Setting up a coworking space isn’t easy. To be successful, it’s crucial to be aware of the hidden revenue streams beyond the renting of office space and implementing an infrastructure that will allow these revenues to flow in. In this short article, we look at how setting up a coworking space correctly can bring in big revenues. We also look at performance optimising techniques and how labour intensive processes can be automated through great ideas and smart technology.
It can be surprisingly simple to leverage on new and existing infrastructure in order to conceive new member offerings. Getting the infrastructure right for this at set up stage can save big bucks. Most all operators already provide some form of virtual office but there is much more to offer in the line of extra services. These include, day offices, lounge opportunities membership programmes, semi-private spaces, club lounges and third party meeting room use. Each are capable of generating lucrative revenue streams when implemented correctly.
When setting up your coworking space, consider at first one or two new products in the light of your location and profile and then create a strategy for implementation and marketing. Research your competition and market to get a guide on the rates you should be achieving. If it doesn’t take first time, tweak the offering and continue to iterate until it works.
Meeting Room Bundles
When you’re planning your coworking space, consider what your meeting room would achieve if it were full all the time! Well, strategic planning can help this goal. In particular, the offering of meeting room bundles is a great revenue booster for the sole reason that very few members will use their full monthly complement. Try it. The best time to offer bundles it is at move in stage. Consider 10 hour monthly bundles at 25% discount. Consider also a marketing campaign for third party meeting room users as it’s a great way to introduce new members to your space.
Opportunities within the Client Cycle
As the business needs of your clients change, there will be opportunities to provide new products and services. Think about what a growing business needs and then consider what services will be required along the way. Examples include additional and part time staff, expansion space to 3 or 4 person private offices, a greater meeting use requirement, use of your location events space and increased reliance on your spaces’ internal networking and community. Keep these in mind when you are setting up your coworking space.
Examine the opportunities that present at the various stages of your client’s business lifecycle and how best to market these and convert to sales and incorporate these into your business plan.
With the right technology it’s possible now to automate many of the day to day operational tasks and boost revenues. Here are some of our favourites:
Want to know who is on site and when? Use wifi to ascertain who is in the building, for how long and what bandwidth they are using. Offer enhanced broadband packages to specialised and heavy bandwidth users. Consider charging for extra devices over a minimum quota. Allow clients to roam around your building from their suite, to the meeting room to the terrace. Use wifi check-in to eliminate turnstiles and reception check-in.
Door access control
A coworking space will need to be set up with traffic in mind so door access is crucial. But opportunities also present themselves, particularly for meeting room use. Access Fob’s will identify entrances and exits to the room which can be used as a back up to your online booking facility. It also facilitates after hours revenue if you are considering that service. Implementing door access control at your front door can also as free up the reception desk for other tasks.
IP (Internet Protocol) locks are becoming more popular. They allow real time access code generation which can be emailed to a smart phone and are considered by some as the way to develop unsupervised and out of hours meeting room use services.
Meeting Room Technology
Wireless lap-top-to-display-screen access and mobile-device-to-display-screen is our favorite meeting room gimmick and clients love it. You can do this by directing your clients to a webpage and downloading small piece of software.
Data & Voice Revenues
Data and voice can be significantly leveraged by implementing varying layers of service. Once size fits all is no longer appropriate. Consider bundle implementation, stacked and pay as you go charging. Speak to your service provider about discounts. Use your existing phone system which may already have have bells and whistles such as voice mail to email, find me follow me and call pick up. Consider adding these on as optional services.
Shore Up Revenue Leakage
Examine your licence agreements and contract documents. Check how they addresses roll over clauses & notice periods. Get proactive on upcoming licence expirations and work to eliminate void periods. Find out early on if there is an appetite for renewal and if not, allow sufficient time to market, tour and re-sell the space before departing members leave.