In addition to my own experience, I see a lot of businesses, P&L's, pro-formas, etc. and have pieced together what I think are factors that contribute to the failure of a coworking space.
No matter how emotionally committed you are to getting a space up and running, make sure that you're avoiding these pitfalls as you go through the design of your business, selection of your space and fund-raising.
If you have any feedback or questions on this episode, please reach out to me at email@example.com!
I generally see two types of mindset out there on opening a coworking space. There are the folks that will start selling the story to anyone who will listen before they’ve even signed a lease. Then there are the folks that want to get the space built, furnished and wrapped up on a bow before they start touring potential members. There are shades of these types but for today, we’ll focus on these two ends of the spectrum.
The “Story Seller” as we’ll call her, is campaigning on behalf of this space on day one both through word of mouth and through social media and a strong online presence. She is both strategic and scrappy.
The “Bow Boy,” as we’ll call him, believes that people won’t buy what they can’t clearly see, touch and feel. They wait until they have a shiny new space with an “open” sign on the door to start attracting members.
The Story Seller will have a faster return on her investment.
Learn more about these two characters in this episode.
Mara Hauser covers the design process for coworking spaces from identifying your core user to branding to determining your program. Join us for a unique opportunity to hear from a successful coworking space operator who also owns a corporate interiors design firm!
In this episode, I talk with Kyle Coolbroth, Co-Founder and CEO of Fueled Collective which the coworking industry’s newest and most unique franchise player.
Kyle is an industry veteran - he and his co-founder Don Ball started COCO in January 2010.
Brad Krauskopf, founder of Hub Australia, shares his experience going from one 2500 square foot location to 7 locations across Australia. How he has reshaped his model to better meet member needs, how his organizational structure has changed to fuel growth and how his own role has evolved.
Garrett Tichy is the Founder and Owner of Hygge Coworking. A strong advocate for Charlotte, Tichy is well-known for his natural ability to build diverse and inclusive communities of professionals – both online and in-person – who appreciate and thrive on the power of connection to elevate an initiative, a workplace and a city.
Before founding Hygge Coworking, Garrett was the owner creative digital marketing agency. This gives him a unique leg-up on applying marketing concepts to local businesses such as coworking spaces. Garrett facilitated a marketing break-out session at a recent industry event and his expertise and perspective drew me in and I accosted him in the hallway and asked him to be a guest on the podcast and help other owners be better marketers.
Full show notes here.
You are really going to enjoy today’s guest, Antony Slumbers. He is the keynote speaker for the 2018 FlexOffice Conference hosted by the Global Workspace Association and NAIOP. He's also a forward-looking, big picture thinker so put on your thinking cap!
The conference is September 12-14 in Austin, Texas. If you are in the shared workspace industry, this is a do-not miss event. Attending the conference can help you to stay on top of quickly evolving industry trends and it’s an opportunity to make connections and build relationships well beyond what you can accomplish through social media.
This episode explores insights from Dan Ariely's best selling book on human behavior and how they apply to coworking spaces - insights cover free trials, rewarding employees, referral programs and why you need fancy coffee condiment containers.
It can be hard to know where to focus marketing efforts. This episode encourages you to nail the basics first. Make sure your Google presence is optimized and nurtured. Active searchers are on Google.
Put your early focus on Google and then make room for other marketing activities such as events. Digital marketing is the best way to fill your sales funnel. This podcast covers 10 actions you can take now to make sure your web presence is optimized.
On episode 73 of the Everything Coworking podcast special guest Michael Everts, President and Co-Founder of SharedSpace, shares his insights into technology for coworking spaces, and different tools and approaches coworking space operators can use to make sure their space’s tech stands out, both to members and guests.
A recent question asked in the Everything Coworking Facebook Group was “How big should my coworking space be?”
I think one of the most challenging aspects of getting started on the journey to opening a coworking space is understanding a few fundamentals. One of the first questions a lot of people ask, and this question came up recently in the Facebook Group - is “How big should my coworking space be?"
In this episode, I want to help with how to think about the space that you are going to create using a high level framework that takes into account financial goals, startup resources, and market demand.
Key Performance Indicators, or “KPIs”, are metrics that you may want to consider tracking for your business.
As Yogi Berra’s famous quote says: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.”
As a business owner, you want to set goals and then create simple metrics that flow into dashboards that make it easy for you and your team to track progress against those goals/targets. You can download the Coworking KPI list here that I reviewed on this week’s episode.
See the full show notes for tips on setting yourself up for success as you set up your KPI tracking and review process.
