Thriving In Smaller Markets
The number of coworking spaces have been constantly growing, making it more important than ever to ensure that your coworking space stands out from the usual. In our October coworking new spaces analysis, there were 238 new coworking space openings, with 46.2 percent of those being new businesses as opposed to expansions from existing ones. With such rapid growth in the industry, you will not get members to your space unless you figure out ways of differentiating coworking space offerings.
One of the best ways to have your coworking space stand out is to choose the location wisely. If your city has all the spaces concentrated in a certain area, put it on the other side of the city. Or plan your space to be right next to several types of public transportation. Or consider standing out by placing it by the airport to appeal to business travelers.
While most coworking spaces now have phone booths, this is still not always the case. Help your space stand out by including phone booths that also double as video/Skype booths. Ensure they are soundproof to minimize distractions, and offer good lighting for video conferences. Most coworking spaces offer some sort of meeting spaces, but this is typically limited to just enough space for four or maybe eight people. While 10-person meeting rooms are more common, those that have enough meeting space for 20 or 25 people are rare and typically limited to larger coworking companies. Consider including a multipurpose space that can fit this need to stand out.
Wifi is something offices often overlook, but is the most important thing a needs. Without good, running Wifi, your entire space stops running. Invest in a good Wifi provider and your members will not only be amazed by its speed but will want to keep staying.
One of the things that help with differentiating coworking space offerings is the types of seating options. Almost all will have desks of some sort, but most also have some other seating options, such as couches. You can stand out with unique desks, such as standing desks or treadmill desks, or other seating options, such as beanbag chairs or hammocks. If you opt for nontraditional seating options, consider offering portable lap desks for convenience, as well.
While many coworking spaces let members use their address or phone number, this is still not a given. Including address and phone services can give you a strong advantage over other coworking spaces and you can even offer them as virtual coworking services. For an extra incentive, let members know you accept package deliveries, as well.
Think about what items you will find in a typical office and ensure that you provide these things to your members. Offering essentials, such as paper, sticky notes, envelopes, folders, pens, and paperclips, will help you draw in members who know they will not have to worry about the small stuff. No one wants to be in an office that constantly runs out of printing paper.
While some people work best inside, others do their best work with natural air and sunlight. Help your coworking space stand out by including an outdoor work area in addition to the indoor ones, if possible. This can be a balcony, courtyard, or rooftop. Ensure there is plenty of seating in this outdoor space.
You can also help your space stand out by offering services that will appeal to a specific niche. Maybe offer a plotter in addition to your normal printer or offer a 3-D printer. If you want to appeal to working parents, offer childcare. No matter your niche, you can offer services that fit that industry.
If you can find partners in the local community, this can also help your coworking space stand out. Maybe you can work out a deal where your members get discounts at a local café or better cab rates.
Differentiate your coworking space from others by cultivating a community feeling. Encourage collaboration and host events. Take the time to get to know members and arrange activities.
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