If you’re thinking about investing in a shared office space, then one of the worries you might have is how open collaborative workspaces can attract clients that will stay long-term. After all, open collaborative workspaces are sometimes used by people who only need a workspace for a short period of time, whether it’s freelancers who are looking to save some money by working from home instead or startups who move on to rent their own office space.
Some people may even move on after finding a better shared office space. Fortunately, you can use the following strategies to avoid constantly losing and having to replace clients in a shared office space.
1. Create a Healthy Office Environment
The last thing your clients will want is a shared collaborative workspace that looks exactly like the prototypical office space. This means that you should avoid lining your shared office with gray cubicles and using low-quality lighting to light the space.
Instead, focus on designing a workspace that provides workers with privacy without making it feel cramped. Use high-quality lighting and introduce as much natural light as possible to prevent building sickness, thereby allowing workers to be as productive as possible. You should even consider decorating to give the space some personality, even if it’s just by using houseplants throughout the space.
2. Offer Contract Flexibility
You should have various tiers of contracts available for your clients, such as one-month to one-year. To attract more long-term clients, consider making the longer contracts a better deal overall.
For example, make it so that the longer a person stays, the more money they save. You should also include more services into longer contracts. For example, you could offer free parking spots to anyone that signs a one-year contract as opposed to a one-month contract.
3. Offer the Use of Facilities
Your shared office space should offer more than just a desk and an Internet connection. The more facilities you have to offer, the more likely you are to attract clients who will stay instead of switching to a competing shared office space.
Some of the facilities that you should offer include conference rooms, a full-equipped kitchen, a break room, wireless Internet, printing capabilities, locker space, a whiteboard, a lounge area and more. You may even want to go the extra yard and include something like a ping pong table or a dart board in the lounge area.
4. Offer 24-Hour Access
If you limit access hours to your shared office space, you’re going to frustrate certain workers. Freelancers often work odd hours and startups tend to work long hours. If they can only get in from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM, they’re going to try and find a different shared office space as soon as possible.
5. Avoid Hidden Costs
Nobody likes feeling cheated, and that’s exactly what your clients will feel like if you have hidden costs in your contracts. For example, forcing clients to pay a fee in order to use the conference room. Make sure that if there are fees for using any of the facilities that you offer that you are upfront about it or else you’ll lose a lot of clients.
These are just a few tips that owners of shared office spaces should consider implementing in order to attract long-term clients. If you are interested in owning and operating your own shared office space, then be sure to contact us at Venture X to find out about franchising one of our open collaborative workspaces.