4 Key factors to consider when setting up a coworking space
For first-time entrepreneurs, starting a new business can be a journey fraught with problems. One of the most common among these is the issue of finding an office space which not only fits their needs, but is cost effective at the same time, ensuring that their business is financially sustainable in the long term.
Office spaces over the years have evolved from being just brick and mortar buildings to hubs of creativity, productivity and more, not only housing our work stations, but also acting as a home away from home. One of the most interesting developments in this evolution lately has been the growing popularity of co-working spaces.
As the results of the latest Global Co-Working Survey reveal, the number of co-working spaces around the globe has reached the impressive figure of 7800,… Click To Tweet This figure is expected to cross the 10,000 mark in 2016, establishing co-working spaces as a great business prospect for individual landowners and for the commercial real estate industry in general.
To make things easier, we bring our readers the four key factors to consider while setting up the perfect co-working space.
Understand Your Market
Unlike traditional offices, co-working spaces cater to a broader audience, and so proper research should be done before moving forward with any such venture. Co-working spaces are essentially community hubs for work, and hence, understanding the community they will cater to is the most important step in ensuring a happy future for them.
Based on factors such as industry, business maturity, the size of the business, location, age, culture and demand, chart out your prospective audience well in advance so that you can design the space to meet their needs.
Keep in mind that the idea here is to not create a workspace, but rather to provide a space where people from different backgrounds want to come together to work in a highly energised and mutually beneficial environment.
Location plays a key role in determining how convenient any office space is for its regular users, but in the case of co-working spaces, this factor becomes even more critical. Keeping the nature of the space in mind, great care must be taken to choose a location that is easily accessible, convenient and safe.
The location for a co-working space should be chosen only after determining and understanding the audience it will cater to. Based on this, you can decide whether a quiet neighbourhood or a busy central business district is what your co-working space demands.
Important factors to consider while choosing a location for your new co-working space:
- Access to public transport
- Distance from major business districts
- Distance from residential hubs
- Internet availability
- Availability of basic utilities
- Availability of coffee bars and restaurants
Further, as a survey report of deskmag reveals, a prestigious location may be a must for a full-fledged traditional office, but when it comes to the modern day workforce of freelancers and entrepreneurs, a whopping 81% of them would rather have coffee bars and restaurants close to where they work.
Design it Right
Now that you have understood your customers and narrowed down on a location, the next thing on the agenda should be to design the co-working space according to your customers’ needs. Co-working is all about the culture, and the decor of your co-working space should reflect its ethos.
The first thing that your new customers will notice when entering your co-working space is its interiors, so it is critical that the space reflects through its design and furnishings what its users desire from it. Since these spaces cater to a wide audience, finding the perfect balance could be a bit tricky, but a little research about general office design trends and an in-depth understanding of your customers could see you putting together a co-working space that will soon become the talk of the town.
Decide on Utilities
Based on your location and pricing, individuals looking for a co-working space will expect certain amenities and services to start with. Apart from basic utilities that facilitate work such as wireless internet, printer and copier access, phone lines, etc, the future inhabitants of your new co-working space will also expect basic kitchen/canteen facilities, coffee machines, a lounge area, etc.
As we have mentioned above, co-working is a culture and your customers are ultimately paying you for the experience. So according to the pricing of the package, be sure to provide your customers with all the facilities they need. Here’s a list of 9 basic office supplies to get you started in your quest for setting up the ultimate co-working space.
These four tips will go a long way in helping your co-working space blossom into a happy community of groundbreaking ideas and energy.
Got any more tips to share? Drop us a comment below.
For further reading, visit:
You could also check out the interview with Toby Hyam, Founder and Managing Director of property management and consultancy company Creative Space Management that operates multiple shared workspaces in the UK.
or the interview with Sammy Ben Yakoub, coordinator of Cas-co, a co-working space for artists in Leuven, Belgium.