Creating interest in coworking in small towns

I look forward every day to seeing what new posts show up here. Everyone is so interesting and seems to be so knowledgeable about coworking. I want to thank you all first for giving of your expertise and time. I ran an executive suites in Washington, DC years ago that really had the soul of a coworking space. We had parties, networking events, meetings, and fun. It was great and I loved every minute of it. However, due to life circumstances, about three years ago (right in the middle of the economic implosion) my husband and I moved back to Michigan where my parents live and where I grew up. Boy is life different here! I’ve tried for three years (in different iterations) to create a business here (education/training programs, virtual assistant, etc.) with the newest being a shared desk/cowork center. It’s in a small town (there are such organizations in some of the larger cities but most people have no idea what I’m talking about); when I share the idea people say wow, how fantastic. I do have a weekly group that has started to meet and seems to be growing, and I’ve had one person come in and rent the conference room, but my “security cats” and I get lonesome most days of the week. I’m really struggling to find the energy to continue. As a side note, I am disabled with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and while I’m working really hard at trying to get business in, it’s really wearing on me.

I have flyers, pr in local papers, have talked personally with every business I can think of in the local community. Every month I get notices of new DBAs and send them invitations to a FREE networking session, or day at the center. I have joined the local chamber, the downtown merchants, Rotary and several other community groups. I go to meetings and get involved. I just don’t know where else to turn. I’m hoping that some of you who may have experience in rural coworking centers, and in psychology of small towns might be able to share some insights that I’m just not seeing.

Thanks guys for spending some time thinking about this for me. I really appreciate it.

Nancy Becher
Business Success Unlimited
challenge – motivate – collaborate
www.success4biz.biz
269-858-3431

Hi Niki,

I've been involved in some of the same kinds of conversations in small communities, and I've got a forthcoming article which is my attempt to synthesize what I've learned about how to talk about rural coworking. I'll send you the manuscript off-list.

Best,
Mark

···

On 9/13/2011 11:37 AM, Niki wrote:

I look forward every day to seeing what new posts show up here. Everyone is so interesting and seems to be so knowledgeable about coworking. I want to thank you all first for giving of your expertise and time. I ran an executive suites in Washington, DC years ago that really had the soul of a coworking space. We had parties, networking events, meetings, and fun. It was great and I loved every minute of it. However, due to life circumstances, about three years ago (right in the middle of the economic implosion) my husband and I moved back to Michigan where my parents live and where I grew up. Boy is life different here! I've tried for three years (in different iterations) to create a business here (education/training programs, virtual assistant, etc.) with the newest being a shared desk/cowork center. It's in a small town (there are such organizations in some of the larger cities but most people have no idea what I'm talking about); when I share the idea people say wow, how fantastic. I do have a weekly group that has started to meet and seems to be growing, and I've had one person come in and rent the conference room, but my "security cats" and I get lonesome most days of the week. I'm really struggling to find the energy to continue. As a side note, I am disabled with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and while I'm working really hard at trying to get business in, it's really wearing on me.

I have flyers, pr in local papers, have talked personally with every business I can think of in the local community. Every month I get notices of new DBAs and send them invitations to a FREE networking session, or day at the center. I have joined the local chamber, the downtown merchants, Rotary and several other community groups. I go to meetings and get involved. I just don't know where else to turn. I'm hoping that some of you who may have experience in rural coworking centers, and in psychology of small towns might be able to share some insights that I'm just not seeing.

Thanks guys for spending some time thinking about this for me. I really appreciate it.

Nancy Becher
Business Success Unlimited
challenge -- motivate -- collaborate
www.success4biz.biz
269-858-3431
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Mark W. Kidd
Roadside Theater - Thousand Kites - Appalshop

606-536-0115 (cell)
roadside.org
thousandkites.org
appalshop.org

Mark,

Would you mind sending it to me as well? I'm in a small metro area in south TX. Also, how bug has your definition of rural been in these communities?

-Keisha

···

Sent from my iPhone! :o)

On Sep 13, 2011, at 10:54 AM, "Mark W. Kidd" <[email protected]> wrote:

Hi Niki,

I've been involved in some of the same kinds of conversations in small communities, and I've got a forthcoming article which is my attempt to synthesize what I've learned about how to talk about rural coworking. I'll send you the manuscript off-list.

Best,
Mark

On 9/13/2011 11:37 AM, Niki wrote:

I look forward every day to seeing what new posts show up here. Everyone is so interesting and seems to be so knowledgeable about coworking. I want to thank you all first for giving of your expertise and time. I ran an executive suites in Washington, DC years ago that really had the soul of a coworking space. We had parties, networking events, meetings, and fun. It was great and I loved every minute of it. However, due to life circumstances, about three years ago (right in the middle of the economic implosion) my husband and I moved back to Michigan where my parents live and where I grew up. Boy is life different here! I've tried for three years (in different iterations) to create a business here (education/training programs, virtual assistant, etc.) with the newest being a shared desk/cowork center. It's in a small town (there are such organizations in some of the larger cities but most people have no idea what I'm talking about); when I share the idea people say wow, how fantastic. I do have a weekly group that has started to meet and seems to be growing, and I've had one person come in and rent the conference room, but my "security cats" and I get lonesome most days of the week. I'm really struggling to find the energy to continue. As a side note, I am disabled with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and while I'm working really hard at trying to get business in, it's really wearing on me.

I have flyers, pr in local papers, have talked personally with every business I can think of in the local community. Every month I get notices of new DBAs and send them invitations to a FREE networking session, or day at the center. I have joined the local chamber, the downtown merchants, Rotary and several other community groups. I go to meetings and get involved. I just don't know where else to turn. I'm hoping that some of you who may have experience in rural coworking centers, and in psychology of small towns might be able to share some insights that I'm just not seeing.

Thanks guys for spending some time thinking about this for me. I really appreciate it.

Nancy Becher
Business Success Unlimited
challenge -- motivate -- collaborate
www.success4biz.biz
269-858-3431
--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Coworking" group.
To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msg/coworking/-/Jl1J9gJferMJ.
To post to this group, send email to [email protected].
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [email protected].
For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

--
Mark W. Kidd
Roadside Theater - Thousand Kites - Appalshop

606-536-0115 (cell)
roadside.org
thousandkites.org
appalshop.org

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Coworking" group.
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Mark- I would be interested in your info as well. Could you send that to me
offline?

