How to Reopen a Coworking Space After COVID-19 Crisis
While a lot of countries are still fighting to subdue the coronavirus COVID-19, we finally started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
First of all, people do recover from coronavirus disease.
Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson returned home to the US from Australia in late March after recovering from coronavirus.
Secondly, countries are containing the spread of Covid-19.
Singapore managed to contain the spread of the virus by acting fast, without imposing the draconian measures seen in China.
Thirdly, doctors all over the world are working on a cure and achieve certain success.
In China and Japan, doctors have had promising results using blood plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 to treat newly infected patients. The technique could also be used to boost the immunity of people who are at risk of catching the disease.
Big countries like the US, are entering the peak of the pandemic which means that we can anticipate the infection recession.
All the above signs tell us that shortly governments will let people resume their normal lives. So, it's time to prepare for coworking spaces to reopen and welcome members back.
It will be easier for you to restart your business if you followed crisis management recommendations and maintained community spirit. Besides, I this article, am going to supply you with actionable tips and new business models that will help you increase revenue in the post-crisis market.
Understand that Coworking Economy Will Change After COVID-19
Coworking operators know that coronavirus crisis will end, however, it would be naively to expect that life will go back to how it was before the pandemic. At present we have both health and economy impaired by the disease, so we need to admit that this crisis will change the world economy, international trade, and society.
The positive moments are woken up social solidarity, a greater sense of nation, the need to be supportive, participate in charity programs, and perform the higher social mission. Coworking spaces can help their residents with all these points.
Though, businesses and individual entrepreneurs will need some time to renew their income as the Covid19 crisis has drained their resources. What's more, companies adopted work-from-home models and won't hurry back to the offices where they need to pay rent. Besides, people will be concerned about possible disease recurrence.
This means you will need to review your pricing policy, target audience, and marketing strategies to put your coworing center back on rails.
Alternative Ways of Getting Revenue for Coworking Spaces
The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are threatening but I suggest you view them as positive challenges that will force you to be creative and inventive in search of unique deals that will turn the table of the outbreak for you and your tenants. Reassess your services and craft new solutions and alternative business models to prevent the possibility of another virus outbreak and address the urgent needs of your community.
- Develop virtual coworking plans.
Virtual coworking subscriptions are the way to go in time of the post-crisis recession. The price of the plan will be affordable as members don't come to the workplace. Still, they will have their virtual office rented, get virtual mail services, and enjoy the coworking perks such as business curation, IT support, access to online educational resources, participation in online community events (yoga classes, online breakfasts), Zoom conferences, etc.
Introduce paused membership or roll over the unused days to the next months for residents who purchased the subscription but were not able to use all the paid days due to coronavirus quarantine restrictions.
Offer discounts to new and current members to make subscriptions more affordable especially to those who are ready to buy 6 month and yearly membership. This will help you build cash balances.
Make your subscriptions easy to cancel. This will be a good relaxing argument for hesitant uncertain customers.
Prepare branded gift bags for loyal customers that are ready to close the new deal with your hub along with those who are likely to drop off. This is a good way to cheer up the fading community flame in a person. BTW, gift bags preparation is a good opportunity to partner with local businesses/suppliers.
Arrange back to work party for members. Here you need to be careful about the format of the event and follow all valid sanitary rules not to expose people to the risk.
Support your tenants. You can help them sell their services with a discount via your coworking space management software. If you are using andcards, you can include those offers in your benefits catalog and allow members to apply for discount coupons.
Reshape your marketing strategies.
First of all, if you started to pay more attention to the digital marketing of your coworking network, continue the winning practice. After the coronavirus crisis, the subtle borderline between virtual and real life will become even more inconspicuous. So, continue to write and share blog articles, shoot videos, record podcasts, in a word, use all available digital marketing channels to promote your coworking brand.
Next, market to companies that are reluctant to renew traditional leases due to uncertainty. Approach them with your innovative offers.
Market to corporates. Companies have adjusted to remote work and see that their employees can stay productive even when they don't spend the full day at the office. You can offer corporate prospectives irresistible deals where they can relocate their teams to coworking spaces, which will increase their productivity even more, make them happier (thanks to the community vibe) and healthier. And the best thing is that a private office membership will be more than affordable compared to the traditional office.
- Continue to digitalize your coworking space.
Nobody doubts now that automation and digitalization is the future. If you still don't have a coworking space management software that allows remote bookings via classy mobile apps on members' smartphones, grab it asap.
Remember that the COVID-19 pandemic changed our behavior and way of thinking. A member will prefer to avoid coming to the reception just to reserve a meeting room. You must provide them with another, close contact-free option.
Learn your quarantine lessons and start to utilize coworking community communication tools to maintain engagement, facilitate community building, and prevent isolation/loneliness of your members.
Besides, the workspace management system will let you automate a bunch of tedious tasks (from customer management, communication and support to payment and even printing), which is also important as technology efficiently reduces human working hours and saves you some cash.
- Contact your corporate clients and ask if they want to reschedule meetings canceled due to the Covid-19 quarantine. You need to be proactive and restore friendly and business relationships yourself instead of waiting for the customers to do it.
- Introduce student memberships for university students that are taking online classes. A lot of educational facilities transferred to remote studies. It will take some time while they invite students back to classrooms. Anyway, the demand for online learning is likely to grow, so I guess these packages make sense.
- Offer single-person rentals of meeting rooms for virtual meetings. You can offer video conferencing solutions acquired during the quarantine to make those meetings outstanding. I am sure that online meetings that experience a popularity peak during coronavirus pandemic won't lose their positions after the isolation repeal.
- Nurture partnerships with local businesses established during the hardest times and don't miss new opportunities. For example, you can assist entrepreneurs by including additional services by food delivery companies.
- Be ready that your coworking center won't be full at once, some premises will still be empty. Think about how to use them for different business needs. For example, you can turn them into storage.
Prioritize Members' Health Even More than Before
Covid19 has taught us many lessons. Now you know how to make your coworking space a safer place for residents and stop the spread of any virus. Simple things can save many lives, so even after reopening your coworking locations, it's worth to stick to the common-sense rules you have already got used to.
- Keep your coworking space clean and hygienic.
- Regularly wipe with disinfectant all surfaces and objects frequently touched by members and employees.
- Put sanitizing hand rub dispensers in places where members can easily reach them.
- Take care of respiratory hygiene by ventilating the workplace.
- Provide surgical masks for anyone who develops respiratory symptoms and encourage them to work from home while they are sick (apply paused membership and rollover days).
- Offer fresh fruit, healthy snacks, vitamin beverages to members to strengthen their immune system.
I hope you find the above tips on restarting a coworking business helpful and highly encourage to check out the Coworking Experts Round-up: How to Run a Business after COVID-19 for more valuable advice from industry influencers.
Each day it becomes more obvious that the Covid-19 storm will pass and the sun will shine on a different world. If you want your coworking business to thrive in the post-crisis world, you need to adjust your services to the urgent entrepreneurs' needs, consider tapping new audiences, and come up with flexible coworking solutions.
Do you have any predictions of how the situation with coronavirus is going to evolve in the coming months? Maybe you are ready to share your guidance and directions to get through challenging reopen time? Feel free to post them in the comments.
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