Here at Coherent, we have noticed a significant rise in the number of spaces opening over the last few years.
With more people working in shared offices right now than ever before, it’s really not a surprise that old factories, shipping containers, and studios are being given a new lease of life.
According to Statista, the number of people working in coworking spaces worldwide grew to more than 2.26 million in 2020 – almost 128 times higher than the 21,000 workers in 2010.
The numbers speak for themselves.
Since the pandemic has forced us to rethink the way we work, the trajectory shows these numbers will only grow further in the future.
As new spaces prepare to open, finding new ways to make yours stand out from the crowd is essential.
So if you are thinking about launching a coworking, flexible, or shared workspace, here are a few tips to get you started:
The most successful startups are those who spend time researching before launching.
Those who enter the fray unprepared often find themselves lost for time, money and ultimately, business.
It is impossible to over-stress the importance of being organised and having established systems in place. Having a set plan will save you so much time and effort in the long run with clear, actionable goals.
So, resist the urge to press the big red button and announce yourself to the world. It’s time to hit the books.
Aspects to consider:
Who is your Audience? This research will help you determine whether there is a market for your space.
Who is your Competition? Aim to have a good idea of the perks they offer their members, their pricing model and the types of members they attract.
Who’s doing it well? Study your competition by scouting out successful spaces with several sites, national or international presence, and a robust community.
Read our guide – Launching a Coworking Space? Do your Research – for more information.
2. Choose a Name
One of the first things people will see when searching for coworking spaces is your name. And whilst the name of your coworking space should be something eye-catching, it should also provide enough imagery for the reader to understand a bit about what your workspace has to offer.
If you’re struggling to name your coworking space, here’s a few thoughts and places you can look for inspiration.
Something work focussed – Including ‘office’ or ‘work’ in the name of your coworking space suggests a less creative types, rather ‘traditional’ businesses. It indicates the workspace itself and its atmosphere will draw much inspiration from typical business offices’ structure.
Something creative – If your coworking space focuses on artistic industries; design, illustration, photography, filmmaking, for example, consider describing your workspace as a Studio, Lab or Hub. Words such as these suggests that what’s on offer will foster creativity and full of open plan, well-lit workspaces, rather than dull meeting rooms.
Something community-focused – Words like ‘hive’, ‘nest’, and ‘collective’ will all connotate a very community, and people focussed coworking space. Often viewers will get the impression the wellbeing of the members, and the social aspect of business is as important as the work itself.
Something based on your heritage – If your coworking space is in a building with a significant or exciting heritage, why not name your workspace after it? ‘The __ factory’, ‘The __ Yard’ and ‘The Foundry’ are common choices.
If the street or area your workspace is in has any heritage, consider naming your workspace after that could be an option.
Of course, the name of your coworking space is just one factor that conjures up imagery in potential members’ minds. Many people will likely interpret your name in a slightly different way. However don’t underestimate the impact your workspace name can have on someone’s impression of the space.
After all, first impressions count.
Read our guide for Choosing the Best Name for your Coworking Space for more tips and ideas.
3. Set Business Goals and Objectives
As anyone who runs a business will tell you, having secure business goals and objectives are fundamental to any company.
Business goals highlight the desired results an organisation wants to achieve through yearly strategies. They are targets set to improve the gross or net profit of a business. Typically, they are broad and long-term, and often used to guide the direction of your marketing efforts.
An objective outlines the required actions that you need to take to achieve the overall goal. Objectives dictate how an organisation should move forward, and most of the time, they remain the same, until the company’s circumstances change.
To help you get started, here are a list of questions you could answer about your business. They will shape your future and should be updated regularly.
What is your mission statement?
Who is your ideal customer? Why should they choose you?
What do you want to achieve?
How do you plan to measure this?
What tools do you need to learn?
What is the timeframe?
When setting goals for your business, ensure they are SMART.
Set Specific objectives that run inline with your overall business goals,
Measure your success using KPIs
Set a clear action plan to ensure your goal is Achievable,
Make sure it’s Relevant to your overall business goals,
Set a Timeframe for reaching your goal.
Read our guide to Setting Business Goals and Objectives for more information.
4. Market your Space
First off, the foundational principles of marketing state you will need to determine who you ideal client is, what their needs are, and demonstrate how you will meet those needs.
“Marketing a coworking space is far more than simply placing ads stating you have office space for rent. You have to develop a content marketing strategy, which appeals to the needs of clients”. – James, Coworking Resources.
