Get the Word out About Your Workspace
Do not limit your clients to those who are based in your town or city. Advertise in airports, bus stations, and hotels to let traveling business people know that there is a comfortable and reliable coworking space available in the area.
Startups founders who need to travel in frequent intervals or the digital nomads are always on the lookout for coworking spaces with great amenities. So, tap their requirements to your advantage.
Also, be creative about your marketing ideas. For example, for digital nomads who are also bloggers you can offer a discount in exchange for mentioning you in their blogs.
Do not forget to spread the word to your family and friends and, even if the idea is new to them, do not get discouraged. Inform and educate them and other people in your locality to raise awareness and interest regarding this new trend.
So, are you planning to start a coworking space? Do you have any questions or insights to add? Let us know your comments below.
This is a guest post from Findmyworkspace on how you can capitalize the remarkable business opportunity of starting a coworking space even if you do not have a huge capital.