Coworking is the future of real estate. It has become a movement around the world, where many entrepreneurs, startups, freelancers etc. prefer to work out of shared office space to build their community/ network and also make use of the amenities that come with it. Many entrepreneurs want to be a part of this movement and have started giving out their free space to other companies or masters to work out of. For a person working out of a Coworking space, every day is a networking event. The immense opportunity it gives to collaborate and co-work with people within and across the industry is the new vogue in the market.
Many entrepreneurs/ startup founders may wonder how to start and run a Coworking space, this blog will give you a few pointers to keep in mind while doing so. Coworking spaces- the idea seems exciting but there are a series of things one has to consider like capital, the model of the business, recovery plan for the money invested by the investors and many others. Below mentioned are few factors to keep in mind while starting the Coworking space but firstly have your vision and mission ready before you start the basic steps.
Guide on how to start a Coworking space
- Form a Company– Firstly form a Company for your Coworking business and complete all the legal formalities with the ROC.
- Plan the finances– Know how much capital should be invested in this venture. How to raise the capital, How to recover the money invested by the investors, the financial model of the business etc.
- Build a team– Start a team exclusively for your Coworking space, people who would do market research and every other step coming along your way.
- Location– A prominent and convenient location is necessary to make your workspace stand out from the rest of the competitors. Most members and employees would prefer an accessible location which is closer to their business opportunities. So again, keep in mind the target members you have in mind! Once you have shortlisted the location, you can hire a broker/ agent who would look out for properties in the area on behalf of you. Consider if the property is within your financial budget. Visit the properties a few times and also visit existing Coworking spaces before finalizing on the property. In Coworking space, space is one of the main ingredients, so you don’t want to compromise on that.
- Buy/ Lease/ Franchise the Property– Once the property has been selected, finish the legal and paperwork asap. Get your lawyer to review the legal documents. Based on your rapport with the landlord, decide if you want to buy the property or lease it out.
- Engineer, Architect and Designer– This is one of the most exciting steps in the whole process. Get an engineer to review the building, remember- you don’t want a faulty building or premises. Hire an architect or interior designer who would make the office the way the market wants it these days-members are the king since Coworking is your business! An office space where everyone wants to come work out of every day is the biggest plus for your business. Make sure the design is vibrant, quirky and bright with basic amenities like meeting rooms, pantry, break out areas etc. Furnished offices are the necessities of office space in the current scenario.
- Network– Meanwhile network within and outside the community. Be a crowd puller, have a presentation ready with the renders. Understand what the community wants and why your space is best suitable for them. You want a couple of members already hooked on before starting it full-fledged.
- Hire your full team– You should roll in people from various backgrounds to do the field work for you. From finance to sales and hospitality, be diligent in who you hire! Hire an IT personnel who can set up WIFI and firewall at the centres. Get your operations team on board and with their help finalize the vendor for your various needs at the workspace.
- Start the Marketing process– Get people to be aware of your new venture. Let your marketing team come up with a catchy name and ensure that the branding is in place, then market the same- suggested ways would be Radio ads, Coming soon banners at prominent places, distribution of fliers, hosting events and the most important point-digital marketing, people basically live on the internet these days so no better way to bring this to their attention.
- Test run and Launch the space– Have a test run of the property done before the launch date and then finally launch the property with the guest list filled with who’s who of various industries.
These are a few of the factors one has to keep in mind to start and be a part of the century’s biggest office space trend. Coworking spaces are flexible and well-managed office spaces. As per a report by CBRE, flexible space operators to rise from about 5.4 million sq.ft. in 2018 to about 7-9 million sq.ft. by 2020.
The next blog will give you pointers on how to run a successful Coworking space and to make a place for yourself and your business in the revolutionary movement.
A CA final student chasing her passion and finding her place in the marketing field.
As a marketing intern, she manages content writing, digital marketing and events at BHIVE Workspace.