Running Coworking Business at Scale (Software Solutions for Multi-Location Enterprises)

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Coworking business is on the rise today. More owners than ever venture to open coworking locations across the world. Are you one of them? See no evil in your desire to grow and develop.

"Every soldier carries a marshal's baton in his pack."

-- Napoleon

The progress is always a kind of struggle, so it's natural to face the challenges along the way. Let's discuss some of the key points every expanding coworking business wants to consider.

Why Open New Coworking Locations?

Every coworking business has its own considerations as to opening new locations. Here is my top five. Please contribute to this list in the comments in case I miss something important.

How to Open a New Coworking Location

The easiest way is to start small and expand your coworking business to another floor. This is a no-risk win-win solution as you already proved the demand in this location.

If it's impossible to expand within the same building, you need to make in-depth research of human traffic and the vicinity for candidate locations.

Things to Consider

Below goes the list of items that should be on your checklist when you are going to enlarge your coworking business.

Proximity to transport hubs. Keep closer to large metro stations and avenues with bus lanes as all these are sources of human traffic. People are lazy, nobody wants to walk inside a city block. You may use a good workspace expansion rule - to be located within 500m walk from the metro station or to be located on a front line of the avenue. This significantly boosts your chances to enjoy intense human traffic flow.

The abundance of café and restaurants. People like to eat, they need food, they go out for lunch. Not everything can be delivered by Uber Eats. If you want to attract people to your new location, make sure there are delicious attractions nearby. You can go even further, build partnerships with those cafes and restaurants, make a benefit catalog with member-only discounts, helping them get more customers and increasing your membership value at the same time.

Availability of reliable infrastructure. High-speed internet is an absolute super-duper must for a coworking space. You can’t offer an old school coax cable. It has to be future-proof fiber optics, preferably 1Gbps.

In addition to the internet, make sure the building is equipped with a great access control system which can integrate with your coworking software to automate coworking access control.

Finally, all other basic supplies such as electricity, water, and heating should be in place.

Tip: go to other floors and talk to the people who live/work there. Often they’ll tell you real picture, which landlord tried to hide.

Validate Demand Before You Start

Think of every new coworking space branch as a startup. Before you take a huge loan or invest money, you must ensure it’s lucrative. Design a nice website showcasing your value proposition with sign up form and offer a hefty discount for those who sign up within 30 days. Not only you’ll pre-sell your workspace, but also double-check there’s enough demand.

Only if demand is validated, then go ahead with interior design and construction. If form sign-ups didn’t meet your expectations, go back to the research phase and find a better location.

Tips for Managers Running Multiple Coworking Locations

Here you will find a few quick tips that will make running your coworking empire enjoyable.

Marketing Your Multiple Locations Coworking

You may own the fanciest coworking spaces in the world but the utmost goal always stays the same. You need to monetize your business, otherwise, it makes no sense. Your revenue is the most accurate success gauge.

To make all of your workspaces profitable you need to market them.

Multiple coworking spaces of your network may be located in different areas within a market or within different cities altogether. Anyway, each of your rooms requires a unique marketing approach.

Use all conventional marketing tools to promote your coworkings, i.e.:

All these are critical for high-power marketing strategy.

Please mind that the audience of every hub is different, so you need to create separate member personas in order not to waste time and money trying to sell your services to the wrong audience. Tailoring your marketing strategies, narrowing the scope you are actually cutting the path to profitability.

How to Avoid Cannibalization

One of the pitfalls of running multiple coworking spaces is the temptation of cloning them. When you have a thriving coworking space the easiest way is to open a number of identical workspaces. Yet, this is a trap. If the spaces within one city are identical, they will compete with each other.

One day you will be disappointed to find out that you are not earning more money picking up your business, you are just transferring revenue from one location to another.

Don't create competitors within your brand network making them devour each other. The only remedy from cannibalization is uniqueness. Every space must have its inimitable face and charm. It may be special layout and decor, particular membership type, location at underserved part of town. Every space must be independent otherwise members will simply pick the closest to their home coworking as it's the fastest and the most convenient choice.

I don't recommend you to be excessively obsessed with aesthetics, infrastructure, and overall look and feel of the new locations and abandon the first coworking space, as it's the place of your power where everything starts. Always keep your first site modern, fresh, updated, tech-driven, and eye-catching. That space brought you in a position where operating multiple coworking spaces stopped to be a dreamboat, so don’t disappoint your loyal members and don't give them the reason to leave.

Takeaways

I hope this article was helpful for sketching up a kind of business growth outline. Now you know that the best time to branch is now when the demand exceeds the offer. You have a checklist of things to consider when choosing a new location for a workspace, running and marketing it.

Have more questions? Please throw them my way. Want to add something to my tips? The comments section is all yours. Please don't forget to share this blog post with your friends.

Our team wishes you to succeed in scaling up your coworking business!

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