Coworking spaces have boomed over the past five years. Recent data suggests that up until 2022, the number of coworking spaces is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6% in the U.S. alone.
The hype of coworking space is for good reason. It’s been shown that they improve the overall workplace experience, contribute to productivity levels, and can even help fight the loneliness epidemic. Let’s not forget that they are considered to be a networking hotspot.
But opening a coworking space requires much more than just putting together some tables and ergonomic chairs.
If you’re interested in opening a coworking space, here are some things you want to do before you sign a lease.
With any potential business, it’s important to conduct market research to see how viable the business is. With coworking, you will want to research the existing coworking players in your area, how much people are willing to pay for a workspace, the best locations for a space, the cost of leases, and the types of amenities people will value the most.
- Network and reach out to people
One of the best ways to gauge interest in a product or service is to reach out to people. Beyond just gauging interest, talking to people will help you identify market gaps and opportunities that you may not have mapped out. This will also give you a chance to create some hype and momentum.
- Set a budget
This is a crucial step for any potential business. You need to be realistic about the money you have and how you will spend it. You should take into consideration how long it might take you to break even or be cash positive. Coworking spaces might require some heavy investment, especially if you sign a lease rather than partner with a landlord. Before you even consider grabbing a pen for a deal, make sure you have your numbers straight and a financial strategy in place.
- Figure out your framework
Coworking is used to describe a variety of workspace services. When thinking about opening a space, you need to think about the most profitable model for you and your community. Will you need mostly shared workspaces or private workstations? What about meeting rooms and event space? Before you sign a lease and start marketing your space, you need to figure out which type of workplace people are looking for. You might want to meet with an architect and interior designer to figure this out. You will also need to decide on a pricing strategy, so knowing which units will bring in the most revenue might be helpful here.
- Get the basics right
As we said, it takes more than desks and chairs to open and successfully operate a coworking space. You need to think about things like staff, technology, vendors (coffee, printer ink, snacks, internet provider, etc.).
If you’re interested in opening a coworking space and need help figuring out the best location, how to best market your space, or how to operate and manage the space, feel free to reach out to us!