Niki- Hang in there. I've gone through a similar process in my small town
(10,000 people) and after one year in operation, I can tell you that small
towns can be a tough nut to crack. That doesn't mean, however, that they
won't crack for you.

We have had hot spells and cold spells, I think partly because it took a
while for people to understand the concept, then they thought it was cool,
so we got more traffic and members, built some community here, and then
summer came. As you have probably noticed in the summer postings here,
summer can be brutal on walk-ins, mobile members, and business in general.
Small town can amplify this.

It seems like you are networking with all the right people. My only advice
is continue to talk about it to everyone you meet, all the time (without
being too annoying:)). I have found that I quit talking about it to people
over time and then when I bring it up to someone who has talked to me before
they say things like, "Oh, I need to tell so and so about that as they have
been looking for something." Keep drinking, and sharing, the Kool-Aid.

···

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
Behalf Of Mark W. Kidd
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 10:54 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: [Coworking] Creating interest in coworking in small towns

Hi Niki,

I've been involved in some of the same kinds of conversations in small
communities, and I've got a forthcoming article which is my attempt to
synthesize what I've learned about how to talk about rural coworking.
I'll send you the manuscript off-list.

Best,
Mark

On 9/13/2011 11:37 AM, Niki wrote:

I look forward every day to seeing what new posts show up here.
Everyone is so interesting and seems to be so knowledgeable about
coworking. I want to thank you all first for giving of your expertise
and time. I ran an executive suites in Washington, DC years ago that
really had the soul of a coworking space. We had parties, networking
events, meetings, and fun. It was great and I loved every minute of
it. However, due to life circumstances, about three years ago (right
in the middle of the economic implosion) my husband and I moved back
to Michigan where my parents live and where I grew up. Boy is life
different here! I've tried for three years (in different iterations)
to create a business here (education/training programs, virtual
assistant, etc.) with the newest being a shared desk/cowork center.
It's in a small town (there are such organizations in some of the
larger cities but most people have no idea what I'm talking about);
when I share the idea people say wow, how fantastic. I do have a
weekly group that has started to meet and seems to be growing, and
I've had one person come in and rent the conference room, but my
"security cats" and I get lonesome most days of the week. I'm really
struggling to find the energy to continue. As a side note, I am
disabled with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and while I'm
working really hard at trying to get business in, it's really wearing
on me.

I have flyers, pr in local papers, have talked personally with every
business I can think of in the local community. Every month I get
notices of new DBAs and send them invitations to a FREE networking
session, or day at the center. I have joined the local chamber, the
downtown merchants, Rotary and several other community groups. I go to
meetings and get involved. I just don't know where else to turn. I'm
hoping that some of you who may have experience in rural coworking
centers, and in psychology of small towns might be able to share some
insights that I'm just not seeing.

Thanks guys for spending some time thinking about this for me. I
really appreciate it.

Nancy Becher
Business Success Unlimited
challenge -- motivate -- collaborate
www.success4biz.biz
269-858-3431
--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
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To view this discussion on the web visit
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To post to this group, send email to [email protected].
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
[email protected].
For more options, visit this group at
http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

--
Mark W. Kidd
Roadside Theater - Thousand Kites - Appalshop

606-536-0115 (cell)
roadside.org
thousandkites.org
appalshop.org

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Coworking" group.
To post to this group, send email to [email protected].
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[email protected].
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You could title this reply "Bought the furniture, built the web site,
hung the sign - now what?" We too are finding it difficult to get
traction in a small town, although in our case our proximity to a
decent size metro area led us to believe that there were people
commuting into the city that would find they preferred to work here
(Anoka, MN) instead. Mark - we're interested in your article too.
Niki - we've been considering trying several ideas that you mention
but I think for us part of the challenge is that we are trying to draw
in commuter traffic rather than "locals" that live/work in the small
community where we are located.

We don't have much available to spend on advertising or the like, but
if folks have found that a particular formula seems to work well, we
would certainly put some money behind it. Any suggestions on where to
put our scarce dollars?

CK

···

On Sep 13, 10:54 am, "Mark W. Kidd" <[email protected]> wrote:

Hi Niki,

I've been involved in some of the same kinds of conversations in small
communities, and I've got a forthcoming article which is my attempt to
synthesize what I've learned about how to talk about rural coworking.
I'll send you the manuscript off-list.

Best,
Mark

On 9/13/2011 11:37 AM, Niki wrote:

> I look forward every day to seeing what new posts show up here.
> Everyone is so interesting and seems to be so knowledgeable about
> coworking. I want to thank you all first for giving of your expertise
> and time. I ran an executive suites in Washington, DC years ago that
> really had the soul of a coworking space. We had parties, networking
> events, meetings, and fun. It was great and I loved every minute of
> it. However, due to life circumstances, about three years ago (right
> in the middle of the economic implosion) my husband and I moved back
> to Michigan where my parents live and where I grew up. Boy is life
> different here! I've tried for three years (in different iterations)
> to create a business here (education/training programs, virtual
> assistant, etc.) with the newest being a shared desk/cowork center.
> It's in a small town (there are such organizations in some of the
> larger cities but most people have no idea what I'm talking about);
> when I share the idea people say wow, how fantastic. I do have a
> weekly group that has started to meet and seems to be growing, and
> I've had one person come in and rent the conference room, but my
> "security cats" and I get lonesome most days of the week. I'm really
> struggling to find the energy to continue. As a side note, I am
> disabled with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and while I'm
> working really hard at trying to get business in, it's really wearing
> on me.

> I have flyers, pr in local papers, have talked personally with every
> business I can think of in the local community. Every month I get
> notices of new DBAs and send them invitations to a FREE networking
> session, or day at the center. I have joined the local chamber, the
> downtown merchants, Rotary and several other community groups. I go to
> meetings and get involved. I just don't know where else to turn. I'm
> hoping that some of you who may have experience in rural coworking
> centers, and in psychology of small towns might be able to share some
> insights that I'm just not seeing.

> Thanks guys for spending some time thinking about this for me. I
> really appreciate it.

