Today, there are 23.5 thousand coworking spaces in the world. While everyone was talking about fintech, cryptocurrency, drones, and virtual reality, a whole sector in the commercial real estate market emerged, which has become one of the fastest-growing startup segments.
The huge demand for renting comfortable single workstations is explained by the growing number of freelancers who are unwilling or unable to work from home, boycott office culture and dress code but still adore remote work. Beginning entrepreneurs, journalists, designers, programmers, copywriters, marketers, and many others inhabit coworking centers.
Because the target audience is diverse, the space becomes an ecosystem in which everything works towards the same goal: to provide ideal conditions for productive work, business and pleasant dialogue, and the most efficient organization of the working process.
And since this is also a profitable business, we want to devote today’s article to the steps to start a coworking business and open your own center. Let’s go!
- Choose A Perfect Location
- Evaluate A Coworker Building
- Equip Coworking Space
- Arrange A Recreation Area With Bean Bags And Modular Sofas
- Hire Employees
- Start Promoting
- Final Words
The right place is about 80% of success. It makes sense to open coworking spaces in the central city zone or in a commercial district where the site will be attractive to entrepreneurs and freelancers. When choosing a location, consider transport accessibility and proximity to the metro station.
The proximity to a café or restaurant, which will have discounts for your residents, is also important. It’s also great if there is a supermarket or a showroom nearby – all this will allow people to satisfy household needs without going far from your place of work.
Make parking arrangements for people who come to the coworking space by car. It could be free open space or a paid covered parking lot. It would be useful to have bicycle parking since most modern specialists prefer bicycles to cars.
It is better to choose a spacious and bright room with a convenient entrance. The advantage will be large windows and high ceilings (at least 3 meters).
On average, one workplace in a coworking space should be around 5 square meters, a separate area for eating and relaxing, and a separate bathroom.
Consider coworking office design. If you’re planning to target, for example, freelance designers, then you can think about some kind of stylish and “fun” styling. If the target audience of the project is programmers, then it would be wiser to spend money on gear rather than creating the right atmosphere.
Coworking space can be purchased as property or leased for the long term. In this part of the plan, focus on your financial capabilities.
Take care of air conditioning, high-quality ventilation, and soundproofing. Unlimited high-speed internet is a must throughout the whole center. Also, buy a printer, scanner, and copier.
Provide good lighting – both general and for each workplace. Each table should have several outlets.
The decor should be modern, not overloaded. The loft style is universal for decorating coworking spaces. And coworking space furniture should fit into the style and be comfortable. Choose chairs that are height adjustable.
In the eating zone, you will need to place tables, chairs, a refrigerator, a microwave, and a set of kitchenware. Coworking will benefit greatly from having a water cooler and a coffee machine. Take care of the coffee beans, green and black tea, and stock up on cookies and snacks.
Install CCTV cameras and storage lockers to keep personal stuff safe. At night, coworking can be put on the security console. Be sure to take these costs into account when preparing your budget.
If you think coworking doesn’t need management, it does. The center needs a manager, you can act in this role yourself. Such projects often involve volunteers who do some work for free in exchange for the opportunity to freely visit the coworking space at any time.
Also, your staff should include an administrator, a marketer or a team working on promotion, an accountant, an outsourced system administrator, and a cleaner.
For correct interaction with clients and the team, it is better to start using the CRM software immediately after opening a coworking space.
Well, both offline and online methods are suitable for forming a pool of regular customers. Spread information about yourself at various forums, print leaflets for industry exhibitions, shopping malls and business centers, coffee shops.
Create an account for coworking in social media. Upload attractive photos edited in suitable software. But do not overdo it so that the visitor doesn’t have the expectation/reality effect. Also, make a video in room tour format using video-editing software.
Build a website or landing page with photos, a description of services, and a price list. Register coworking on platforms for renting office space.
Provide space for free for some social event or rent it out to large brands for an event. This way, you can both create a positive reputation and advertise yourself to many people at once.
And of course, don’t forget about word of mouth. Potential visitors may include marketers, recruiters, and other valuable business people. For substantial discounts or free rentals, they can help promote your space.
In the end, let’s talk about perhaps the most exciting question – the price.
For a modest coworking space, expenses can be kept under $20,000. These will include rent of premises, minimal repairs and design, internet, utility bills and taxes, technical equipment, and promotion costs.
If you hire staff, you should separately calculate wages.
According to the business plan, the payback of the project is about a year, but the process is accelerated when you add extra services. For example, you can install vending machines selling snacks and drinks.
The income will be significantly raised if you rent the coworking space out for various events. To do this, you can divide the center’s work several times a week for general use and a specified event, making the working day shorter, or give courses several days a week.
The purpose of the coworking center is to create a comfortable working space. If the visitors like the atmosphere of your establishment, they will return, considering your place to be the top coworking space. It is these regular customers that bring the bulk of the profits. Therefore, take care of comfort and equipment first.
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.