Tips

How to Start a Coworking Space: the Fullest Guide

Helga Moreno
Helga Moreno
How to Start a Coworking Space: the Fullest Guide

Coworking spaces change the way we work today. More than ever, people want to work together on their terms.

According to a study conducted by Statista, the number of coworking spaces worldwide is projected to reach nearly 42,000 by 2024.

A survey by Deskmag revealed that 71% of coworkers reported increased creativity since joining a coworking space.

The main benefits of coworking spaces include

  • Vibrant community fostering collaboration and creativity, leading to business opportunities.
  • Cost-effective solution for entrepreneurs and small businesses with flexible membership options and shared resources.
  • Efficient operation within budgets, eliminating expenses and commitments of traditional office leases.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is a Coworking Space?
  2. Setting the Foundation for Opening a Successful Coworking Space
  3. What You Need to Know About Funding and Finance
  4. Technology and Amenities
  5. Operations and Management
  6. Marketing and Community Building

For investors and business owners, opening a coworking space is an opportunity. It's a great way to monetize real estate by offering flexible contracts to clients from different backgrounds.

This guide will take you through the essential steps of opening a coworking space, from market research and location selection to designing the space and creating a sustainable business model.

What Is a Coworking Space?

A coworking space is a shared office environment where individuals and small businesses can work independently while enjoying the benefits of a collaborative setting. These spaces improve productivity, networking, and creativity and offer a flexible and affordable alternative to traditional offices.


Side note: Read more about who introduced the term, whether it is co-working or coworking, who are coworking space members, and more, here.


Examples of Successful Coworking Space Businesses

Examples of successful coworking spaces
  1. Regus: IWG is the leading coworking operator in the US, with three subsidiaries (Regus, Spaces, and HQ) among the top 10 flexible workspace brands. Regus, established in 1989, has been consistently growing its extensive presence. As the largest global operator, IWG has over 3,000 locations worldwide, including 100+ in the bustling New York City and the tri-state area.
  2. Premier Workspaces: Based in Irvine, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. They operate multiple locations with a strong presence in the Los Angeles area. The company plans to expand its portfolio by adding 100 managed shared office spaces. Premier Workspaces remains a significant player as the largest exclusively US-based company in the coworking industry.
  3. Talent Garden: Europe's largest coworking network with 23 campuses in 8 countries. They prioritize community-building by partnering with leading technology companies like Google and Cisco. Offering creative workspaces, education, corporate programs, and industry-driven events, Talent Garden connects tech talents and empowers digital communities globally.
  4. Crew Collective: A stunning 12,000 sq ft coworking space in a former Royal Bank building from the 1920s. Forbes has recognized it as one of the world's most beautiful spaces.

Coworking Space Business Model

The coworking business model includes recourses, activities, value proportions, and customer channels. Let's see what you need to analyze before starting a space.

Coworking space business model

Key Aspects of a Coworking Business Model

1. Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

To develop a unique selling proposition (USP) for your coworking space, consider these points:

  • Define your target audience: Focus on specific sectors like freelancers, small business owners, or startups to create a niche market for collaboration and idea exchange.
  • Provide a functional workspace: Offer fully equipped workspaces with shared services and a reliable internet connection to meet your audience's needs.
  • Keep it affordable: Deliver cost-effective solutions that fit within the budgets of entrepreneurs and small businesses.
  • Foster a diverse community: Encourage interaction and knowledge sharing among professionals with similar backgrounds, creating a vibrant and valuable community.
  • Facilitate connections and learning: Create opportunities for users to connect and learn from one another, boosting customer retention and the overall success of your coworking space.

2. Revenue Streams

Coworking spaces earn by selling memberships to people and businesses. You can also offer services to members, partner with local businesses, and organize paid events.

So, you need to consider:

  • your membership fees and their duration (daily, monthly, yearly)
  • additional services and their prices (meeting and conference rooms)
  • partnership opportunities (caterers, gyms, or technical equipment providers)

3. Costs

Opening space is not too expensive if you compare coworking businesses with other real estate ventures. Here's what investments you'll have to make.

  • Construction and furniture
  • IT infrastructure and software
  • Staff salaries
  • Utilities
  • Property taxes and legal work
  • Marketing and advertising

Types of Coworking Spaces

Here are the eight most common types of coworking spaces to consider:

Types of coworking spaces

1. Conventional Coworking Spaces

Conventional coworking spaces are the foundation for specialized ones. These spaces have all the essential amenities, including hot desks, dedicated desks, private offices, meeting rooms, lounges, and kitchen facilities. They target people and companies from different industries.

2. Minimalist Coworking Spaces

If you prefer a no-frills and cost-effective option, look into minimal spaces. They focus on affordability and offer basics (Wi-Fi, coffee, desks.) The main advantage is budget-friendliness.