> Nancy Becher
> Business Success Unlimited
> challenge -- motivate -- collaborate
>www.success4biz.biz
> 269-858-3431
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
> Groups "Coworking" group.
> To view this discussion on the web visit
>https://groups.google.com/d/msg/coworking/-/Jl1J9gJferMJ.
> To post to this group, send email to [email protected].
> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> [email protected].
> For more options, visit this group at
>http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

--
Mark W. Kidd
Roadside Theater - Thousand Kites - Appalshop

606-536-0115 (cell)
roadside.org
thousandkites.org
appalshop.org

CK: I'll shoot you a message with the manuscript.

I'm not in a situation to lead up an effort to build a community of practice between rural coworking spaces, but maybe if there are enough folks interested we could put together an online convening there would be a chance to distill some lessons and best practices. I think rural coworking is distinct enough as a class of coworking spaces to justify some more rigorous thinking than my 'conversation starter' can cover.

Mark

···

On 9/14/2011 9:05 AM, CK wrote:

You could title this reply "Bought the furniture, built the web site,
hung the sign - now what?" We too are finding it difficult to get
traction in a small town, although in our case our proximity to a
decent size metro area led us to believe that there were people
commuting into the city that would find they preferred to work here
(Anoka, MN) instead. Mark - we're interested in your article too.
Niki - we've been considering trying several ideas that you mention
but I think for us part of the challenge is that we are trying to draw
in commuter traffic rather than "locals" that live/work in the small
community where we are located.

We don't have much available to spend on advertising or the like, but
if folks have found that a particular formula seems to work well, we
would certainly put some money behind it. Any suggestions on where to
put our scarce dollars?

CK

On Sep 13, 10:54 am, "Mark W. Kidd"<[email protected]> wrote:

Hi Niki,

I've been involved in some of the same kinds of conversations in small
communities, and I've got a forthcoming article which is my attempt to
synthesize what I've learned about how to talk about rural coworking.
I'll send you the manuscript off-list.

Best,
Mark

On 9/13/2011 11:37 AM, Niki wrote:

I look forward every day to seeing what new posts show up here.
Everyone is so interesting and seems to be so knowledgeable about
coworking. I want to thank you all first for giving of your expertise
and time. I ran an executive suites in Washington, DC years ago that
really had the soul of a coworking space. We had parties, networking
events, meetings, and fun. It was great and I loved every minute of
it. However, due to life circumstances, about three years ago (right
in the middle of the economic implosion) my husband and I moved back
to Michigan where my parents live and where I grew up. Boy is life
different here! I've tried for three years (in different iterations)
to create a business here (education/training programs, virtual
assistant, etc.) with the newest being a shared desk/cowork center.
It's in a small town (there are such organizations in some of the
larger cities but most people have no idea what I'm talking about);
when I share the idea people say wow, how fantastic. I do have a
weekly group that has started to meet and seems to be growing, and
I've had one person come in and rent the conference room, but my
"security cats" and I get lonesome most days of the week. I'm really
struggling to find the energy to continue. As a side note, I am
disabled with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and while I'm
working really hard at trying to get business in, it's really wearing
on me.
I have flyers, pr in local papers, have talked personally with every
business I can think of in the local community. Every month I get
notices of new DBAs and send them invitations to a FREE networking
session, or day at the center. I have joined the local chamber, the
downtown merchants, Rotary and several other community groups. I go to
meetings and get involved. I just don't know where else to turn. I'm
hoping that some of you who may have experience in rural coworking
centers, and in psychology of small towns might be able to share some
insights that I'm just not seeing.
Thanks guys for spending some time thinking about this for me. I
really appreciate it.
Nancy Becher
Business Success Unlimited
challenge -- motivate -- collaborate
www.success4biz.biz
269-858-3431
--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups "Coworking" group.
To view this discussion on the web visit
https://groups.google.com/d/msg/coworking/-/Jl1J9gJferMJ.
To post to this group, send email to [email protected].
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
[email protected].
For more options, visit this group at
http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

--
Mark W. Kidd
Roadside Theater - Thousand Kites - Appalshop

606-536-0115 (cell)
roadside.org
thousandkites.org
appalshop.org

--
Mark W. Kidd
Roadside Theater - Thousand Kites - Appalshop

606-536-0115 (cell)
roadside.org
thousandkites.org
appalshop.org

Tip #1: Go outside.

This isn’t the field of dreams, it’s a new business, which means you need to go out and find your customers. They don’t know they’re looking for you.

Normally, I’d suggest walking into a cafe or bookstore, look for people on laptops. Go say hi. Don’t sell them on coworking, instead, have genuine interest in why they’re working in a cafe or a bookstore. Find out what problems that solves, and what problems still exist. But since you’re looking for commuters, you need to figure out where they hang out - and then hang out there.

Get involved in the local community. Be a friendly face, a supporter and a connector. Get known as the person who people want to be around to get things done - and be known as the person surrounded by people who get things done.

-Alex

/ah
indyhall.org
coworking in philadelphia

···

On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 9:05 AM, CK [email protected] wrote:

You could title this reply "Bought the furniture, built the web site,

hung the sign - now what?" We too are finding it difficult to get

traction in a small town, although in our case our proximity to a

decent size metro area led us to believe that there were people

commuting into the city that would find they preferred to work here

(Anoka, MN) instead. Mark - we’re interested in your article too.

Niki - we’ve been considering trying several ideas that you mention

but I think for us part of the challenge is that we are trying to draw

in commuter traffic rather than “locals” that live/work in the small

community where we are located.

We don’t have much available to spend on advertising or the like, but

if folks have found that a particular formula seems to work well, we

would certainly put some money behind it. Any suggestions on where to

put our scarce dollars?

CK

On Sep 13, 10:54 am, “Mark W. Kidd” [email protected] wrote:

Hi Niki,

I’ve been involved in some of the same kinds of conversations in small

communities, and I’ve got a forthcoming article which is my attempt to

synthesize what I’ve learned about how to talk about rural coworking.

I’ll send you the manuscript off-list.

Best,

Mark

On 9/13/2011 11:37 AM, Niki wrote:

I look forward every day to seeing what new posts show up here.