This week I share my framework and process for hiring a community manager including:
Steve King is a well-known voice in the coworking industry. He publishes the annual Coworking Forecast. He studies small business trends including the growth of freelancing and the gig economy. While studying the impact of coworking on business networks, he discovered that one of the important impacts of coworking is that it makes people less lonely.
An excerpt from Steve's Harvard Business Review article:
"According to Vivek Murthy, the former Surgeon General of the United States, increasing numbers of remote and independent “gig economy” workers is one of the key reasons for the growing 'loneliness epidemic'. Murthy also points out that loneliness is much more than just a social problem. It’s also a health problem, 'associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity.'"
...."Our research on coworking spaces show that these shared, member-based workspaces where remote corporate workers, startup employees, freelancers, and others “work alone together” can substantially reduce the isolation and loneliness associated with remote work."
Steve and I discuss his research and his bet that corporate lawyers will soon be telling HR to reduce their risk of lawsuits by handing out coworking stipends.
This topic came up in one of my Flight Groups this month - as a new entrepreneur, how do you know if you're doing the right things and getting enough done? No boss = no clear feedback loop.
Probably one of the biggest mindset challenges of being an entrepreneur is doing less busy work and doing more of what matters.
This week we talk about a few ways to make sure you're working on the right stuff.
In this episode, Nick Clark shares his journey from signing traditional leases to partnering with Granite Properties to do a 30,000 square foot space in a large redevelopment, to developing his "Offspitality" approach to flexible office space, to buying a coffee shop to support that strategy.
In this episode, I talk to Ryan Hoopes, Senior Associate at Real Estate Services firm Colliers International. He also co-founded the firm’s global flexible workspace advisory practice.
Ryan talks through the evolution of the landlord approach to flexible workspace...and how we’re just at the beginning of an evolution of the landlord/flex workspace operator relationship.
I met Jamie Orr last April on a visit to take advantage of some fresh snow at Heavenly Mountain on the south side of Lake Tahoe. Dreaming of moving to the mountains and working out of a great coworking space, I had to take a tour. After hearing her story, I knew she had to be a guest on the podcast because her journey touched on many of the same questions that my audience is trying to understand.
Jamie shares many insights from her team’s experiences, including a pilot project ski-in-ski-out coworking space at Heavenly Mountain!
In this episode, I share highlights from the latest Global Coworking forecast by Emergent Research.
Overall, no major surprises, just affirmation that the growth in both supply and demand for coworking continues at a rapid clip - about 16% on the supply side and almost 24% on the demand side.
Looking for other industry data? Try these sources:
It’s the season of thinking about new beginnings and how to be a better you in 2018.
I read a book over the Thanksgiving break that I could not put down and I literally wanted to send it to all of my coworking friends. So I thought I should share it on the Podcast and do an episode on top 5 list of coworking books for coworking space owners, managers, etc. to read.
These books did not come out in 2017, nor are the ideas in these books are not necessarily new, but taken in the context of coworking, can help you think differently about your business, use better language to talk about your business and your “why” and to consider how you might do things differently in your business in 2018.
These books are all available on Audible as well which is a great app for buying and listening to audio books. Sometimes that’s the only reading time that I have. The trade-off is you can’t take notes and highlight sections that you want to go back to, but if it’s the only way to get through a book, I say make the trade-off.
This week, my guest is Nick Livigne. Besides the fact that we're both from Upstate NY and went to college in Ithaca, NY, I'm a big fan of the innovation he's brought to Verizon's real estate team. They're transforming underutilized real estate assets (both owned and leased), into collaborative workspaces focused on localized tech innovation.
Not only does this project bring Verizon authentic access to innovative teams, it's a marketing tool for its' brand "powered by Verizon" and the spaces are designed to turn a profit.
Nick shares their objectives, some of their learnings over the last two years, how they localize the spaces and what they look for in a local partner.
This week we go through insights from multi-location operators that are iterating their space design based on learnings from their other spaces.
If you’re starting a space or looking to evolve your existing spaces, be a student of the operators running multiple locations. If you keep an eye on what they’re doing, you can learn a lot without going through the evolution yourself.
This week we cover 8 reasons to attend an industry conference and 4 ways to prepare once you have your ticket.
In an industry evolving as quickly as ours, you can’t afford to not get out to events, get the big picture perspective and help build relationships that can, in turn, help you build your business.
In this episode, I talk with Peter Black, National Director of Workplace Strategy and Design for Colliers International. Over the past 5 years, Peter has been helping organisations develop strategies to transform workplaces to align with their business strategy and become a driver of change.