3. Niche-Specific Spaces

Niche-specific coworking spaces cater to specific communities. They can focus on wellness, technology, entrepreneurship, or creativity.

For example, a wellness-driven coworking space could offer a yoga studio and standing. A family-centric space could provide childcare services.

4. High-End Coworking Spaces

High-end coworking spaces offer premium design, all-inclusive memberships, and private spaces. They include benefits like discounts at local restaurants or access to VIP events, gyms, and bars.

These spaces target multinational firms, client-facing businesses, and those seeking a prestigious work environment, albeit at a higher cost.

5. Coworking Spaces for Digital Nomads

Digital nomads are people who travel and work remotely. Spaces for them offer flexible usage options, charging on an hourly or daily basis.

Nomadic coworking spaces even focus on community fun activities like skateboarding, cycling, or surfing and tap into related services such as bike repairs or surfboard rentals.

6. Corporate Spaces

Professional coworking spaces appeal to businesses in traditional industries (think law or finance), where a formal image is essential.  They offer private office lounges and meeting rooms.

Traditional professions such as law firms, financial services, and consulting often gravitate towards these spaces.

7. Lifestyle Coworking

Lifestyle coworking spaces focus on work-life balance. They offer comfortable furniture, casual settings, and even meditation classes.

8. Private Workspaces

Private coworking spaces cater to professionals or businesses looking for private settings. They offer lockable doors and dedicated desks and even allow personalized corporate branding.

Some private workspaces may even provide private floors, similar to a typical office.


Side note: Ready to deeper into coworking space types? Continue reading 15 Types of Coworking Spaces You Want to Know About


Preparation: Setting the Foundation for Opening a Successful Coworking Space

Coworking Market Research

If you decide your target audience and the type of coworking, it's time to analyze the market. Here's what you definitely should research.

Coworking space market research checklist

1. Identify the Target Market

Identify the target market for your coworking space. Consider factors such as industry sectors, professional backgrounds, age groups, and specific needs of potential members. Understanding the characteristics and preferences of your target market will help you offer better services.

2. Gather Primary Data

Primary data refers to firsthand information explicitly collected for your research. There are several methods to gather preliminary data for coworking market research:

  • Surveys and Questionnaires: Make surveys to collect quantitative and qualitative data from potential customers. Focus on gathering information about their preferences, work habits, location preferences, and price sensitivity.
  • Interviews: Conduct interviews with potential customers, industry experts, and key stakeholders. Ask them if they’d like to purchase a membership. The most important feedback is from those who are willing to pay.
  • Observation: Observe how existing spaces work and pay attention to occupancy rates, amenities, and member behaviors.

3. Gather Secondary Data

Secondary data refers to information that already exists and has been collected by someone else. Looking at already available statistics is an easy way to gain insights into the coworking market. Here’s what you can look into.

  • Market Reports and Studies: Research reports, industry publications, and studies provide valuable data on market size, growth projections, trends, and competitive analysis.
  • Government and Census Data: Access government databases and census information for demographic data and information about the local business environment.
  • Competitor Analysis: Study existing coworking spaces in your target market. Analyze their offerings, pricing, amenities, target audience, and marketing strategies. This will help you understand the competitive landscape and identify gaps or opportunities.

4. Draw Conclusions and Make Decisions

Based on the data analysis, conclude the local demand, target demographics, competition, and potential locations for your coworking space. Identify the most viable market segments and target customer groups. Use the insights to make informed decisions regarding your coworking space's location, amenities, pricing, and marketing strategies.

Coworking Space Business Plan

A well-crafted business plan is essential for launching a successful coworking space. It serves as a roadmap that outlines your business's mission, vision, target market, financial projections, operational plan, marketing strategy, and risk analysis. This section will guide you through drafting a comprehensive business plan for your coworking space.

1. Executive Summary

Summarize the key elements, including the mission, vision, target market, unique value proposition, and financial projections.

2. Company Overview

  • Introduce your coworking space and its legal structure.
  • Clearly state your mission statement, which defines the purpose and values of your business.
  • Present your vision for the future, outlining the long-term goals for your space.

3. Target Market Analysis

  • Identify and describe your target customers (entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, or remote workers).
  • Talk to them online or offline to understand their needs, preferences, and pain points.
  • Explain how your coworking space will address these needs and differentiate itself from competitors.

4. Financial Projections

  • Develop a comprehensive financial forecast for your coworking space.
  • Include projected revenue, expenses, and cash flow statements for at least the first three years. Factor in membership rates, occupancy rates, average revenue per member, and any additional revenue streams, such as meeting room rentals or ancillary services.
  • Describe how you plan to fund your venture.

