Focusing on what drives your coworking business will be critical in 2021 to set yourself up for office re-entry. What we measure gets focus, what we focus on improves.
KPIs can help you to get objective data on what’s working and what’s not...but they can also keep you focused and disciplined while you’re working on projects that don’t reap immediate financial rewards.
In this episode, we walk through what KPIs are, what to track, and how to set yourself up for success in your measuring and tracking process.
Demand for virtual offices is growing. Building up a competency around marketing and servicing virtual office memberships can add margin to your business and help you to serve a member that doesn’t require much access to physical space. There are operators that build their virtual office business to the point where it pays their rent.
In this episode we discuss three ways to build your virtual office program.
1. What is virtual office?
2. Should a virtual office program include use of our GMB Listing?
3. Three ways to grow your virtual office business:
- Run Google Ads
- Focus on SEO/organic traffic using keyword optimization
- List your offerings with lead-gen partners
Everything Coworking Featured Resources:
Masterclass: 3 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Opening a Coworking Space
Creative Coworking Partnerships: How to negotiate and structure management agreements from the landlord and operator perspective
Resources Mentioned in this Podcast:
In this episode we discuss three pricing strategies for tough times:
1. Consider offering more flexibility on your memberships than you typically would, but don’t overwhelm your potential members with too many options. Want evidence? Read the “jam study” here: https://hbr.org/2006/06/more-isnt-always-better
2. Try to avoid offering rock bottom pricing
3. Don't get into a price war with the local competition. Know your strengths and know their weaknesses. If they’re doing ridiculous deals, they may be locked into very long, inflexible agreements. They may be paying for coffee and meeting rooms. Know how to make the apples to apples comparison, but even then, you might lose on price and need to sell on other strengths such as hospitality and community.
Give all deals/COVID accommodations an end date. Frame them as a COVID discount and make them good for 3 months (you can always extend if you need to).
Trevor Hightower started his own coworking brand in the lobby of a multi-family apartment building. He learned a lot about what worked and didn't work in that model and eventually met and joined forces with the founder of Craftwork.
Craftwork enhanced the revenue model and mojo of a coworking space by combining it with an open-to-the public coffee shop. Coffee in the front, coworking in the back.
Craftwork started experimenting on partnering with developers of multi-family apartment buildings to build a Craftwork location into the amenity set. The buildout was paid for, but they still signed a lease.
COVID struck....all coffee shops closed down. The leasing model showed its weaknesses.
Trevor shares his story about how COVID accelerated their pursuit of a stronger model for their business - hospitality as a service...what that looks like and where they're headed.
Are you excited about the huge potential demand for coworking space coming from the "Work from Home" segment?
They are not the same nut to crack as our typical coworking space member.
- How the WFH segment is different than our traditional coworking segments, who pays for their memberships, safety and security expectations.
- How they are not solution-aware and require a different marketing approach than our active searchers.
- Which advertising platforms align with different awareness stages.
- Some tactics to use on the solution-unaware segment to get them into the top of our sales funnel.
If you’re curious about what a successful community manager profile looks like, how they contribute to the business and how they manage their time, keep the ear buds in, this episode is for you!
Alex Biddle is the Community Manager for La Suprema Works & Events in Tucson, Arizona. At the time of this recording, she’s been in the role for about a year and during that time, helped the team launch their flagship location during a global pandemic.
This episode’s guests are two power-house C-suite women who met in Tucson and decided they wanted to bring community-focused coworking to downtown Tucson's oldest and most coveted neighborhood.
Gina and Katina were students in our Coworking Startup School. They’re also members of our Flight Group program and their Community Manager, Alex, is in our Community Manager University program.
Gina Catalano is a fractional COO for growth minded entrepreneurs and companies - the CEO's "Swiss Army Knife."
Katina Koller is an EOS Implementer and Vistage Group Chair.
Here’s why I think you’ll enjoy their story: They took on the passion project of re-developing a downtown historical landmark that most called “a teardown.”
- They started their business with an MVP - a 1500 square foot space that allowed them to learn how to attract their ideal members, and how to operationalize their business before building out their flagship location across the street.
- They learned along the way that their Ideal Community Avatar isn’t someone that does a type of work or lives in a certain neighborhood, but that the common thread across their members is more about a value system.
- They hired a rockstar community manager that takes ownership of the space so that they can still run their other businesses
- They have worked together to stay positive and focused even while opening a coworking and events space in the heart of a global pandemic.
- They have also remained intentional and goal-focused during this crisis and sold out all of their offices in less than 60 days.
It’s easy to be really busy all day long in a coworking business and not get the right things done.
It’s even easier to pay your team to be in the space all day and not get the right things done.
What are the right areas of focus?
How much time should you and/or your team focus on them in a given day?
In this podcast episode, we approach this question using the 80/20 rule.
The 80/20 rule was originally called The Pareto principle. The Pareto principle states that for many outcomes roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes (the “vital few”). (source: Wikipedia).
2020 was a year of reaction. It's time to re-focus and take control of our coworking business goals for 2021. In this episode, I go through the 9 step framework that we are going to go through in the Designed to Thrive in 2021 workshop.
- Jonathan’s coworking story: how he started his first space and rapidly expanded to become one of the leading brands in Singapore.
- Balancing risks as an operator: offering flexible terms while maintaining predictable revenue.
- A concept he talks about in his book “consolidating a share of spend - focusing on spend per member.”
- Jonathan’s perspective on the future of the coworking model - how he would approach the real estate model if you were starting today.
Josh Coffy lives in a town of 20,000 near Columbus, OH. He and his wife Kelsey, bought a building downtown and launched a coworking business in it.