Everyone is so interesting and seems to be so knowledgeable about

coworking. I want to thank you all first for giving of your expertise

and time. I ran an executive suites in Washington, DC years ago that

really had the soul of a coworking space. We had parties, networking

events, meetings, and fun. It was great and I loved every minute of

it. However, due to life circumstances, about three years ago (right

in the middle of the economic implosion) my husband and I moved back

to Michigan where my parents live and where I grew up. Boy is life

different here! I’ve tried for three years (in different iterations)

to create a business here (education/training programs, virtual

assistant, etc.) with the newest being a shared desk/cowork center.

It’s in a small town (there are such organizations in some of the

larger cities but most people have no idea what I’m talking about);

when I share the idea people say wow, how fantastic. I do have a

weekly group that has started to meet and seems to be growing, and

I’ve had one person come in and rent the conference room, but my

“security cats” and I get lonesome most days of the week. I’m really

struggling to find the energy to continue. As a side note, I am

disabled with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and while I’m

working really hard at trying to get business in, it’s really wearing

on me.

I have flyers, pr in local papers, have talked personally with every

business I can think of in the local community. Every month I get

notices of new DBAs and send them invitations to a FREE networking

session, or day at the center. I have joined the local chamber, the

downtown merchants, Rotary and several other community groups. I go to

meetings and get involved. I just don’t know where else to turn. I’m

hoping that some of you who may have experience in rural coworking

centers, and in psychology of small towns might be able to share some

insights that I’m just not seeing.

Thanks guys for spending some time thinking about this for me. I

really appreciate it.

Nancy Becher

Business Success Unlimited

challenge – motivate – collaborate

www.success4biz.biz

269-858-3431

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google

Groups “Coworking” group.

To view this discussion on the web visit

https://groups.google.com/d/msg/coworking/-/Jl1J9gJferMJ.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to

[email protected].

For more options, visit this group at

http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

Mark W. Kidd

Roadside Theater - Thousand Kites - Appalshop

606-536-0115 (cell)

roadside.org

thousandkites.org

appalshop.org

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

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A big 2nder on that tip.

I’ve been growing my business/political relations in our town for 6 years through our marketing company before we started The Creative Space. Our coworking community flowed out of that and has benefited greatly by me being a business “man about town” The Mayor wears TCS like a badge when he speaks to investment in Barrie and “their” progressive approach to the new economy. We have a strong relationship to the local cafes who like the internet users, but only beyond a couple cups of coffee and a muffin. If they stay too long it’s not good. The owners, instead of saying “hit the road” can approach them with a brochure in hand and actually offer value. “Please come and buy our coffee, but if you really want to get work done in a cool space check out TCS.” I attend business after 5 meetings, tweetups and meetups.

Chad

The Creative Space

(705) 252-2423

www.thecreativespace.ca

···

On 2011-09-14, at 10:33 AM, Alex Hillman wrote:

Tip #1: Go outside.

This isn’t the field of dreams, it’s a new business, which means you need to go out and find your customers. They don’t know they’re looking for you.

Normally, I’d suggest walking into a cafe or bookstore, look for people on laptops. Go say hi. Don’t sell them on coworking, instead, have genuine interest in why they’re working in a cafe or a bookstore. Find out what problems that solves, and what problems still exist. But since you’re looking for commuters, you need to figure out where they hang out - and then hang out there.

Get involved in the local community. Be a friendly face, a supporter and a connector. Get known as the person who people want to be around to get things done - and be known as the person surrounded by people who get things done.

-Alex

/ah
indyhall.org
coworking in philadelphia

On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 9:05 AM, CK [email protected] wrote:

You could title this reply "Bought the furniture, built the web site,

hung the sign - now what?" We too are finding it difficult to get

traction in a small town, although in our case our proximity to a

decent size metro area led us to believe that there were people

commuting into the city that would find they preferred to work here

(Anoka, MN) instead. Mark - we’re interested in your article too.

Niki - we’ve been considering trying several ideas that you mention

but I think for us part of the challenge is that we are trying to draw

in commuter traffic rather than “locals” that live/work in the small

community where we are located.

We don’t have much available to spend on advertising or the like, but

if folks have found that a particular formula seems to work well, we

would certainly put some money behind it. Any suggestions on where to

put our scarce dollars?

CK

On Sep 13, 10:54 am, “Mark W. Kidd” [email protected] wrote:

Hi Niki,

I’ve been involved in some of the same kinds of conversations in small

communities, and I’ve got a forthcoming article which is my attempt to

synthesize what I’ve learned about how to talk about rural coworking.

I’ll send you the manuscript off-list.

Best,

Mark

On 9/13/2011 11:37 AM, Niki wrote:

I look forward every day to seeing what new posts show up here.

Everyone is so interesting and seems to be so knowledgeable about

coworking. I want to thank you all first for giving of your expertise

and time. I ran an executive suites in Washington, DC years ago that

really had the soul of a coworking space. We had parties, networking

events, meetings, and fun. It was great and I loved every minute of

it. However, due to life circumstances, about three years ago (right

in the middle of the economic implosion) my husband and I moved back

to Michigan where my parents live and where I grew up. Boy is life

different here! I’ve tried for three years (in different iterations)

to create a business here (education/training programs, virtual

assistant, etc.) with the newest being a shared desk/cowork center.

It’s in a small town (there are such organizations in some of the

larger cities but most people have no idea what I’m talking about);

when I share the idea people say wow, how fantastic. I do have a

weekly group that has started to meet and seems to be growing, and

I’ve had one person come in and rent the conference room, but my

“security cats” and I get lonesome most days of the week. I’m really

struggling to find the energy to continue. As a side note, I am

disabled with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and while I’m

working really hard at trying to get business in, it’s really wearing

on me.

I have flyers, pr in local papers, have talked personally with every

business I can think of in the local community. Every month I get

notices of new DBAs and send them invitations to a FREE networking

session, or day at the center. I have joined the local chamber, the

downtown merchants, Rotary and several other community groups. I go to

meetings and get involved. I just don’t know where else to turn. I’m

hoping that some of you who may have experience in rural coworking

centers, and in psychology of small towns might be able to share some

insights that I’m just not seeing.

Thanks guys for spending some time thinking about this for me. I

really appreciate it.

Nancy Becher

Business Success Unlimited

challenge – motivate – collaborate

www.success4biz.biz

269-858-3431

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google

Groups “Coworking” group.

