How To Set Up a Coworking Space

Setting up a new coworking space ? Wondering where to start?  We could write a book but for this post, we’ve summed up the core areas.

Set yourself up for success by following these essential guidelines:-

Feasibility Study

You should prepare a market and feasibility study designed to provide comprehensive data, analysis and investigation which will allow you to verify the merits of the proposed location. The study could include the following:-

• Supply and demand for workspace product in the chosen location
• Competitive research analysis and benchmarking within your local and regional area.
• Projected seat and desk occupancy rates
• Expected client profile (permanent, day use, lounge, hot-desk, virtual, event)

Space Design, lighting & furnishing

You should fit out the space to a high specification and in accordance with your target membership market. The design should provide choice and facilitate different types of work (e.g shared desk, break out/chill space, “heads down” task space, and somewhere to make a phone call and take meetings – (small meetings [2- 8 people] can take place in space from 9 to 12 m2). Add some standing desks which are now popular.

The space should foster serendipitous interaction between the members, be open, fluid and easy to move through. Invest in good quality chairs. Noise reduction materials should be utilized and attention should be placed on access and traffic flows around the space. Consider furniture that can be easily moved around to allow different uses.

list_coworkingdenvergreenspacesAwesome Photo is of Green Spaces in Denver

Member Management Software

The setting up, building and staff training of a member management platform. Areas include:-

• Creation of space profile
• Creation of memberships price plans, development and structuring.
• Setting up of online sign-ups
• Setting up of online payments
• Creation of Invoicing structure.
• Meeting room reservation set up
• CRM Set up
• Client lead development set up
• Integration with your Wifi and door access control and printing

Development of Operational Protocols

The creation and development of operational and protocol manuals for day-to-day management, operational structuring, planning and staff training as well as strategies for revenue optimisation. Areas include:-

• Centre Manager/Community Manager role and responsibilities
• Assistant Centre/Community Manager role and responsibilities
• Support Staff Role and Responsibilities
• Member Move In Procedural Checklist
• Member Move out Procedural Checklist
• Post/Mail Services Protocol
• Virtual Office Service Protocol
• Tailored Membership Agreement – resident member
• Tailored Membership Agreement – virtual
• Credit Control Policy and Templates
• Move out upsell to virtual or third party user templates
• Meeting Room Management Protocol
• Client Dispute Resolution Procedure
• Touring Procedures, Meet and Greet Protocol, Best Practice for Conversion and Real Time Sales Opportunities

Fit Out

As regards the fit out, particular attention should be placed on availability of electrical power sockets at all work areas as well as data cabling and floor boxes for on desk Voip phones and any cabled broadband requirements such as for meeting room. Meeting room cabling for presentations also need to be considered. Consider also the installation of lockers where members can store their items overnight.

Meeting Room Infrastructure

Your meeting room should be presentation ready with white board, and on screen presentation options for compatibility with Mac, PC and mobile device as well as conference call facilities and or virtual meeting facilities (if required). Room temperature control is also preferred.

Meeting Room Door Access control

You should consider fitting the meeting room door(s) and entrance door with door access control with a reporting facility. For the meeting room, door access control will allow you to charge or monitor unreserved meeting room use and it will assist with security and monitoring for out of hours memberships.

Cameras

You should consider installing cameras within the space, at the entrance and exits and at the external door of the meeting room(s) for both security, monitoring and billing disputes.

Printing, Scanning & Copying

You should install wifi printing, scanning (with scan to email) and copying facilities with a reporting facility for usage / billing should you wish to charge for printing.

Staffing

You will need a space manager /community manager to operate the business and deal with day to day operational issues such as member set up, touring, member assistance and growing of your community. Security and cleaning staff will also be required and managed. Depending on the number of members and on your preferences, book keeping and credit control tasks can be performed by the space manager as can marketing tasks in conjunction with the marketing and branding agent.

Broadband supply & Wifi

You will need a reliable ISP and a managed broadband network with resilient Wifi whereby you can control access to the wifi, manage memberships and devices, set up teams and private networks, facilitate guest wifi logins, manage and control bandwidth availability and deal with bespoke member requirements.

Phones

We would recommend that a voice option be provided to your members. You will need a Voip phone provider who can provide Voip and handsets at short notice for your members with reporting and billing facility and ensure that same is compatible with your broadband supply to the space.

Branding & Marketing

You’ll need a branding and marketing agent to brand, market and promote your new business and manage your social media platforms, email newsletters and digital and offline marketing. You will also need professional photos of the finished space. A video is also recommended.

Website

You’ll need a web designer/developer to create a bespoke website in accordance with your branding which will allow for real time tour reservations and integration with the member management software.

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