5. Operational Plan

  • Describe the physical layout, amenities, and services you will offer.
  • Discuss the necessary infrastructure, technology, and security measures.
  • Detail the staffing requirements, including roles, responsibilities, and hiring plans. Define your membership plans and pricing structure.

6. Marketing Strategy

  • Outline your marketing and advertising strategies, including online and offline channels.
  • Define your brand identity and positioning.
  • Develop a digital marketing plan that includes website development, content marketing, social media engagement, and search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Consider partnerships with local businesses, networking events, and community engagement to enhance visibility.

7. Risk Analysis

  • Identify and evaluate potential risks and challenges that could impact your coworking space.
  • Assess market competition, economic conditions, changing customer preferences, regulatory requirements, and risks.
  • Develop strategies to mitigate these risks and contingency plans to address unforeseen events.

8. Conclusion

Summarize the key points of your coworking space business plan, reaffirming your mission, vision, target market, financial projections, operational plan, marketing strategy, and risk analysis. Based on the information presented, emphasize your coworking space's viability and potential success.


Download a PDF template of a coworking space business plan.


Location & Design

The location and design of a coworking space play a crucial role in its success. These factors greatly impact members' overall experience and can influence their decision to join and remain a part of your community.

1. Location

Selecting the right location is vital for attracting a diverse range of members and maximizing the potential for business growth. Consider the following factors when choosing a location for your coworking space:

  • Accessibility: Ensure that the location is accessible by public transportation and has ample parking facilities. A convenient location encourages professionals from different areas to join your coworking community.
  • Proximity to Amenities: Opt for a location near restaurants, cafes, shops, gyms, and other amenities. This proximity allows members to conveniently access services and facilities, saving time and enhancing their overall experience.
  • Security: Choose a location that provides your members a safe and secure environment. Consider factors such as well-lit areas, security personnel, surveillance systems, and access control measures.
  • Local Community: Assess the surrounding community and identify if there is a vibrant ecosystem of entrepreneurs, startups, and businesses. A thriving local community can foster networking opportunities and collaborations among your members.

Example: With multiple locations across Bangkok, The Hive provides convenient access to the city's business districts, transportation networks, and lifestyle amenities. Its branches in prominent areas like Sukhumvit and Silom cater to the diverse needs of professionals, entrepreneurs, and startups in one of Southeast Asia's most dynamic cities.

The Hive, coworking space Bangkok

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/Chlg2oAsOcT/?hl=en

2. Design

The design of your coworking space plays a pivotal role in creating an engaging and productive environment. Here are some design considerations to keep in mind:

  • Layout: Design an open and flexible layout that encourages interaction, collaboration, and networking among members. Incorporate communal areas, breakout spaces, and meeting rooms that can be easily reconfigured to accommodate different group sizes and activities.
  • Workstations: Provide a mix of workstations that cater to various preferences, including hot desks, dedicated desks, private offices, and comfortable lounge areas. Consider ergonomic furniture and provide ample power outlets and high-speed internet connectivity throughout the space.
  • Amenities: Offer amenities that enhance the experience of your members. These may include well-equipped meeting rooms, phone booths for private calls, a communal kitchen or café area, printing and scanning facilities, and high-quality audio-visual equipment for presentations and events.
  • Natural Light and Green Spaces: Incorporate ample natural light into the design of your coworking space. Well-lit spaces contribute to a positive atmosphere and increased productivity. Create green spaces or incorporate plants and greenery to provide a refreshing and calming environment.
  • Acoustics: Implement soundproofing measures to minimize distractions and ensure a comfortable working environment. Consider using acoustic panels, carpets, and sound-absorbing materials to reduce noise and maintain privacy.
  • Branding and Ambiance: Create a cohesive brand identity through thoughtful interior design and branding elements. Use color schemes, furniture, artwork, and signage that align with your brand and create a welcoming and inspiring ambiance.

Example: Mindspace in Tel Aviv is celebrated for its chic and trendy design across its coworking locations worldwide. In Tel Aviv, their spaces reflect the city's vibrant and eclectic atmosphere. Combining contemporary and industrial design elements, including exposed brick walls, stylish furnishings, and vibrant artwork, Mindspace creates a visually appealing and dynamic workspace for entrepreneurs and creatives.


Recommended read:


Legalities and Compliance

When establishing a coworking space, navigating the legal and regulatory landscape is crucial to ensure compliance and mitigate potential risks. Here are some key considerations and requirements for starting a coworking space.

Legalities and compliance of starting a coworking space

1. Create a set of internal policies

Every business benefits from a set of rules for employees and customers, and coworking spaces are no exception.