1. Create a High-Quality Website
Start at the heart. Having an easy-to-use and well-designed website is the key aspect to any marketing strategy. Your website is a prime place to let visitors know what you have to offer.
2. Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Social media is a great way to showcase your space through content marketing.
Not only does social media allow you to freely advertise your memberships, news, events, and prices, but it is also a way for you to grow your brand awareness.
3. Advertise in your Local Area
Everyone who is working from home in your area right now may not know that your space exists. If appropriate, ask other local business to promote your workspace in their premises, and offer to do the same for them.
4. Use your Space for More than Just Coworking
After hours, utilising your space as an event venue is a great way to advertise your workspace.
By hosting events, you invite nonmembers to check out your space while engaging in a positive experience. Once they see what your space has to offer, they are more likely to become a member, or tell a friend who may find your workspace beneficial.
5. Gift Memberships
Have you ever thought about gifting memberships as a means to spread awareness of your workspace?Consider donating memberships to local freelancers, startups or remote workers. This will urge these people to visit or even hold gatherings in your space. All while spreading the word to others about your workspace.
When you run a shared workspace, remember you are offering a valuable service. The key to marketing that workspace is to make it more valuable than your local competition. When you can do this, you will fill your workspace with incredible members, and stay full.
Read our guide, Marketing Tips for Coworking Spaces, for further information.
5. Find Members
Coherent attracts many market entrants due to our 1% pricing model for fully-fledged workspace management software.
Many of these spaces are pre-launch, looking to have organised systems in place before opening their doors to the public. This is good practice, and it goes hand in hand with finding potential members before officially launching. So what are the best ways to drum up interest in your space?
Build a Landing Page
First up, we would recommend setting up a landing page for your space. A landing page can be designed and hosted on Mailchimp, or on your preferred website builder such as; WordPress, Wix or Squarespace.
We would argue that the best channels to find early members are Instagram and Facebook.
Why? Instagram is super visual and creates stories quickly. Facebook is community-based and groups are a great way to start discussions.
Networking in your Local Community
Establishing an online presence on social media is essential. However, in the early stages, the best way to drive engagement with your space is to show your face at events and create connections with businesses and individuals in your area.
Read more in our Finding Members for your Coworking Space before you Launch guide.
With all that said, we understand that things may be a little different for everyone right now, given that the UK and many other countries are facing national lockdown restrictions.
That is why we created a guide to help you Retain and Find Members for your Coworking Space during the Coronavirus Outbreak.
The good news is that you can do plenty of things to increase your member retention and even find new members seeking togetherness during this difficult time. Furthermore, you can also learn to create a community that stretches far beyond the usual geographical limitations.
Tips for finding and retaining members for your workspace:
Create an Online Community Membership
Use Virtual Channels
Provide Structure for your Members
Be a Source of Information, Ideas, and Positivity
You can read more about each of our tips in our guide here.
6. Choose Tools for Success
The growth of technology has revolutionised the business world, with companies creating an endless stream of useful applications to improve work processes and productivity.
The problem is that there are so many available; it can be hard to know where to start.
In our guide, Useful Apps for Coworking Space Professionals, we talk you through our favourite tools to help you run your coworking space with ease.
Tools to consider:
For more information on each of the tools categories, read our Useful Apps for Coworking Space Professionals guide.
From our experience, one of the greatest tools you can invest in for your space is Coworking Space Management.
The future of workspace management will rely heavily on software assistance. As the market becomes more sophisticated, member expectations are increasing. Professionals want seamless onboarding, foolproof payment collection and the autonomy to manage their own bookings.
Using software to perform background tasks will give you the time to focus on what really drives your coworking space forward. The people. No more admin days. Instead, your staff can focus on promoting your space on social media, creating marketing content, organising events, sales outreach and learning new skills.
Coherent possesses the power to transform the way you work. The platform will save you hours by automating routine tasks such as making bookings and payment collection, simplifying member management and providing a framework to connect your community.
Coherent uses a percentage-based pricing plan, so charges scale to your growth. You can use Coherent to manage your space on any device, anywhere, anytime. Every feature is unlocked, and you receive unlimited support from our super friendly team!
Would you like to know more? Feel free to check out our quick guide that gives you a rundown of what to expect when you sign up to Coherent.
When you are ready, book a free demo with us to see Coherent in action for yourself!
Contact us through our website, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be in touch with you soon.
We hope you have found our 6 Tips for Launching a Coworking Space guide useful, and we wish you all the best on your new business venture.