Here's How To Find Out Market Opportunities and Unmet Needs
This is the last installment of our ‘Can Coworking Spaces Be Profitable?’ blog post series, where we discuss topics like how to find industry statistics, determine cost drivers, conduct competitor analysis and more. Scroll down for past installments -- we have seven in total!
An important aspect of determining whether a coworking business is right for you is figuring out whether you have something useful to contribute to the market. Essentially, are there opportunities within the industry that you can take care of? Are there needs that the current coworking businesses do not meet? Take a close look at the existing competition as well as the requirements of potential clients to determine these opportunities and unmet needs.
Opportunities within the Coworking Industry
To discover opportunities within the realm of coworking, start by going back to your previous research as to the latest trends in the market to confirm that the industry is truly growing. Now, you can take a look at specific opportunities where you can get into coworking and take advantage of this growth and increased demand.
Research what technological advances are currently taking place that make coworking more practical or expand your options. Do the same with lifestyle changes. In terms of lifestyle changes, see what hours people prefer to work and what type of flexibility they are looking for. You might be able to edge into the coworking business by offering a space with flexible hours instead of the typical 9-to-5 routine.
Or take a look at the technology and lifestyle changes that impact specifically how people work, whether in an office or a coworking space. Do they still sit at traditional desks or is there a move toward standing desks? Are there opportunities for coworking businesses with multiple types of workspaces, including those with a range of seating options, such as yoga balls and traditional desk chairs?
Needs Current Competitors Do Not Meet
Next, do some research on what people want out of their coworking spaces. This is simple enough as looking at the advice those online give to others for selecting a coworking space. For example, if you see suggestions that you choose a coworking space with a range of desk and seating options, evaluate the offerings from the competition. If the current competition in your city only has traditional desks or incredibly soft seating options, there might be an unmet need for spaces with movable desks that can be used standing or sitting.
Looking through these advice columns, you might see that many people want coworking spaces with flexible memberships. Check whether the potential competitors in your area offer flexibility. If not, you have an unmet need on your hands that leads to opportunities. Then, you just need to figure out how to provide those flexible memberships, whether it is a punch card based on times a person uses the space, unlimited access, or something else.
Additionally, take a look at childcare arrangements from coworking spaces and whether there is a demand for this in your area. While this will complicate your space somewhat with a requirement for childcare providers and a designated area with toys, potentially even a daycare license, you might be able to charge a premium that makes it worth it. To find even more potential unmet needs in your area, go back to those suggestions from one coworking space user to another of what to look for. This will give you access to a long list of potentially unmet needs in just minutes.