To create a positive work environment for people of different professions, consider crucial factors contributing to a space that boosts productivity and makes members happy.

Look up policies on noise regulations, liability guidelines, security protocols, visitor policies, pet regulations, sexual harassment policies, late payment procedures, and a code of conduct.


Side note: What rules of etiquette should be followed in a coworking space? Read here.


2. Choose a legal structure for your business

Consider whether it makes sense to register a limited liability company or opt for a sole proprietorship. Analyze your capital, risks, and liabilities to determine the best legal form for your coworking business.

If you choose a limited liability company, draft a founders' agreement that outlines potential situations founders may encounter and how to resolve them.

3. Obtain permits

Research and obtain any local licenses required to set up a coworking space. Be sure to check if you need to meet technical requirements related to fire protection, alarm systems, emergency exits, and accessibility.

You must obtain the appropriate permits if you're building a coworking space from scratch or remodeling an existing space.

4. Register your business activity

Ensure you register your business activity accurately, mentioning office-related matters, space renting, and any social events or educational workshops you plan to host.

5. Get business insurance

Insurance is essential for a coworking business. Look for providers that provide coworking or office spaces services, and understand the market.

Be careful with customer contracts - emphasize that freelancers and members need their insurance and should have liability coverage for personal injury and property damage.

6. Develop a comprehensive contract

Create a contract that encompasses all the services your space provides, outlines renewal and termination terms, specifies the parties' responsibilities, describes payment terms and methods, and addresses confidentiality and insurance policies.

Please note that the legal and regulatory requirements for starting a coworking space may vary within each country and can change over time. It is advisable to consult with local legal professionals, accountants, or business advisors familiar with your jurisdiction's specific regulations to ensure compliance and adherence to all applicable laws.

What You Need to Know About Funding and Finance

When considering the financial aspects of starting and running a coworking space, it's essential to understand the revenue streams and profitability potential.

According to the Global Coworking Survey, profitable coworking spaces often have at least 200+ members and have been operational for over a year.

However, it's important to note that many coworking spaces operate at break-even or even at a loss.

The primary revenue streams for coworking spaces are membership fees and desk rentals. Membership fees, which can be monthly, quarterly, or annual, provide coworkers access to amenities and typically contribute around 80% of the total revenue.

A diagram of coworking space revenue streams

Beyond membership fees and desk rentals, coworking spaces can explore additional revenue streams to enhance profitability:

  • Renting Conference and Meeting Rooms: Along with including these spaces in membership fees, you can offer them as a separate service.
  • Virtual Offices: if you have a good location, monetize that by offering a virtual office. You’ll need to manage mail for businesses and do some administrative work.
  • Events and Workshops: Coworking spaces can host workshops, training sessions, or networking events, providing an opportunity to promote products and services to members and external participants for a fee.

To understand the financial performance of coworking spaces, it's crucial to consider factors such as the size of the space, building rent, number of staff, and total members.

According to industry data, the average annual revenue of a coworking space is around $505,200, with profit margins typically hovering around 10%.

Coworking spaces take around 12-16 months to break even.

The break-even point is the revenue needed to cover fixed costs, such as rent, staff salaries, marketing, and utilities.

How much does it cost to start a coworking space?

This section will delve into the expenses of starting a coworking space and provide a breakdown of the estimated costs.

Startup Cost Calculator
Startup Cost
Amount
Equipment & Office Furniture
Building Refurbishment
Connectivity Setup
License
Legal Fees
Insurance
Total
$94,000-$126,500

Startup Costs Breakdown

  1. Equipment & Office Furniture: Setting up a coworking space means investing in desks, workstations, chairs, storage units, and other necessary office furniture. On average, the cost for 100 desks and 20 workstations ranges from $65,000.
  2. Building Refurbishment: Depending on your space, you might need to pay for renovations, interior modifications, painting, flooring, and creating functional spaces for coworking activities. The refurbishment cost typically ranges from $20,000 to $50,000.
  3. Connectivity Setup: A reliable internet connection and network infrastructure is crucial for a coworking space. The cost for connectivity setup, including routers, switches, cabling, and installation, generally falls between $500 and $1,000.
  4. License: Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits to operate a coworking space is essential. The cost for a business license can range around $500, but it could vary based on local regulations.
  5. Legal Fees: Seeking legal advice and assistance during the setup process is recommended. Legal fees can include incorporating the business, drafting contracts, reviewing lease agreements, and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations. The estimated cost for legal fees ranges from $2,000 to $4,000.
  6. Insurance: Acquiring comprehensive coverage is crucial to protecting your coworking space from potential risks and liabilities. The annual cost for insurance can vary but is typically around $6,000.

