Like many people who are considering launching a coworking space business, the idea may have taken root when you ducked into your favorite coffee shop at midday.
While you waited for a barista to mix your selection, another mixture caught your eye: the number of people—serious-looking people—typing away at their laptops, conducting interviews or meetings, reviewing paperwork, and talking on the phone.
Your first thought—“It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon; don’t these people work?”—quickly gave way to the realization that they are at work—just not in an ideal environment.
Lesson No. 1 for Your Coworking Space Business
Without realizing it, you just learned the first of four lessons in the types of customers to target for your coworking space business. Yes, they probably like coffee, and yes, they are serious about their work. But they have outgrown the tight quarters, placemat-sized tabletops, and especially the sound of an espresso machine screeching in the background while they try to read, write, talk, or listen as they conduct business.
Even if they are adept at zoning out background noise, the number of distractions at coffee shops can rival the number of coffee beans. To these diligent people, a functional and desirable coworking environment includes:
- An attractive, roomy, and functional workspace
- A reception area
- Meeting rooms
- Concierge-level services
- A café
Lesson No. 2 for Your Coworking Space Business
These discerning workers represent one of the fastest-growing workplace phenomena of the last 20 years: the so-called independent worker. By 2020, 65 million Americans will belong to this work category, making up 40 percent of the workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As they eschew the lonely confines of a home office and the noisy distractions of coffee shops, they are turning to shared workspaces, which offer the perks of a professional office environment without the drawbacks of a rigid power structure, set hours, and stuffy formalities. The number of shared workspaces is nearly doubling every year, and they serve an increasingly wide spectrum of workers, according to MBO Partners’ annual “State of Independence in America” report.
Lesson No. 3 for Your Coworking Space Business
The trend portends an exciting future for those aspiring to manage a coworking space business—as long as they drill down and learn who is included in that increasingly wide spectrum.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics places these workers in five categories:
- Independent professionals and entrepreneurs
- Remote workers and telecommuters
- Temporary workers
- A growing group known as “side-giggers,” or those who are employed in some capacity but take on other part-time, independent assignments
Lesson No. 4 for Your Coworking Space Business
These categories might not surprise you, but the demographics of people who gravitate to shared workspaces might. A 2015 study conducted by Emergent Research found that:
- Their average age is 39
- Only 20 percent are younger than 30, and 7 percent are older than 60
- They are nearly split by gender, with men edging out women at 52 percent
- Only 9 percent work for companies with more than 100 employees
These four lessons will be fundamental in your growth curve as you target customers for your coworking space business. You can count on the coworking experts at Venture X to complete your education with their comprehensive and world-class training programs. But you have to make the first move by phoning for a franchise consultation, perhaps right after you fuel your enthusiasm by ducking into your favorite coffee shop at midday.