Although the trend of coworking spaces seems to be growing without limit, many spaces still have failed. Some of the coworking space fail incidents are due to a lack of planning or advertising, while others tried to open in a location that was already overcrowded or where there was no demand. Many big names have dozens if not hundreds of locations around the world, and there are just as many individually owned coworking spaces. However, not all who have jumped on the coworking bandwagon have succeeded. Take a look at some of the failures to see what you can learn from them.
Consider that Shopify enjoys great success as an E-commerce platform, you may be surprized to hear it has a coworking space failure in the past. Shopify rented a space in New York City and found residents to spend three months there. While residents learned a lot, Shopify failed because, by its own admission, it did not have all the right elements of a coworking space.
CoworkBuffalo will be officially closed as of Nov. 2, 2018. This was a unique project, as the co-founders worked on it part-time and during off-hours. This company’s closure times with the end of its lease, as it simply doesn’t make sense for it to stay in business.
Several years ago, Beach Desks closed, even with plenty of interest in the coworking space. The problem for this coworking space was a combination of factors, including that one of the co-founders traveled too much as part of his other job and another co-founder was also working hard at another job. As these were the core members, no one was able to dedicate enough time to the space.
Summit was a very popular coworking community within San Francisco, but it could not keep up with the financial demands. That space closed due to lack of funding even with its large number of members.
CAMP was the first coworking space in Omaha and served as home to 13 different businesses during its time. It closed relatively soon after opening, however, even with hosting a range of events. The reasoning behind the closure was that the entrepreneur behind the space could not afford it.
Taking a look at some of those coworking space fail examples, you can learn what to avoid when running your space. One of the common themes is that the management team of a failed space is not fully dedicated to the project. Instead, they view it as a side job to supplement their other activities. To improve your chances of success, make the coworking space your primary focus, or have at least one member of the management team that is fully dedicated to the project without another job as a distraction.
The actual environment of your coworking space is also crucial. It must be in a location that is accessible and in a city with demand. The building itself must be in good condition and have parking. Similarly, the layout of the space requires thought and planning, including what amenities to provide members.