Total Startup Cost

Considering the factors above, the estimated cost to start a 3,000-square-foot coworking space with 100 desks falls from $94,000 to $126,500. It is important to note that these figures serve as a general guideline and can vary based on specific circumstances and location.

Calculations

Now that we have estimated the startup costs involved in launching a coworking space, it is crucial to evaluate the financial aspects to determine whether investing in or starting a coworking business is a sound decision from a purely economic standpoint.

By examining the potential profits and return on investment (ROI) over a month or year, we can gain valuable insights into the financial feasibility of the venture.

Let's consider an example where our coworking space with 100 desks generates $40,000 in monthly sales, resulting in a 10% profit margin at scale. The annual profits would amount to $48,000 (after deducting all expenses).

Now, let's explore the potential return on investment over five years using the assumption of $48,000 in yearly profits. With $240,000 in earnings over five years compared to the startup costs of $126,500 (using the high-end estimate), the calculations yield the following:

  • 1.53x Payback: Over the five years, you make 1.53 times your initial investment (the startup costs).
  • 25% Return on Investment (ROI) over Five Years: Using a 10% discount rate to factor in the time value of money, the ROI is calculated as 25%.

This is a very simplified breakdown and only gives you a general idea of what to expect.

Funding options

When it comes to starting and managing a coworking space, securing adequate funding is a crucial step. Various funding options are available, each with its advantages and considerations. In addition, effective financial management, budgeting, and a well-defined pricing strategy are essential for the long-term success of your coworking business. Let's explore these aspects in more detail:

Funding options for coworking space business startup
  • Self-funding: The easiest way to fund your business is by using personal savings and assets. Self-funding gives you complete control over your business.
  • Loans: Although this option comes with risks, many owners consider applying for loans. However, you must be confident in your business plan and find potential customers willing to pay.
  • Investors: If you are considering pitching your space to investors, you need a good business plan. You should prove that your venture has a chance to turn a considerable profit.
  • Crowdfunding: this method is a bit out of the box, but it’s a great way to mitigate financial risks. Your backers will be your first clients, meaning crowdfunding is also a great way of testing the market.

Technology and Amenities

You'll need technology and amenities to make the space comfortable, so here's what you should prioritize.

Essential Technology

Essential technology at a coworking space

1. Advanced Building Access

Coworking space owners and administrators no longer need to register every visitor personally. Access control offers automation and security and prevents human errors. So, it’s no longer a question of whether you need an access control system - just which one to pick.

  • Diverse Entry Options: Offer many keyless entry options like RFID access cards or smartphone access.
  • Prioritize Convenience and Efficiency: Ensure the access control system provides a smooth experience for members. They should be able to enter the workspace effortlessly and immediately.
  • Emphasize Security Measures: Select an access control system vendor that prioritizes security. Look for features like encryption, two-factor authentication, and advanced access protocols to protect the workspace and member data.
  • Integration Capabilities: Consider an access control system that seamlessly integrates with other coworking management software or building systems. This enables centralized management, simplifies administration, and automates access control processes.

Here are a few examples of reputable access control system vendors for coworking spaces:

  • Kisi: Kisi offers cloud-based access control solutions with various access methods, including smartphone-based entry. They provide comprehensive security features and easy integration with other systems.
  • Salto Systems: Salto Systems provides reliable and scalable access control solutions, offering smart card and keyless entry options. Their systems are known for their advanced security features and flexibility.
  • Brivo: Brivo offers cloud-based access control systems for easy management and monitoring of coworking space access. Their platform integrates with different entry methods, providing convenience for members.

2. Uninterrupted Power Supply

To create a productive environment, coworking spaces need a reliable power supply. Having a backup power source such as DGU or UPS backup generator can ensure uninterrupted productivity for members, leading to increased satisfaction and productivity.

3. Fast and Reliable Internet Connection

A stable Internet is given for any coworking space. Here are some key steps to enhance your internet infrastructure:

  • Invest in a Wired Network: A comprehensive wired network provides a stable and reliable internet connection, surpassing the limitations of Wi-Fi alone. This investment ensures consistent connectivity for all members.
  • Segment the Network: Splitting your network into segments allows for better security and bandwidth control. Customize restrictions and resource allocation based on members' needs, optimizing the network performance.
  • Shared Wi-Fi for Building: Implement a shared Wi-Fi network for short-term members, visitors, and meetings, without compromising the security and reliability of long-term members. This balances convenience and network integrity.

4. Conference Room Bookings

Elevate your coworking space with technology-driven solutions.

  • Implement an automated booking system, allowing members to reserve conference rooms and get instant confirmations effortlessly.
  • Enhance meetings with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and digital screens. Tablets at the entrance can serve as digital concierges, providing information on room availability and optimizing the member experience.
Discover why hundreds of coworking spaces around the globe choose andcards software to streamline their processes and improve customer satisfaction.