Josh shares his experience buying and renovating a building, why he decided that a coworking space was best use for the building, and the “good” and “bad” surprises that he encountered on his journey.
Josh is also a professional marketer and spills the beans on how he’s marketing his coworking space.
As individual operators, you likely don’t have access to data on market recovery. You can only see what you are experiencing in your own market. Coworker.com is a coworking marketplace with over 15,000 member spaces across 172 countries. They have a macro view of the industry trends that can help you get a line of site on what to expect over the coming months.
Madison, the COO, joins me on this episode to share their data and perspective on the recovery trends for coworking spaces.
The coworking model is evolving at a pace more rapid than anyone predicted. The variations on the approach to serving today’s workforce and local communities are becoming more diverse.
The story of Lodgic Everyday Community is one worth following as you’re thinking about how you will serve your members and your community.
Coming out of COVID, leasing a space has become less attractive because the operator bears the most risk. If you are going to lease, you must work with a broker that will help you negotiate terms that will protect you from a business-killing experience like a global pandemic.
The appeal of a management agreement is that it shifts the risk to the landlord. The upside is significantly limited for the operator, but therein lies the tradeoff. In this episode, we're talking about why management agreements are becoming more accessible and how they're structured.
If you’re starting a coworking space or even looking to expand your existing business, it’s worth considering buying a building.
Roughly half of my Coworking Startup School students are building owners that already had a building and decided that its best use was to house a coworking space, or people that wanted to start a coworking space and wanted the benefits that come along with also owning the building.
When COVID happened, my most resilient students were those that owned their buildings and had to negotiate with their mortgage lender, but didn’t have to deal with the landlord that doesn’t get it or couldn’t afford to give them some rent relief as too many of their members cancelled contracts.
Today’s guest, Matt Maurice, walks us through his experience buying commercial real estate and creating a coworking business to be the only tenant.
Tell me if you ever feel this way: Your business is not where you want it to be, there aren’t enough hours in the day and you either don’t take time off or you just have a really hard time feeling like you deserve taking time off and letting yourself relax.
If you’re an achievement-oriented, driven business owner, you probably feel this way a lot. I’m always working on staying more focused and setting myself up to not feel guilty about taking some down time on the weekends or taking some time off. In this episode, I share some approaches that I’ve learned on my journey.
If you have a coworking space, and you’ve decided to do everything you can to keep your business afloat until we see the demand shift (which is already happening outside of the U.S.), you must commit to keep marketing, even when you don’t see the results. Fill the pipeline so that you have warm leads when your potential members are ready to head back to the office.
In this episode, I cover four things you and your team should keep doing to prepare for recovery.
If you are working on opening a coworking space, these are activities that you will want to bake into your team roles, so take notes!
Your on-site team drives member attraction and retention. You can have the best furniture, the best cleaning protocols, the most delicious locally roasted coffee, but none of that matters if your team isn’t attracting and retaining your best and most profitable members. Today we talk about how to hire and train your Coworking Community Manager.
In this episode, I cover:
- Why the Community Manager role is critical to your coworking business
- Profiles of successful Coworking Community Managers
- Where to post job postings for Coworking Community Managers
- How to screen candidates
- How to train Community Managers
With a global pandemic going on, every step in the Sales Funnel counts. Subtle nuances in the process can make all the difference when it comes to landing your leads. Join me as I revisit episode 84, and we go through what it takes to create a Sales Funnel that works for your space.
In this episode, Casey and I discuss:
- Current market trends such as health and safety protocols, virtual tours, digital memberships.
- Landlords are quickly becoming more entrepreneurial in their approach to creative deal structures such as management agreements and hybrid leases. Some landlords are willing to assume more risk and provide more TI for a long-term commitment.
- Current opportunities: Second generation and “dark” space coming back to market - some with great build-outs, good deal terms, FFE included. Etc.
- Landlords are refinancing and looking to re-fill space with more TI and support for a coworking tenant.
- Potential pitfalls: Cash is King - lending markets are tight, and timing an opening to take advantage of 2021 demand.
In this episode, Jamie Hodari and I discuss:
- How he and his next door neighbor and best friend growing up started a coworking brand that now has over 100 locations
- His perspective on their portfolio mix (gateway vs. non-gateway markets)
- His commitment to management agreements
- How he was totally wrong about whether or not they should locate in malls
- His prediction on when enterprises will start giving budgets for coworking space use
- His perspective on commodity flex space vs. serviced shared workspace
- What WORC is up to
- The challenge of being a CEO during a pandemic
- The unexpected flair in "get out of NYC" rental house
Felicia Rubinstein, founder of HAYVN Coworking and Sonny Goodall, Co-Founder of Fireworks Coworking, just celebrated their one-year anniversary as coworking space operators.
They share their coworking stories, the members that they best serve, lessons learned, and why coworking has been such a rewarding part of their lives.
Angela Garland shares how she runs a workspace + coffee bar, plays the role of property manager for her landlord, and launched a drive-through coffee trailer that went gangbusters during COVID.
Kerri and her husband wanted to start a business and they wanted to make it a family affair. They roped in Faith and Johnny and opened their first Office Evolution Franchise in the Houston Energy Park on June 15, 2020.
They are leveraging their corporate super powers and their intensely aligned interests to build their community and fill their space.
Have you wondered how a community manager fills his/her day or if you're keeping yours focused on the right things?
Your Communty Manager is the heart and soul of your business.
Typically they drive both sales (tours) and retention (community building).
They do some heavy lifting in your business.
They also do about 100 small things every day that keep your space humming and your members happy.
In this episode, we talk about the "hats" of a typical CM, and how they spend their days.