1. Focus on community, then space.
Research and make sure there is a demand for a coworking space. Do not assume that if you build it, customers will come. The concept of coworking is new to many people, and some need to be sold with the benefits. Consider organizing some events to measure and increase interest. Create a group on MeetUp or Facebook and invite colleagues and friends to join.
Even if you don’t have a significant demand for Coworking Labs (space), you should continue with the idea on a smaller scale. Sometimes, it requires finding a convenient place to meet a few times a month. Starting small and growing into something bigger is never a bad idea.
2. Focus on function, then business.
Coworking spaces throughout the country are widely known for being contemporary, elegant and even craftsmen: they create tremendously creative and energetic environments. This has a cost, so you should consider what to charge for participating in your space.
Of course, you should understand the investment and ongoing expenses before preparing a budget, but be honest with yourself: Is this a profit center or an inspiration center? Many coworking spaces simply operate to achieve balance, to create a fresh environment and benefit from the incredible resources of its members.
3. Focus on location, location, location.
You want a space that is convenient, safe and easy to find. By nature, coworking spaces work well in old and underutilized buildings. Look for a space that has been vacant for a while or that is not being fully utilized. You may be able to reach a good agreement with the owner or property manager to obtain an economical rental agreement.
4. Focus on utilities, then furniture.
Having a comfortable and creative environment to work is important, but the most important thing is to provide the right utilities, specifically the high-speed Internet, to its users. Work with the right utility company; Many have special arrangements for spaces intended to serve the community. If you have a limited budget, consider taking donated items and even allowing your participants to add decorations.
5. Focus on local, then beyond.
Even if your coworking space is not a profit center, you still need to market it as a business. It is important to create the right marketing strategy that attracts the right kind of people. Do not limit yourself to local advertising, as many traveling clients look for coworking spaces in the destination cities to have a place to work and establish contacts with other professionals.
6. Get local help.
Contact state and local chambers of commerce to request help or resources they can provide. Many cities also have small business development centers (SBDC) or economic development corporations (EDC) whose main objective is to provide assistance and create economic opportunities for businesses. In all cases, ask about available grants that could help you fund the initial and ongoing costs.
7. Consult veteran founders.
If you are still unsure of how to proceed, consider contacting coworking spaces in other cities that serve a similar target market and ask for advice. It is about collaboration, so most will be willing to help. You can also find a lot of information online, including the Coworking Wiki, which provides a wealth of useful information and resources to help you.