5. Digital Payment Systems

Efficient billing and seamless transactions are key in coworking spaces. Incorporating technology-enabled payment systems is essential for a hassle-free experience.

With an automated payment system, users can easily pay for online desk or meeting room bookings, saving time and automating revenue. Say goodbye to no-show bookings and improve overall user satisfaction.

Consider global options like Stripe and PayPal for easy integration and user trust when choosing a payment system. Another option is to explore local payment options that offer affordability and better localization.

6. Management Software and User App

Utilizing coworking space management software streamlines day-to-day operations and improves customer service. This software enables efficient space utilization tracking, invoicing and payment management, community engagement, and automation of routine tasks. Additionally, offering a user app provides a centralized hub for customers to access services, reserve desks and rooms, and engage with the community.

andcards coworking space management software

andcards coworking space management software - web and mobile apps

7. Connected Printers and Scanners

Printers are crucial amenities in coworking spaces, catering to members' business needs. By connecting modern printers to the intranet, users can conveniently print without the hassle of additional installations. Administrators gain better control by implementing print limits, monitoring statistics, and determining the cost per page, ensuring efficient printer usage.


Side Note: Discover how cloud technology can optimize printing in your coworking space.


8. HVAC System

The comfort of your coworking space members is paramount to their productivity and satisfaction. An advanced HVAC system is crucial in maintaining optimal thermal comfort and ventilation. By creating a pleasant and well-regulated working environment, members can focus better, collaborate efficiently, and thrive professionally.

Moreover, investing in a high-quality HVAC system improves member experience and leads to significant cost savings. Modern HVAC systems are designed to be energy-efficient, which means reduced utility bills and a greener environmental footprint for your coworking space. You can foster a thriving and sustainable workspace by prioritizing member comfort and smart energy consumption.


Recommended read: 8 Not So Obvious Technological Needs You Want to Have at Your Coworking Space


Must-Have Amenities

Must have amenities at a coworking space
  1. Parking: Sufficient parking space alleviates commuting stress and accommodates members' vehicles.
  2. Coffee, beverages, and snacks: On-site refreshments to keep members energized and foster a sense of community.
  3. Conference Rooms: Well-equipped rooms for hosting webinars, networking events, and client meetings.
  4. Meeting Rooms: Private meeting spaces with appropriate furnishings and equipment for seamless discussions.
  5. Phone Booths/Call Areas: Private spaces for confidential phone calls and focused conversations.
  6. Functional Kitchen/Eating Area/Cafeteria: Well-designed and well-stocked areas for members to enjoy meals and breaks.
  7. Mail Service: Convenient mail delivery service for members to send and receive physical objects.
  8. Wellness Rooms: Restful spaces where members can relax and recharge during their workday.
  9. Front Desk: Friendly and knowledgeable staff to welcome visitors, handle inquiries, and provide assistance.
  10. Gym: Collaborating with local fitness centers or providing on-site gym facilities to promote a healthy lifestyle.
  11. Game Zone: Creating recreational areas with games and activities to encourage relaxation and social interaction.
  12. Shower: Offering shower facilities for members who use gym facilities or need to freshen up during the day.

Remember that must-have technologies and amenities may vary from space to space. It depends on your target audience's needs and preferences.

Operations and Management

Managing a coworking space involves several essential aspects. Here are some key strategies and practices for effective coworking space management:

  1. Let Vision Guide You: Remember the vision and mission of your coworking space. Cater to your target audience and the community you want to build. This will help guide your decisions and shape the overall atmosphere and culture of the space.
  2. Put Community First: Creating a strong and supportive community is crucial for the success of a coworking space. Foster a collaborative environment by organizing events, workshops, and networking opportunities for members to connect and engage with each other. Encourage communication and interaction among members to create a sense of belonging.
  3. Hire the Right People: Assemble a dedicated and capable team to support the operations and management of the coworking space. Look for customer-oriented individuals, have excellent communication skills, and are passionate about fostering a thriving community. Provide proper training to ensure they understand the vision and values of the space.
  4. Provide Flexible Membership Options: Offer a range of membership plans and pricing options to accommodate the diverse needs of your target audience. This includes daily passes, part-time and full-time memberships, and even dedicated office spaces. Flexibility in membership terms allows businesses and individuals to adapt to changing circumstances and ensures a steady revenue stream.
  5. Focus on Excellent Service: Provide exceptional customer service to members. Ensure staff members are attentive, responsive, and helpful in addressing concerns or issues. Regularly gather feedback from members and consider their suggestions for continuous improvement. You can use free CRM platforms to facilitate your communication with members or customers.
  6. Maintain a Well-Designed Space: Create a functional and aesthetically pleasing environment that promotes productivity and collaboration. Consider comfortable seating, good lighting, ergonomic workstations, reliable internet connectivity, and well-equipped meeting rooms. And, of course, regularly assess and improve the space.
  7. Embrace Technology: Use coworking management software to automate administrative tasks such as membership registration, billing, and room bookings. Provide members convenient access to online platforms for communication, event scheduling, and resource sharing.
  8. Foster Partnerships: Collaborate with local businesses, organizations, and service providers to offer additional benefits to your members. This can include partnerships for discounted services, educational workshops, or promotional events. Building a network of partners expands the resources available to your members and strengthens the overall ecosystem of your coworking space.
  9. Regularly Evaluate and Adapt: Continuously assess the performance and impact of your coworking space. Collect data on member satisfaction, occupancy rates, and financial performance. Use this information to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to meet the evolving needs of your target audience.

