Over the past few years, many disgruntled employees have broken free from the shackles of full-time employment and have gone down the freelancing route in the hope of more freedom and better pay. Some flourish in these freedoms, others flounder. Sometimes, the freedom can be a burden, and they are not used to completely self-managing themselves without the guidance of a boss or the pressure that may come with it. Others may find that their creativity or motivation is stifled without having colleagues around during working hours to remind them that they are working.
Co-working spaces are increasing in popularity for a variety of reasons: among them are the increase of freelancing and remote jobs and high start-up costs that small businesses would rather not pay for at the beginning of their life.
With the demand rising, we now see many different types of co-working spaces springing up everywhere. If you are considering starting your own, we will give you 3 tips to help you create one successfully.
Get the location right
What’s a good idea without the execution, right? While you might be working the digital nomad, you are still a physical location, and if the location isn’t right, who will be using your facilities? Convenience is key: think good parking spaces and transport links and or around business districts. You want to be based around a good-sized talent pool, and realistically, you probably won’t be as likely to find this in the countryside as you would in a city.
Consider looking for derelict, neglected buildings or those with excess space, and you may be able to negotiate a better lease with the landlord. Their priority is to have their spaces occupied at all times and they are more likely to give the potential tenant a deal to get them in through the door.
You could have great furniture and a stylish space, but if the utilities don’t match, then you’ve already lost. High-speed internet is the priority since it is pretty much the key to most people’s work. Establishing a fast, reliable connection should be your priority. This would be easier within cities compared to outside of cities where areas tend to be underserviced.
Once this is sorted, don’t be afraid to integrate technology that could help the running of the space. If you have multiple meeting rooms, consider installing a conference room schedule display. These are used for managing meeting and room bookings and help reduce resource wastefulness, which in turn improves a business’ efficiency.
Anyone could set up a nicely furnished workspace, but what really differentiates you from a coffee shop, or even the user’s home? Don’t have a “build it, and they will come” attitude; build up interest by hosting small events for networking, for example (preferably those suited to your target market’s interests). Remember, you need to build up a base of regular users and entice individuals or groups that would use your space in the long term because it meets and surpasses their needs.
These are three very important tips to keep in mind when considering starting a co-working space. There are many more to consider, but if you are able to build on these, you will already have yourself a very strong foundation.