Author Topic: starting a small co-working space  (Read 240 times)

bluewater

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starting a small co-working space
« on: February 05, 2019, 09:52:45 AM »
TLDR: how does one garner interest for a local co-working space before actually signing a lease, building out a space, etc?

There has been a thread or two regarding co-working spaces after MMM got his up and running.  I think based on scratching my own itch of wanting an inexpensive spot (<$200) to hunker down and work from a few times a week my growing town might have a need.  Nearest true co-working spots are 30-45min away (we-work type spots with open areas, conference access, break room, etc.).  Currently there are a couple mom and pop type executive office suites with 20-30 small private offices that for the most part run at what I've observed to be near 100% occupancy with wait lists.  I was in one of these but the cost, while reasonable (about $350/month including internet) they had really no vibe or shared desk spaces for freelancers.  Catered mostly to independent attorneys, insurance agents, etc. 

I think the market might be too small for a franchise co working company to come in but I think the numbers could work if I were to operate this as a small business.  FYI, commerical rents in the area run around $15/sq foot. 

How does one start a venture like this?  I'm thinking a space like this could use a couple anchor tenants with private offices and then have a number of inexpensive memberships for drop in's. 

Any ideas on starting a type of presale list?  Facebooks/Google ads to collect potentially interested freelancers?  Simple landing page type website with an artist rendering of the type of space I'm going for? 

FreelanceToFreedom

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Re: starting a small co-working space
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2019, 12:30:02 PM »
One thought would be to find an existing business with a reasonable number of employees that either needs to move office space, or has too much space in their existing office.

This way you could potentially partner with them in some way. You would manage the office, rent out coworking spaces, etc. and they would either get some cash for their unused space, or get a good deal on rent for their team's office.

I've seen this work well in my town. A ~10 person marketing company got an office space big enough for ~40+ people, and used it as a coworking space. They got a few "anchor" tenants in addition to their own team, and at that point only had to rent out a handful of hot desks to be profitable.

bluewater

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Re: starting a small co-working space
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 01:11:55 PM »
Good idea, thanks FreelanceToFreedom!  Sounds like that would depend on getting a lead/head's up from someone.  Maybe network with commercial realtors?  Not sure how else I'd start to proactively identify such companies.

I'm not adverse to spending a few hundred bucks to somehow advertise and have some type of pre-sale of sorts to gauge demand.  I would however like to do so in such a way that indicates the space doesn't exist but rather forming a community of sorts first.