Several major roles contribute to its successful management and operation in a coworking space. Here are some of the key roles you'll typically find in a coworking space:

Major roles at a coworking space
  • Community Manager: Responsible for creating a vibrant community, fostering connections among members, organizing events, and addressing member inquiries and concerns.
  • Operations Manager: Oversees day-to-day operations, including administrative tasks, membership onboarding, facility maintenance, and managing service providers.
  • Membership and Sales Manager: Focuses on attracting new members, handling inquiries, providing tours, managing memberships, and developing strategies for community growth.
  • Facility and IT Support: Manages the physical workspace, handles procurement and maintenance of equipment and amenities, and provides technical support for IT infrastructure.
  • Marketing and Partnerships Manager: Promotes the coworking space, manages marketing efforts, builds partnerships with external businesses, and explores sponsorship opportunities.

Marketing and Community Building

Marketing and community building are two vital pillars of a coworking space's success.

A strong marketing strategy helps create awareness, generate leads, and position your coworking space effectively in a competitive market. Simultaneously, a thriving community enhances member satisfaction, promotes word-of-mouth referrals, and cultivates an inspiring atmosphere.

Coworking space marketing strategy

1. Online Presence

In today's digital age, establishing a strong online presence is crucial for the success of your coworking space. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  • Professional Website: Create a visually appealing and user-friendly website that showcases your coworking space's unique features, amenities, and membership options. Ensure that your website provides clear contact information and a straightforward booking process.
Landing page on andcards coworking space software

The landing page delivered in a package with andcards coworking space management software.


Pro tip: You can save a lot of time and money using a pre-built landing page offered by a coworking space management vendor.


  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Optimize your website with relevant keywords, meta tags, and quality content to improve its visibility on search engine results pages. Consider local SEO techniques to attract individuals and businesses in your area.
  • Social Media Engagement: Leverage popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to engage with your target audience. Share updates, promote events, and highlight the benefits of joining your coworking community. Encourage members to share their experiences and tag your space on social media. Make use of tools like Planoly or Planable to help you plan and execute your strategy.
  • Content Marketing: Develop a content strategy that provides valuable insights and information related to coworking, entrepreneurship, productivity, and work-life balance. Create blog posts, videos, or podcasts to position your coworking space as a thought leader and attract organic traffic to your website. Once you get customers on your website, you can capture their information and use email marketing to market and sell your products and services to them.

2. Offline Marketing Strategies

While online marketing is essential, offline strategies can also generate awareness and attract potential members. Consider the following approaches:

  • Networking Events: Host regular networking events, workshops, or seminars that align with the interests of your target audience. Invite industry experts or guest speakers to share valuable insights, creating opportunities for professionals to connect and exchange ideas.
  • Cross-Promotion with Local Businesses: Collaborate with local businesses, such as cafés, restaurants, fitness studios, or professional service providers. Offer exclusive discounts or benefits to their customers and, in turn, promote their services to your coworking members.
  • Community Involvement: Participate in local community events, sponsor relevant conferences or trade shows, and support charitable initiatives.
  • Print Collateral: Design and distribute visually appealing brochures, flyers, or business cards in strategic locations frequented by professionals in your target audience.

3. Referral Programs and Partnerships

Word-of-mouth marketing can be compelling in attracting new members to your coworking space. Consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Referral Programs: Create a referral program that rewards current members for bringing in new members. Offer incentives such as discounted membership fees, free meeting room hours, or exclusive event access.
  • Partnerships with Complementary Businesses: Identify local businesses that align with your coworking space's values and target audience. Form partnerships to offer mutual benefits. For example, collaborate with nearby cafés to provide discounts on food and beverages or partner with fitness studios to offer discounted gym memberships.

