In Cyprus, we’re about to witness the Frozen Yoghurtization of Coworking Spaces. Some of you may even be in different phases of setting up your own space, but please give me a few moments to run home a few lessons that I’ve learned over the last 8+ months.
Whilst building out Desk&Co I’ve found myself following (online), chatting with, and listening to people who run so many different types of Coworking spaces, in so many cities that I think I have to draw attention to a few points.
With over 1,600 spaces across Europe and growing, you’d really need to take a long deep look at why you’d want to open a coworking space.
For example, if you are opening a coworking space:
- To become rich or turn over massive profits quickly
- For your own ego as a startup guru
- To be hip (read as: hipster)
Don’t! Or at least, if you’re bull-headed enough to run at it anyways, consider the following warnings and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Coworking spaces have fairly low margins to begin with, they also require a large initial investment whilst paying continuous fees, no matter how full your space is. As new spaces pop up, they will in turn push prices down per desk and you margins will become lower.
If you love startups, why not just get involved with the numerous organisations across our island, or in your local ecosystem? This will allow you to become as involved as you like, without risking high financial, or hair, loss. (Can’t find any? Give me a tweet and I’ll do my best to connect you personally.)
A lot of bad decisions are made under the thinking that: “If they’re doing it and making money, I can do it and make the same amount of money! Right!?”. My thoughts on this were outlined in a previous post, but let me remind you, doing something because others are, is almost always a bad call. You will need to catch up with their understanding of the market, their brand, their processes and still build up your own differentiators. Not an easy as it seems.
It’s not all bad, and we need coworking spaces for our entrepreneurs, so if you’re opening a coworking space:
- Because you have available space that’s costing you money anyways
- Because you want a bigger office and wouldn’t mind sharing your space
- To invest into the local economy in the long-term
- To help local entrepreneurs, whilst having a long capital runway available
Then please, please, please setup your space, take in your entrepreneurs and join our growing network of so we can help you and your guests.
Hopefully these points will avoid some heartache, financial chaos and months of pure utter frustration for would-be coworking space owners and the startups they may have hosted.
As usual, if you agree or brutaly disagree, let me know in a comment below or on twitter @inztinkt.