There are many parallels that run between the hotel and coworking industries, with both verticals focusing on creating experiences and taking advantage of strong real estate.
However, touting unparalleled demand and growth, the coworking industry has more hoteliers shifting their focus – and investments – toward shared workspaces. Texas-based Venture X franchisee Mani Patel is just one of many hoteliers who have decided to break into the fast-growing coworking franchise space.
Before Venture X, Mani owned two hotels in Florida. After several years in hotel management, he began looking for his next business challenge.
“Because there are membership opportunities and meeting spaces in both models, owning a coworking franchise definitely has some similarities to running a hotel,” Mani said. “However, I saw coworking as an industry with much greater growth potential, so I decided to look for franchises that would help me move into the field.”
Breaking into the Coworking Franchise Industry
Mani was first introduced to Venture X at a franchising conference in Dallas in 2017, and he was eager to learn more about the business and brand.
“When I first came across Venture X, I liked that the brand was more upscale, and I trusted their expansion plans,” Mani said. “I also fully trusted in the franchise model and quickly learned that Venture X’s corporate support for franchisees in getting the business up and running was unmatched.”
In 2018, Mani opened his first Venture X franchise in Plano, Texas. While there was some competition in his local market, Mani was quick to capitalize on his key differentiators to attract and retain clients.
“Clients come to my coworking space because they like the location, cost and amenities,” Mani said. “Many clients who have left other coworking spaces for my Venture X have also said they like that it’s more upscale in design, and it allows for a greater degree of privacy than they’ve found at other spaces. Overall, they’ve said it seems to lend more credibility to their business.”
Behind the Benefits of Coworking Franchise Ownership
Mani has found that running a coworking franchise has many distinct advantages over hotel management, particularly with respect to the comparative simplicity of the business model.
“In general, I think owning a coworking franchise, or several coworking franchises, can be a lot less stressful,” Mani said. “Hotels require much more financing, and they take significantly longer to open than coworking spaces.”
At the same time, Mani says there are countless transferable skills between hotel and coworking franchise ownership.
“Finding the right location, figuring out how to make your space profitable and leaning on the corporate structure and support are key in running any successful hotel or coworking franchise,” Mani said. “I would definitely recommend other current or former hoteliers diversify their portfolio with a coworking franchise, since they are entirely complementary business ventures.”