Thriving In Smaller Markets
A coworking community manager is often the beating heart behind your coworking space. They are the ones who lead marketing efforts to bring in new members, as well as influencers and mentors who can put on workshops and seminars to help your members get better at what they do.
However, with the growth in coworking hitting record levels, the demand for good coworking managers is growing, meaning it’s going to get harder to recruit top talent; or, for those who already have an all-star manager, it will becoming increasingly challenging to keep them on board.
Because of this, it’s important to keep your coworking manager happy. This will not only keep them around longer, but it will also make it easier for them to create an environment that people enjoy and flock to, meaning more members and a more successful coworking business.
Here are three ways that will help you keep your coworking manager happy.
Your coworking manager is responsible for growing your space’s brand, increasing membership and also building a community among members. And while some of this can be done cheaply and/or easily, to really make an impact, you need to give your managers some tools to grow.
Start by setting aside a budget for both marketing and events. You need your managers tapping into the various communities of digital nomads and other remote workers so that they can convince them to come and work at your space; yet, for your space to be successful, you need to work to create a sense of community. This means organizing social events and other non-work-related activities for people to do so that they can get to know each other in a non-professional setting.
But for these events to work, you’ll want to provide food and drinks, bring in speakers or other entertainment, put on movies, etc. And all of this costs money. If your coworking manager feels as though getting funds for marketing and events is a struggle, then they’ll soon get frustrated, and maybe even pessimistic about the future of the space, which will make them unhappy and much more likely to leave.
A coworking manager already wears lots of hats, from marketing and event planning to member services and IT support. In the beginning, this is okay, as your space will be small and it will be easy for one person to do many different things.
However, as your space grows, it will be harder and harder for your manager to perform all of these tasks well enough to please members. As a result, you’ll need to start thinking about expanding your staff. And to make sure your manager doesn’t also turn into an HR generalist, consider outsourcing the recruiting and onboarding procedures to a professional employer organization. This way, your manager can continue to focus on what they do best and also bring in some help so that your coworking space can continue to function as it grows.
In many ways, your coworking manager will be one of the things that makes your space unique. The events they plan, the way they organize the space and the manner in which they interact with guests will all contribute to the overall vibe of the space, and ultimately to its success.
To keep them happy, it’s important you let them exercise some autonomy over how the place runs, making sure they have the chance to put their own personal touch on things. Perhaps, in the beginning, you’ll want to have them run things by you, but don’t be afraid to let them try out some new ideas. If they don’t work, it’ll be a learning experience for both parties.
Micromanaging your managers can only turn out poorly. If they don’t feel as though they have sufficient opportunity to be themselves and to make the space at least somewhat a reflection of their personality, then you can expect them to start looking for spaces that will value this aspect of who they are. Prevent this from happening by giving your coworking manager the creative freedom they need to make your space flourish.
In the end, the goal is to make your members happy so that they will continue to be members and also spread the word about your space. You coworking manager is the one who will create this environment, so to make sure your members are pleased, keep this all-important staff member happy by following the tips discussed here.
About the Author:
Jock is the founder of Digital Exits, an online brokerage service specializing in the buying/selling and appraisal of online businesses. He started working remotely when he was 19 and started his first business, jumping in on the coworking scene right from the beginning. In fact, when he was first starting out, he managed a coworking space in exchange for discounted membership fees, and he loved the experience so much that he is now a committed advocate of coworking and the many benefits it provides.
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