Running a successful business means finding the intersection between what your customer needs and wants, and what you can provide. If you want to attract more members to your coworking space, you need to do a bit of searching to find that point of intersection. Even as a business, you can't please everyone, and understanding that is the first step to establishing a direction for your coworking space. Doing a little research will help you understand what to focus on, and how to form a strategy around building your space.
Here, we provide you a list of questions you can use to start with. And even if your coworking space is already operating, you can use this to reevaluate where you're at, make tweaks to your current strategy, and evolve as a business.
1. Where am I?
Location is one of the most important, if not the most important, factors affecting your coworking space marketing strategy. Think about it: you're offering a physical space that, hopefully, your members will be going to nearly everyday. Location will decide what types of people or businesses are most likely to be interested in your space, who your competition is, and what kind of community you'd be able to build.
Is the space safe and accessible?
If you're still deciding on where to establish your space, consider accessibility, as well as safety and security. How easily can your members get to your space? Is it near public transport? Is it in an area generally considered safe?
Even if you've already established your location, think about how your space can improve with regard to those factors. Can you set up a carpooling scheme within your community? Is there a transportation company you can partner with to provide rides or privileges to your members?
What kind of community lives in the area?
Next would be the profile of the area you're in. Are you set up in a CBD, where companies, big and small, as well as entrepreneurs and freelancers often intersect? Are you in a university area filled with students looking for a place to study and do their group projects? Or is your area often full of business travelers or digital nomads? Identify what kind of community already exists in your area. This gives you an idea what their lifestyles are like, and how you'll fit into that.
What are the nearby landmarks?
What other facilities are available near your coworking space? Identify any nearby landmarks that help define the area and the community: where would the locals be found hanging out the most? What landmarks are business travelers in the area most attracted to? Leverage on these landmarks when choosing the exact location, promoting the space, and scoping out potential partners.
2. Who is my community?
The most successful businesses are built for and around the people they serve. What you offer as a business must be a response to their needs and must easily fit into a person's goals and everyday life. As a coworking operator, properly defining a target market is key.
What is their demographic profile?
Take a look at demographics first: your potential member's age, marital status, income level all give you a hint as to what their current needs and wants in an office space are. Are you hoping to cater to millennial startups? College thesis groups? Big corporates with diverse teams? All of these groups would have different requirements and expectations in a space.
The same is true for company demographics. Knowing the industries you'd like to attract, the company sizes, the company's age or stage of maturity would be very useful in planning out how to position your space in the market.
What is a typical work day like?
Habits and routines shape the way your customers live and work. Being able to fit seamlessly into those routines are key to getting loyal customers. Are your target customers often setting up meetings with clients? Or would their employees want plenty of space and privacy to think? This could help you determine the amenities and even the layout of the work space you'll be building, among other things.
Why do they do what they do? What are their goals?
What motivates them? How do they define success? Understanding the driving forces behind what your target market does—whether they be small entrepreneurs or big businesses—will help you position yourself with a product that helps them achieve their goals. Not only will this define how you build your space; this will also define how you build your community: what kinds of events and other perks would you offer them as members? What sort of messaging in your promotions would your target audiences relate to the most?
3. What is the coworking industry like in my area?
This is how you'll determine where your coworking space fits in with the rest of the industry. Understand what other local coworking spaces do and how they cater to the needs of their community. On a macro level, see the direction coworking is going in your area, in your city, or even in the whole region to identify opportunities.
Read also: Flexible Workspace Report 2019
How much does your community know about coworking?
More mature markets like Singapore find coworking and flexible workspace the norm. For some other cities, there may still be a greater need to generate awareness. Is your local community familiar with coworking? Have they experienced coworking in other spaces? Use this information to determine your next moves: whether to increase awareness in the market, or to differentiate yourself from everyone else.
What are the other coworking spaces in your area?
Speaking of competition: get to know other, similar spaces in your area. What kind of community do they cater to? What do people like about them? What do they dislike? Most importantly, what's missing? Any gaps in the local industry are your opportunity: use them to create your unique selling point. This is what helps you stand out.
What is the coworking industry like in your city, country, or in your region?
Take a look at the big picture. Being aware of the current position of the coworking industry and its trends is a big advantage. As the flexible workspace industry evolves, your own space—big or small—needs to be able to ride the wave.
Putting it all together
There are many more questions you can ask to dig deep and determine what kind of space you should build. But the most important part of this process is learning how to put it all together. Once you're able to define your target market, and identify where you are physically and in the market, you should be able to build a cohesive strategy (think: Product, Price, Place, Promotion) to grow your community.
Want a helping hand?
FlySpaces has made it its mission to help flexible workspace businesses grow their communities. Turn to our Space Experts to help you set up your coworking space and start getting more leads! Find out how you can list your space on our website for FREE.