Membership Management at a Coworking Space
What are the most common routines you need to deal with every day at your coworking space? They are probably membership management and meeting room bookings. We have already discussed how to automate the latter. This article is aimed at optimizing the process of managing your members.
Here is a brief list of challenges every coworking owner/manager face:
- Knowing what's available: which seats are vacant and could be sold.
- Keeping all customer information organized in one central location.
- Invoicing customers regularly and getting them to pay by an invoice.
- Tracking whether members have paid for services.
- Tracking bookings and free hour usage.
- Enabling member access to space.
Have I missed anything? You can add your points in the comments. And now we are going to check out how andcards helps fully automate and minimize tedious routine work for you.
Membership Plan Availability
Every time a client shows up at the door of your coworking space, you need to check which seats/rooms are available. If the coworking space is really small and you are the only person running it, you can probably just memorize it. However, in most cases, this is not a solution.
It's better not to fully rely on memory. A human brain works similar to the computer but it gets distracted easily. Sometimes we are too happy to be concentrated, sometimes sad or anxious. Your business must not depend on your mood, health, emotions, etc. I am sure you got the message.
Let's view a couple of common ways to free the entrepreneur's brain from extra information.
The Good Old Excel Table
The most common solution is to have an excel file with a list of plans and keep a track of membership plans there. This is good because it is free, but this requires a lot of manual work to be done.
- Doesn't require any additional software to be installed.
- Excel tables could quickly get complicated and outdated.
- Information about membership plans is separated from actual members.
- Everything must be done manually.
Modern Membership Management App
Management app helps to organize all membership subscriptions in a simple way
There are existing solutions available on the market to help solve this problem, however, in many cases, they are really complicated. The andcards membership system is a great option for you. It is free and automates all the routines. It focuses on coworking spaces and helps automate jogtrot, instead of just providing a management tool.
Here are some major advantages you get with the software.
- Free to use membership directory.
- Clean interface and thoughtful user experience.
- Automation of key tasks: member joining, booking, invoicing, and payments.
- Easy access to history and statistics. Understanding how members use the space is crucial to making them happy.
- Fully functional mobile apps allow managers to oversee members on the go.
- Possibility of integration with access control systems.
- You tell us. If you find any flaws in the coworking space management software, please let us know!
Keeping an Organized Member Directory
One very important aspect of coworking community management is keeping an organized membership directory. At first glance, it looks like a trivial task that wouldn't require anything more complex than a simple spreadsheet. If you look closer, though, there is something we call the "snowball effect" — accumulating work due to accumulating member count. Sure, if you have just 10 members, you can even use a notepad to keep a track of their memberships. But what if you have hundreds? Then you'll need a system that will help you to:
- Invite and keep all members in a single directory.
- View members' plans: start date, price, free hour credits.
- Get meeting room booking history to understand how members use the space. If members don't use the free hours you give them, perhaps it's time to engage with them more actively.
- Know the payment status, history, and previous invoices.
Membership directory helps managers to see everything at a glance
Systems like andcards have a built-in member management directory with all of the above features in conjunction with membership plans.
Depending on the country, sending and storing invoices may be required by a government. Special attention to that should be given in Europe. For example, in Poland, it is mandatory to store invoices for 10 years!
Coworking software usually allows the manager to generate invoices automatically every month and reminds members to pay. Coupled with a payment system, a huge green "Pay" button will definitely help reduce each member’s effort to pay.
Payments for a coworking membership have been a growing theme recently. There are several ways of receiving payments from your customers:
- Bank transfers
- POS terminal at the front desk
- In-app online payments
This old-school way is probably the most labor-intensive.
- Low fees (usually free).
- You'll have to chase and continuously remind members to transfer the money.
- High effort: members need to go ask their bank to transfer the money (online or by visiting a branch).
- Not regular, as you can't charge their account remotely.
- Administrators need to manually check whether everyone paid and use a special membership management system to track that.
For some countries, like South Korea, it is a common practice to have a point-of-sale terminal at the front desk.
- Moderate fees (usually <1%)
- Members can pay anytime for any provided service.
- You'll have to physically meet a member to collect payment.
- Lots of manual tracking and checking similar to bank transfers.
- Terminals could be unreliable, often don't have a signal or break.
If you're stuck using bank transfers or a POS terminal, you can easily track payment status using coworking software like andcards.
This is the simplest way to handle payments for both administrators and members.
- Administrators are freed from manually collecting payments — members can pay directly by themselves. Admins don't have to be there for members to pay.
- Payments are charged instantly with zero effort.
- Payments are charged automatically, in the same way as regular subscriptions like Netflix.
- Information is automatically passed to the membership management system, so no need to track anything manually.
- App automatically reminds members to pay for unpaid invoices.
- Automatic "paid" status integrated with an access control system allows for full business automation.
- No admin involvement means a lower human error, fewer returns, and fewer losses.
- Relatively higher fees (usually 2-4%).
The benefits of in-app payments far outweigh all cons, so more and more coworking spaces are deciding to integrate payments.
If you are one of the open-minded entrepreneurs who got used to utilize only the most innovative technologies, the above info will significantly improve users' experience at your space and free some time for community manager which they can use for improving the quality of rendered services and encouraging collaboration.
How do you manage membership? What software do you use for that? Is it dedicated coworking software or a spreadsheet? Please share your know-how with the community.