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https://groups.google.com/d/msg/coworking/-/Jl1J9gJferMJ.

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[email protected].

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Mark W. Kidd

Roadside Theater - Thousand Kites - Appalshop

606-536-0115 (cell)

roadside.org

thousandkites.org

appalshop.org

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Chad Ballantyne

The Creative Space Director

(705) 252-2423

www.thecreativespace.ca

Well said, Chad.

/ah
indyhall.org
coworking in philadelphia

···

On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 10:55 AM, Chad Ballantyne [email protected] wrote:

A big 2nder on that tip.

I’ve been growing my business/political relations in our town for 6 years through our marketing company before we started The Creative Space. Our coworking community flowed out of that and has benefited greatly by me being a business “man about town” The Mayor wears TCS like a badge when he speaks to investment in Barrie and “their” progressive approach to the new economy. We have a strong relationship to the local cafes who like the internet users, but only beyond a couple cups of coffee and a muffin. If they stay too long it’s not good. The owners, instead of saying “hit the road” can approach them with a brochure in hand and actually offer value. “Please come and buy our coffee, but if you really want to get work done in a cool space check out TCS.” I attend business after 5 meetings, tweetups and meetups.

Chad

The Creative Space

(705) 252-2423

www.thecreativespace.ca

On 2011-09-14, at 10:33 AM, Alex Hillman wrote:

Tip #1: Go outside.

This isn’t the field of dreams, it’s a new business, which means you need to go out and find your customers. They don’t know they’re looking for you.

Normally, I’d suggest walking into a cafe or bookstore, look for people on laptops. Go say hi. Don’t sell them on coworking, instead, have genuine interest in why they’re working in a cafe or a bookstore. Find out what problems that solves, and what problems still exist. But since you’re looking for commuters, you need to figure out where they hang out - and then hang out there.

Get involved in the local community. Be a friendly face, a supporter and a connector. Get known as the person who people want to be around to get things done - and be known as the person surrounded by people who get things done.

-Alex

/ah
indyhall.org
coworking in philadelphia

On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 9:05 AM, CK [email protected] wrote:

You could title this reply "Bought the furniture, built the web site,

hung the sign - now what?" We too are finding it difficult to get

traction in a small town, although in our case our proximity to a

decent size metro area led us to believe that there were people

commuting into the city that would find they preferred to work here

(Anoka, MN) instead. Mark - we’re interested in your article too.

Niki - we’ve been considering trying several ideas that you mention

but I think for us part of the challenge is that we are trying to draw

in commuter traffic rather than “locals” that live/work in the small

community where we are located.

We don’t have much available to spend on advertising or the like, but

if folks have found that a particular formula seems to work well, we

would certainly put some money behind it. Any suggestions on where to

put our scarce dollars?

CK

On Sep 13, 10:54 am, “Mark W. Kidd” [email protected] wrote:

Hi Niki,

I’ve been involved in some of the same kinds of conversations in small

communities, and I’ve got a forthcoming article which is my attempt to

synthesize what I’ve learned about how to talk about rural coworking.

I’ll send you the manuscript off-list.

Best,

Mark

On 9/13/2011 11:37 AM, Niki wrote:

I look forward every day to seeing what new posts show up here.

Everyone is so interesting and seems to be so knowledgeable about

coworking. I want to thank you all first for giving of your expertise

and time. I ran an executive suites in Washington, DC years ago that

really had the soul of a coworking space. We had parties, networking

events, meetings, and fun. It was great and I loved every minute of

it. However, due to life circumstances, about three years ago (right

in the middle of the economic implosion) my husband and I moved back

to Michigan where my parents live and where I grew up. Boy is life

different here! I’ve tried for three years (in different iterations)

to create a business here (education/training programs, virtual

assistant, etc.) with the newest being a shared desk/cowork center.

It’s in a small town (there are such organizations in some of the

larger cities but most people have no idea what I’m talking about);

when I share the idea people say wow, how fantastic. I do have a

weekly group that has started to meet and seems to be growing, and

I’ve had one person come in and rent the conference room, but my

“security cats” and I get lonesome most days of the week. I’m really

struggling to find the energy to continue. As a side note, I am

disabled with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and while I’m

working really hard at trying to get business in, it’s really wearing

on me.

I have flyers, pr in local papers, have talked personally with every

business I can think of in the local community. Every month I get

notices of new DBAs and send them invitations to a FREE networking

session, or day at the center. I have joined the local chamber, the

downtown merchants, Rotary and several other community groups. I go to

meetings and get involved. I just don’t know where else to turn. I’m

hoping that some of you who may have experience in rural coworking

centers, and in psychology of small towns might be able to share some

insights that I’m just not seeing.

Thanks guys for spending some time thinking about this for me. I

really appreciate it.

Nancy Becher

Business Success Unlimited

challenge – motivate – collaborate

www.success4biz.biz

269-858-3431

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google

Groups “Coworking” group.

To view this discussion on the web visit

https://groups.google.com/d/msg/coworking/-/Jl1J9gJferMJ.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to

[email protected].

For more options, visit this group at

http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

Mark W. Kidd

Roadside Theater - Thousand Kites - Appalshop

606-536-0115 (cell)

roadside.org

thousandkites.org

appalshop.org

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [email protected].

For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [email protected].

For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

Chad Ballantyne

The Creative Space Director

(705) 252-2423

www.thecreativespace.ca

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [email protected].

For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

Mark- I'm interested. Keep me in the loop on developments here. Don't know
that I am in a position to lead this effort either, but maybe we could
divide and conquer to get something accomplished.

Thanks & God Bless,

Joel Bennett

Veel Hoeden Chief Dreamchaser
http://veelhoeden.posterous.com @veelhoeden

···

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
Behalf Of Mark W. Kidd
Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 9:27 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: [Coworking] Re: Creating interest in coworking in small towns

CK: I'll shoot you a message with the manuscript.

I'm not in a situation to lead up an effort to build a community of
practice between rural coworking spaces, but maybe if there are enough
folks interested we could put together an online convening there would
be a chance to distill some lessons and best practices. I think rural
coworking is distinct enough as a class of coworking spaces to justify
some more rigorous thinking than my 'conversation starter' can cover.

