Brand New to Coworking

Hi everyone. I was just hired a month ago to manage a the HUB 127 in Princeton, IN as well as serve as administrative assistant for Gibson County Economic Development. Truthfully I feel way over my head as I have no experience in this area. The HUB was opened two years ago but hasn’t really had much traction so I’m beginning the process of promoting and building membership. I look forward to gaining insight from this group!

Welcome, Susan. I am sure that you will handle everything.

What kind of information do you want to get?

I’m looking for how to build a coworking in a small town. The space has been here for two years but membership decreased with the pandemic. I don’t know how to build it back up.

Hi Susan!

I have similar questions. Not too far from you, I was looking for a coworking space here in the Poconos and, finding nothing, am now thinking about starting one. Hoping to use a non-profit/coop structure, I don’t want to charge a lot, just help others band together to create a nice affordable place to work that is not our spare bedrooms, yet not too far from home.

Right now I’m mostly struggling to figure out where to find all these other local folks like me. How to reach freelancers, small business owners, startups, professionals, remote workers in just this one county who are tired of working from home, to see if there are enough of us to make it work?

There is certainly a glut of available office space in town, but the few people I’ve spoken to seem to be most concerned about covid. Some assume a coworking space would be just as unsafe as returning to the office buildings in Manhattan that we used to commute to, even if there were assurances that masks, distancing (and maybe even vaccinations) would be required of everyone using the space.

But the mood here is sort of anti-vax. Most stores and restaurants here are not even trying to enforce masks lately, the schools don’t and most people in public don’t wear them, except where they have to (which seems to be only in medical facilities and public transportation) so although I haven’t spoken to any yet, I’m concerned that other potential coworkers will be put off joining if masks or vaccinations ARE required! So… damned if you do and damned if you don’t :slight_smile: But contentious as the issues may be, these discussions and debates need to happen to find out if a coworking space here could even be financially viable.

I know that a LOT of people are working from home, and making it work, especially now that school has started and most remote-working parents don’t have the same daycare problems they faced most of the last 18 months. So I’m trying to figure out how to engage this market, this audience of people like me who enjoyed coworking (pre-pandemic) are now trying to find a convenient coworking space nearer to home, that they feel safe using out here, far from the cities to which we used to commute. And to find out from them what that place would need to look like in order to be successful in post-apocalyptic semi-rural America :slight_smile: