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 to read past installments.
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. Take a close look at the existing competition as well as the requirements of potential clients to determine these opportunities and unmet needs.
To discover opportunities within the realm of coworking, start by going back to your previous research on your client base. Look into technological advances that can make coworking more practical or help to expand your offerings. In terms of lifestyle, try to determine which hours people prefer to work and what type of flexibility they are looking for. For example, 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.
Next, do some research on what people want out of their coworking spaces. Take a look at the technology and lifestyle changes that impact specifically how people work. This is as simple as looking at online advice or even asking potential workers what they want most. Now evaluate your competition and determine if you can add amenities that they simply do not offer.
Now, get creative. There are plenty of opportunites for you to differentiate yourself from other spaces, so consider multiple ways of accomplishing this while remaining within your budget and staying true to your original mission.
Do workers still sit at traditional desks or would they prefer standing desks? If so, you can build multiple types of workspaces, including those with a range of seating options, such as yoga balls and traditional desk chairs. Check whether the potential competitors in your area offer flexibile memberships. If not, you have an unmet need on your hands. You only need to figure out how to provide those flexible memberships, whether it's with different types of desks or even access to different amenities.
Additionally, take a look at demand for childcare arrangements in your area. While this will complicate your space somewhat, 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.
Now that you know what you should be offering to get a leg up in the coworking market, try to find a reasonable way to make those desires a reality. Create a budget and stick to it. Consider if you need to expand or if you can use your existing space. Move forward with scaling and growth in mind. If you've done your work beforehand, your space will only become more desirable to new and existing clients.