Mark

On 9/14/2011 9:05 AM, CK wrote:

You could title this reply "Bought the furniture, built the web site,
hung the sign - now what?" We too are finding it difficult to get
traction in a small town, although in our case our proximity to a
decent size metro area led us to believe that there were people
commuting into the city that would find they preferred to work here
(Anoka, MN) instead. Mark - we're interested in your article too.
Niki - we've been considering trying several ideas that you mention
but I think for us part of the challenge is that we are trying to draw
in commuter traffic rather than "locals" that live/work in the small
community where we are located.

We don't have much available to spend on advertising or the like, but
if folks have found that a particular formula seems to work well, we
would certainly put some money behind it. Any suggestions on where to
put our scarce dollars?

CK

On Sep 13, 10:54 am, "Mark W. Kidd"<[email protected]> wrote:

Hi Niki,

I've been involved in some of the same kinds of conversations in small
communities, and I've got a forthcoming article which is my attempt to
synthesize what I've learned about how to talk about rural coworking.
I'll send you the manuscript off-list.

Best,
Mark

On 9/13/2011 11:37 AM, Niki wrote:

I look forward every day to seeing what new posts show up here.
Everyone is so interesting and seems to be so knowledgeable about
coworking. I want to thank you all first for giving of your expertise
and time. I ran an executive suites in Washington, DC years ago that
really had the soul of a coworking space. We had parties, networking
events, meetings, and fun. It was great and I loved every minute of
it. However, due to life circumstances, about three years ago (right
in the middle of the economic implosion) my husband and I moved back
to Michigan where my parents live and where I grew up. Boy is life
different here! I've tried for three years (in different iterations)
to create a business here (education/training programs, virtual
assistant, etc.) with the newest being a shared desk/cowork center.
It's in a small town (there are such organizations in some of the
larger cities but most people have no idea what I'm talking about);
when I share the idea people say wow, how fantastic. I do have a
weekly group that has started to meet and seems to be growing, and
I've had one person come in and rent the conference room, but my
"security cats" and I get lonesome most days of the week. I'm really
struggling to find the energy to continue. As a side note, I am
disabled with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and while I'm
working really hard at trying to get business in, it's really wearing
on me.
I have flyers, pr in local papers, have talked personally with every
business I can think of in the local community. Every month I get
notices of new DBAs and send them invitations to a FREE networking
session, or day at the center. I have joined the local chamber, the
downtown merchants, Rotary and several other community groups. I go to
meetings and get involved. I just don't know where else to turn. I'm
hoping that some of you who may have experience in rural coworking
centers, and in psychology of small towns might be able to share some
insights that I'm just not seeing.
Thanks guys for spending some time thinking about this for me. I
really appreciate it.
Nancy Becher
Business Success Unlimited
challenge -- motivate -- collaborate
www.success4biz.biz
269-858-3431
--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups "Coworking" group.
To view this discussion on the web visit
https://groups.google.com/d/msg/coworking/-/Jl1J9gJferMJ.
To post to this group, send email to [email protected].
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
[email protected].
For more options, visit this group at
http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

--
Mark W. Kidd
Roadside Theater - Thousand Kites - Appalshop

606-536-0115 (cell)
roadside.org
thousandkites.org
appalshop.org

--
Mark W. Kidd
Roadside Theater - Thousand Kites - Appalshop

606-536-0115 (cell)
roadside.org
thousandkites.org
appalshop.org

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Coworking" group.
To post to this group, send email to [email protected].
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
[email protected].
For more options, visit this group at
http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

Great comments here. Gotta go and get it.

So, 5 years later from this post, what’s changed? I’m guessing, to attract commuters, one will need to educate them on the value of NOT commuting. I’ve been researching commuting costs and it’s insane. Between the auto wear-and-tear and the time (assuming an hourly rate equivalent to the person’s wage) it’s thousands/year, in my case, WAY more than the annual cost of the coworking membership. That said, coworking is still new, and commuting has been part of our culture since the past WWII boom, so folks need to be told about it.

There’s an emotional component here. For people that drive an hour round trip, with a family or other things close to home they’d like to do, what’s the value of more easily getting to a kids’ soccer game or a friend’s dinner party? Ditching that time spent in the car for either productive work OR being with friends/family.

I’d say that part of your outreach and market assessment is to meet with the employers themselves to understand their needs and concerns. The trends underlying the rise of remote work (high speed web, younger folks more comfortable with amorphous work/life overlap, sharing v. owning, etc.) are not going away. The way we work has changed, and the way we “office” is catching up.

Oh! And there are environmental benefits too. And, both the employer and the employees can claim that for personal satisfaction and marketing. Here in VT, that’s important.

···

On Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 10:33:53 AM UTC-4, Alex Hillman wrote:

Tip #1: Go outside.

This isn’t the field of dreams, it’s a new business, which means you need to go out and find your customers. They don’t know they’re looking for you.

Normally, I’d suggest walking into a cafe or bookstore, look for people on laptops. Go say hi. Don’t sell them on coworking, instead, have genuine interest in why they’re working in a cafe or a bookstore. Find out what problems that solves, and what problems still exist. But since you’re looking for commuters, you need to figure out where they hang out - and then hang out there.

Get involved in the local community. Be a friendly face, a supporter and a connector. Get known as the person who people want to be around to get things done - and be known as the person surrounded by people who get things done.

-Alex

/ah
indyhall.org
coworking in philadelphia

On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 9:05 AM, CK [email protected] wrote:

You could title this reply "Bought the furniture, built the web site,

hung the sign - now what?" We too are finding it difficult to get

traction in a small town, although in our case our proximity to a

decent size metro area led us to believe that there were people

commuting into the city that would find they preferred to work here

(Anoka, MN) instead. Mark - we’re interested in your article too.

Niki - we’ve been considering trying several ideas that you mention

but I think for us part of the challenge is that we are trying to draw

in commuter traffic rather than “locals” that live/work in the small

community where we are located.

We don’t have much available to spend on advertising or the like, but

if folks have found that a particular formula seems to work well, we

would certainly put some money behind it. Any suggestions on where to

put our scarce dollars?

