Ramping up a new coworking space is just like starting a startup. How about we use the same questions to plan a coworking business that tech startups use? Here is a checklist and if anyone is interested here is a link to WeWork’s early investor deck.
If you are looking for some quick tipps for creating your coworking space here you go.
Let’s dive in the checklist into how business questions you should ask yourself when planning to open a coworking space:
- What is your vision?
Why do you want to open the new space? To make a living? To cross-finance your own startup? To create a big coworking chain? To help your local community? All valid answers but it highly defines the entire strategy. Here is WeWork’s vision for example.
- What type of problem exists that you are solving?
Are you in an area that has a high demand for workspace? Is there no real coworking space in your area?
- What type of coworking space are you?
Would you consider your space as a premium facility in the market or rather an affordable solution for freelancers?
- Business opportunity
- If the space is fully leased, how many desks can you charge? Rule of thumb is 60% usable sqft of your entire space while desks take 30-40sqft (source)
- How much revenue can your space generate? Here you’d need to calculate the number of hot desks vs the number of permanent desks
- How do you expect your ramp up to look like? Check our very own coworking ramp up calculator here.
- What is your business goal?
- Break even after X months
- Generate $X of revenue
- How do you plan to reach those? i.e. how many desks do you need to rent in what time and what type of turnover do you assume?
- How does your team look like?
- Why do you have an unfair advantage over others to open the space? Do you already have 50 people who’d like to join? Did you get a good lease on prime real estate? Are you a real estate developer turned coworker?
- Who will be managing the technology? Are you planning to bring someone in-house, work with an outside services firm or be lean and do it yourself?
- Who will be managing the operations? In-house, outsource or yourself?
- What is the investment needed?
- Set up cost, plenty of including cost for infrastructure like routers, internet, the lease itself, downpayment, renovation, furniture, utilities etc.
- Ongoing operations cost: Cost for software to run the space, ongoing maintenance, salaries, etc
- Opening cost: Market your launch event, plan your event and invite all your friends to kick things off
- Expected revenue going forward each month
Here is a good resource by Alex Hillman on how much it cost to start a coworking space.