4. Community Engagement

Building a vibrant and connected community is at the heart of a successful coworking space. Here's how you can foster a sense of community among your members:

  • Member Events and Activities: Organize regular events, workshops, and seminars that cater to your members' interests and professional development needs. This can include networking sessions, skill-sharing workshops, guest speaker sessions, or social gatherings. Encourage members to participate and contribute ideas for events actively.
  • Collaboration and Networking: Create opportunities for collaboration and networking within your coworking space. Design the layout and common areas to facilitate spontaneous interactions. To encourage member collaboration, consider organizing member-led initiatives such as skill-sharing sessions or mentorship programs.
  • Online Community Platforms: Establish an online platform, such as a dedicated community forum, a social networking group, or an in-app community feed, where members can connect, share resources, and seek collaboration opportunities. Encourage members to engage with one another, share knowledge and experiences, and create a sense of belonging.
Community feed on andcards coworking space software

Community feed on andcards coworking space app

  • Feedback and Suggestions: Provide channels for members to offer feedback and suggestions about the coworking space. This can be through regular surveys, suggestion boxes, dedicated email addresses, or support tools. Actively listen to member input and implement meaningful changes based on their feedback to enhance their experience.
Member support on andcards coworking space management software

Member support system on andcards coworking software

5. Testimonials and Reviews

Positive testimonials and reviews from satisfied members can significantly boost your coworking space's credibility and attract potential members. Consider these strategies:

  • Collecting Testimonials: Reach out to satisfied members and request testimonials highlighting their positive experiences, the benefits they've gained, and how your coworking space has supported their professional growth. Feature these testimonials on your website, social media channels, and promotional materials.
  • Online Reviews: Encourage members to leave reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, or specialized coworking directories. Positive reviews can improve your online reputation and increase your visibility to potential members. Make it easy for members to provide reviews by sending follow-up emails with links to review platforms.

Recommended read: 11 Effective Tactics to Turn Coworking Members into Workspace Advocates


6. Tracking and Measuring Results

To gauge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and community-building initiatives, employ the following strategies:

  • Analytics Tools: Utilize website analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, to track website traffic, conversion rates, and user behavior. Monitor social media metrics to understand engagement levels and reach. These insights help you measure the impact of your marketing campaigns and make data-driven decisions.
  • Evaluation and Adjustment: Regularly assess the performance of different marketing strategies and community-building initiatives. Analyze the data to identify successful approaches and areas for improvement. Adjust your marketing efforts accordingly to optimize your results and enhance member satisfaction.

FAQ

1. How to open a coworking space?

To open a coworking space, you should:

  1. Conduct thorough market research and create a business plan.
  2. Find a suitable location, design the space, and ensure legal compliance.
  3. Secure funding through personal investment or loans.
  4. Set up essential technology and amenities.
  5. Establish efficient operations and management systems.
  6. Implement a strong marketing strategy and focus on community building.

2. Why open a coworking space?

Start a coworking space to:

  1. Build a creative, vibrant community and facilitate knowledge sharing.
  2. Provide maximum flexibility at affordable prices for freelancers and professionals.
  3. Tap into the growing demand for flexible workspaces and generate a good return on investment.
  4. Utilize your interior design expertise to create visually appealing and comfortable workspaces.
  5. Capitalize on the current trends and opportunities in the coworking industry.

3. How much does it cost to start a coworking space?

To start a 3,000-square-foot coworking space with 100 desks, the estimated cost is $94,000 to $126,500. However, it's important to note that these figures are a general guideline and can vary based on location, renovations, technology infrastructure, furniture quality, and additional amenities. 4. How much time does it take to open a coworking space?

The timeline to open a coworking space can vary depending on location, renovations, legal requirements, and the project's complexity. Generally, it can take a few months to a year or more.

To Take Away

Opening a coworking space offers an exciting opportunity to build a thriving community and provide professionals with a flexible work environment. As you embark on this journey, it's essential to consider the significant benefits of implementing coworking space management software from day one. Not only can this software streamline your operations and prevent costly mistakes, but it will also help keep your community together. With features facilitating member communication, event management, and resource booking, the software ensures seamless interactions and enhances the sense of belonging within your coworking space.

Sign up for a demo call with one of our product experts today to experience the power of efficient coworking space management and foster a strong community. Discover how our software can elevate your coworking space and create an exceptional experience for your members.

Keep Reading

Get inspiring coworking stories in your mailbox

Delivered twice a month, unsubscribe any time.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

First Name
Email
By submitting this newsletter request, I consent to andcards sending me marketing communication via email. I may opt out at any time. View andcards Privacy Policy.

Save time and deliver exceptional customer service.

Try andcards coworking space platform for free.