CK

On Sep 13, 10:54 am, “Mark W. Kidd” [email protected] wrote:

Hi Niki,

I’ve been involved in some of the same kinds of conversations in small

communities, and I’ve got a forthcoming article which is my attempt to

synthesize what I’ve learned about how to talk about rural coworking.

I’ll send you the manuscript off-list.

Best,

Mark

On 9/13/2011 11:37 AM, Niki wrote:

I look forward every day to seeing what new posts show up here.

Everyone is so interesting and seems to be so knowledgeable about

coworking. I want to thank you all first for giving of your expertise

and time. I ran an executive suites in Washington, DC years ago that

really had the soul of a coworking space. We had parties, networking

events, meetings, and fun. It was great and I loved every minute of

it. However, due to life circumstances, about three years ago (right

in the middle of the economic implosion) my husband and I moved back

to Michigan where my parents live and where I grew up. Boy is life

different here! I’ve tried for three years (in different iterations)

to create a business here (education/training programs, virtual

assistant, etc.) with the newest being a shared desk/cowork center.

It’s in a small town (there are such organizations in some of the

larger cities but most people have no idea what I’m talking about);

when I share the idea people say wow, how fantastic. I do have a

weekly group that has started to meet and seems to be growing, and

I’ve had one person come in and rent the conference room, but my

“security cats” and I get lonesome most days of the week. I’m really

struggling to find the energy to continue. As a side note, I am

disabled with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and while I’m

working really hard at trying to get business in, it’s really wearing

on me.

I have flyers, pr in local papers, have talked personally with every

business I can think of in the local community. Every month I get

notices of new DBAs and send them invitations to a FREE networking

session, or day at the center. I have joined the local chamber, the

downtown merchants, Rotary and several other community groups. I go to

meetings and get involved. I just don’t know where else to turn. I’m

hoping that some of you who may have experience in rural coworking

centers, and in psychology of small towns might be able to share some

insights that I’m just not seeing.

Thanks guys for spending some time thinking about this for me. I

really appreciate it.

Nancy Becher

Business Success Unlimited

challenge – motivate – collaborate

www.success4biz.biz

269-858-3431

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google

Groups “Coworking” group.

To view this discussion on the web visit

https://groups.google.com/d/msg/coworking/-/Jl1J9gJferMJ.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to

[email protected].

For more options, visit this group at

http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

Mark W. Kidd

Roadside Theater - Thousand Kites - Appalshop

606-536-0115 (cell)

roadside.org

thousandkites.org

appalshop.org

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [email protected].

For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

So, 5 years later from this post, what’s changed?

Remarkably little, I’d wager! Coworking is a bit better known - there’s more examples to point to, better support systems for new aspiring spaces, and lots more examples of what not to do!

I’m guessing, to attract commuters, one will need to educate them on the value of NOT commuting.

Well, I’d caution against this approach, especially when you’re the one selling the alternative. :wink: Rational arguments for trying to get people to want to join a coworking space rarely stick, and instead feel like you’re trying to guess the right magic incantation to make people suddenly “get coworking.”

I wrote a bit about this before in an answer to the question “what’s the smallest size bedroom community that can support a coworking space” but here’s a fresh take including some of the additional research I’ve done and observations I’ve made.

I always think about this a bit like Netwon’s Laws of Physics: an object at rest stays at rest, an object in motion stays in motion.

In this context, I think of commuting as a habit. Even when people can’t stand it, they’re used to getting in the car every morning and going somewhere. They’ve built their entire lifestyle around it.

The question I’d be asking is…who does that lifestyle not work for, and why?

I can think of a few examples off the top of my head:

  • Professionals who are new to the area, or returning after having been away for some time. Its a giant pain in the ass to try to land somewhere with no network and try to build it when that network is, for the most part invisible.

    This translates across all city sizes, too. I’ve helped people move from tiny towns to big cities to find a coworking community that fits their goals and values, and the same process in reverse.

  • "Second career" explorers. This is one of my favorites, the folks who’ve spent 10, 15, 20 years or more in a career and decided "you know what? My quality life is more important than this grind. I’m out. I’m gonna figure out what’s next.
    I got to watch my mom do this over the last decade and it’s been awesome, but I’ve also gotten to welcome a lot of folks into our community who are so thrilled to find a place that isn’t “all young startup founders” but instead a place that welcomes them in as a peer.

  • Internal outsiders. People who work for companies because it earns them a wage and makes their family comfortable, but they feel like an outsider at their company. Don’t underestimate this audience. Job dissatisfaction can feel like a terminal disease, but adding coworking into the rotation can help people take the edge off and find things to explore.

    E.g we have a member who commutes nearly an hour to Indy Hall (there are coworking spaces closer) because the job he has is stable but soul sucking, stifling his creativity. He comes here because even if it doesn’t help him do is job better (he’s not especially motivated to, frankly), being a part of our community helps him stay happy by giving him a creative outlet and people to connect with. In a way, we’re the coworkers he wishes he had.
    The common theme across these examples are people who are already in motion, as per the laws of physics like I mentioned above. There’s no convincing necessary…they’re already looking for something better, even if they don’t know exactly what they’re looking for.

Even then, the goal isn’t to educate them on coworking. It’s build relationships. I can’t stress that enough. I spent an entire chapter of my audiobook (chapter 2, “Just the two of us”) going over how I did this in an urban setting, but going through it again in the last week since I’m editing the transcripts for the e-reader edition, I can say with quite a bit of confidence that my approach wouldn’t change in a small town other than some of the specific gather places I’d use as my starting point.

-Alex

···

The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Better Coworkers: http://indyhall.org

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 11:43 PM, [email protected] wrote:

Great comments here. Gotta go and get it.

So, 5 years later from this post, what’s changed? I’m guessing, to attract commuters, one will need to educate them on the value of NOT commuting. I’ve been researching commuting costs and it’s insane. Between the auto wear-and-tear and the time (assuming an hourly rate equivalent to the person’s wage) it’s thousands/year, in my case, WAY more than the annual cost of the coworking membership. That said, coworking is still new, and commuting has been part of our culture since the past WWII boom, so folks need to be told about it.

There’s an emotional component here. For people that drive an hour round trip, with a family or other things close to home they’d like to do, what’s the value of more easily getting to a kids’ soccer game or a friend’s dinner party? Ditching that time spent in the car for either productive work OR being with friends/family.

