Before we begin to talk about coworking, why not brush up on some basics a bit? By the way, did you know that the first coworking space was founded way back in 1995? Well, that’s an interesting fact.
There is no denying that these spaces have come a long way now. However, the guiding principles, collaborations, and sense of community remain unchanged. The world has seen a tremendous change in working trends in the past 25 years.
An increasing number of the workforce now likes to get engaged in freelancing or contract work instead of sticking to the same organization. The world of freelancers has already grown and keeps on increasing every single day.
Now that professional lives have become mobile and people have the flexibility of choosing their own workspace, no one likes to work in isolation or at home. That is when coworking spaces come in handy. They create community hubs for all like-minded people where they can get together, collaborate, share ideas, and keep working independently.
So, if you want to capitalize on this growing and steady demand, consider starting a coworking space. While it is not an easy task, this guide aims to make the entire process easier and more organized. This guide covers everything you must know and should do to start a highly successful coworking space business.
The Future of Coworking Spaces
There is no denying that the future of coworking is bright in today’s world. Numerous industry leaders and intellectuals have predicted the importance of coworking spaces in every industry during the current and upcoming times.
Moreover, the mobile workforce embraces the coworking spaces like no other. That is because they offer more than just affordable office spaces and necessary amenities. These spaces offer a place for like-minded individuals to create their ideas, resources, and network. That also helps everyone grow their individual businesses.
If you are a business or an enterprise thinking about starting a coworking space, now is the right time to do so. The interest in coworking spaces seems to be on the rise and so is the demand.
How to Start a Coworking Space (Complete Business Plan)
Now that we know about coworking spaces and the future that waits for the same, let us investigate the necessary steps that you can follow towards starting a coworking space business.
1. Knowing your intent
Firstly, figure out what made you decide to start a coworking business. Once you get the answer, it will be easier for you to focus on the main goals. Moreover, you need to focus initially on the benefit instead of profit to keep running the space smoothly. The arena that you are going to create should aim at bringing all the talented people together.
2. Study the demand for coworking space business
You need to investigate whether your coworking space has any demand in the market before aiming for anything bigger. That decision should be taken before you buy any furniture or sign a lease for the space.
You can also create a group on social media and host some events to promote interest in the same. That will not only help you do some necessary groundwork but also help in building a strong online community. That will serve as a marketing avenue for your coworking space.
3. Deciding on your framework
The business model for coworking space falls under different categories. You need to pick either of them depending on your circumstances.
You can always rent out private offices within your coworking space to maximize your income. You can also put on an advertisement for the same while inviting all the creative and talented people to come under a single space.
If you are someone having a business with some unused office space, then you can surely set up a coworking space there. It will also help you prevent some of the maintenance costs and office setup expenses. The main advantage here is the extra amount of money that you will earn apart from the one coming from your already established business.
You can always partner with another person like a café or a property owner to start your coworking space. You can approach certain pubs, restaurants, or cafes that can act as coworking spaces during closing hours. That will not only bring the owner some extra income but also give the fruition of your labor.
Looking for an untapped goldmine within your city? Your local city council may prove to be one! You can discuss with the members about the space and funding opportunities and see if that aligns with your idea.
You can always host events within your coworking space that can provide you with a revenue stream. That is also another way of making your space more visible to the public eye. You can always host meetups, film nights, and events of a similar sort to promote your brand further.
4. Financial Model for Coworking Space
It is essential for you to have sound financial planning ahead of starting your coworking space. Moreover, make sure that you are aware of all the legal registration and insurance matters related to the same. The most important things that you need to focus on are structuring your fee schedule, financing your coworking space, and tasks of a similar sort.
You need to first decide how to finance your coworking space before beginning with the work. You also must decide whether you will be investing your money or will approach investors. You will also find many other good funding sources like family members, friends, local government bodies, business contacts, and more.
You must place your price structure based on time. It may be a daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly rate. You can reward the users who book your space for longer periods. You should always request advance booking to avoid loss if the person doesn’t show up later.
5. Economically viable way
It is always recommended to make your plan economically viable to make a profit in any business. The same applies to the coworking space business. You must try integrating as many services as possible into your coworking business. That will make the users spend more money on the same. For instance, you can either set up a cafeteria, a gym, or even a sauna within the area.
Start Marketing to Spread the Word
Once everything is ready, you should now put your entire focus on attracting people. Start running paid ads on different social media platforms to let people know you’re open. You should design your marketing strategy after knowing where your target audience hangs out the most.
Besides running ads for your coworking space on multiple platforms, you can also launch some excellent influencer marketing campaigns to spread the word faster. Hiring a performance marketer for this task would be a better option.
But what if you don’t have enough marketing budget? Well, there is still a way out. One great way to market the coworking space at zero marketing cost is by cold pitching to your target audience on Facebook.
Join Facebook startup groups that are for professionals working in your business location. After joining, track all the active members in the group who show interest and visit startup events, and pitch them to your workplace. It will require significant time and energy, but the returns will be worth it.
It’s all about targeting the right people from online communities, striking a conversation, and making an appealing pitch. You can start by quickly striking up a conversation with them and later introduce your coworking space. It can appear like a tedious, long process, but it works.
Coworking is a great place for socializing. It can not only enrich your daily life but also help you exchange ideas with other people. Apart from that, you can stay up to date about the latest trends and share work at times. Financially, it is the most advantageous business that helps you share resources, pay bills, and meet interesting and talented people.
How profitable are coworking spaces in India?
If you build a concrete business plan it is likely that your coworking business will become profitable after two years in operation.
How do coworking spaces work?
Coworking spaces act as a shared workspace where the business offers office space for companies or freelancers who are looking for a budget-friendly alternative to a full-fledged office.
What is the future of coworking spaces in India?
The future of the coworking space industry in India is growing rapidly and is expected to reach $2.2 billion in 2022.