I’d say that part of your outreach and market assessment is to meet with the employers themselves to understand their needs and concerns. The trends underlying the rise of remote work (high speed web, younger folks more comfortable with amorphous work/life overlap, sharing v. owning, etc.) are not going away. The way we work has changed, and the way we “office” is catching up.

Oh! And there are environmental benefits too. And, both the employer and the employees can claim that for personal satisfaction and marketing. Here in VT, that’s important.

On Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 10:33:53 AM UTC-4, Alex Hillman wrote:

Tip #1: Go outside.

This isn’t the field of dreams, it’s a new business, which means you need to go out and find your customers. They don’t know they’re looking for you.

Normally, I’d suggest walking into a cafe or bookstore, look for people on laptops. Go say hi. Don’t sell them on coworking, instead, have genuine interest in why they’re working in a cafe or a bookstore. Find out what problems that solves, and what problems still exist. But since you’re looking for commuters, you need to figure out where they hang out - and then hang out there.

Get involved in the local community. Be a friendly face, a supporter and a connector. Get known as the person who people want to be around to get things done - and be known as the person surrounded by people who get things done.

-Alex

/ah
indyhall.org
coworking in philadelphia

On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 9:05 AM, CK [email protected] wrote:

You could title this reply "Bought the furniture, built the web site,

hung the sign - now what?" We too are finding it difficult to get

traction in a small town, although in our case our proximity to a

decent size metro area led us to believe that there were people

commuting into the city that would find they preferred to work here

(Anoka, MN) instead. Mark - we’re interested in your article too.

Niki - we’ve been considering trying several ideas that you mention

but I think for us part of the challenge is that we are trying to draw

in commuter traffic rather than “locals” that live/work in the small

community where we are located.

We don’t have much available to spend on advertising or the like, but

if folks have found that a particular formula seems to work well, we

would certainly put some money behind it. Any suggestions on where to

put our scarce dollars?

CK

On Sep 13, 10:54 am, “Mark W. Kidd” [email protected] wrote:

Hi Niki,

I’ve been involved in some of the same kinds of conversations in small

communities, and I’ve got a forthcoming article which is my attempt to

synthesize what I’ve learned about how to talk about rural coworking.

I’ll send you the manuscript off-list.

Best,

Mark

On 9/13/2011 11:37 AM, Niki wrote:

I look forward every day to seeing what new posts show up here.

Everyone is so interesting and seems to be so knowledgeable about

coworking. I want to thank you all first for giving of your expertise

and time. I ran an executive suites in Washington, DC years ago that

really had the soul of a coworking space. We had parties, networking

events, meetings, and fun. It was great and I loved every minute of

it. However, due to life circumstances, about three years ago (right

in the middle of the economic implosion) my husband and I moved back

to Michigan where my parents live and where I grew up. Boy is life

different here! I’ve tried for three years (in different iterations)

to create a business here (education/training programs, virtual

assistant, etc.) with the newest being a shared desk/cowork center.

It’s in a small town (there are such organizations in some of the

larger cities but most people have no idea what I’m talking about);

when I share the idea people say wow, how fantastic. I do have a

weekly group that has started to meet and seems to be growing, and

I’ve had one person come in and rent the conference room, but my

“security cats” and I get lonesome most days of the week. I’m really

struggling to find the energy to continue. As a side note, I am

disabled with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and while I’m

working really hard at trying to get business in, it’s really wearing

on me.

I have flyers, pr in local papers, have talked personally with every

business I can think of in the local community. Every month I get

notices of new DBAs and send them invitations to a FREE networking

session, or day at the center. I have joined the local chamber, the

downtown merchants, Rotary and several other community groups. I go to

meetings and get involved. I just don’t know where else to turn. I’m

hoping that some of you who may have experience in rural coworking

centers, and in psychology of small towns might be able to share some

insights that I’m just not seeing.

Thanks guys for spending some time thinking about this for me. I

really appreciate it.

Nancy Becher

Business Success Unlimited

challenge – motivate – collaborate

www.success4biz.biz

269-858-3431

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Mark W. Kidd

Roadside Theater - Thousand Kites - Appalshop

606-536-0115 (cell)

roadside.org

thousandkites.org

appalshop.org

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Hi All,

I'm just catching up on this awesome conversation! Great insight on all fronts...

I just cofounded a cowork in a VERY small town (12,000) people and we had most of our memberships full before we even opened.

The key was gathering a team of community "leaders", educating them and getting them on board. We have 9 people who are not members and are not a "board of advisors"...they are visionaries who get "it" and their only role is to show up and offer their insight. They have been critical in spreading the word.

We have also linked up with the local college and their entrepreneurial program...I interviewed their assistant director (also on our team) who offered some SUPER insight into his view on the impact of coworking on small towns (check that out here http://thecoworkconsultant.com/impact-of-coworking-on-cities/ )

Also, we ONLY have monthly memberships, no drop ins (the population isn't big enough to sustain it AND it has an negative impact on the community vibe)! Build the community first and get them excited to participate by having mini events that introduce them to one another...we are noticing that there's a BIG draw from nearby small towns too. People are willing to travel 15 minutes vs. their 45-60 minute commute to find something similar to our Cowork.

The good news is, it's TOTALLY doable!

Please lmk if anyone want to hear more. I have a ton of experience doing this in rural and "small" (from 12k up to 400k population) cities.

Be great and thanks for coworking! Keep it up, you all rock:)

Chris

Fantastic comments;

Yes. Inertia. A challenge. I’m currently in renewable energy, and helping people go solar illustrates that inertia. Heck, I’m a perfect example.

I’d add the “Hectic Parent” to the commuter profiles. Our potential space is easily accessible to the local grammar school, high school, and day care center.

What’s the value of making that parent-teacher conference or that soccer game? As you said, what are the problems they’re facing and how might it be solved with a local 3rd space workplace.

Emotion. Story. People. Connections. Then back up with data.

Kindly,

Wayne Maceyka

Hinesburg, VT

HinesburgHUB - Coworking & Innovation

visit my blog Blog - (un)Sustainable Comments

let's connect on LinkedIn Connect with LinkedIn

Bainbridge Graduate Institute - Changing Business for Good Sustainable MBA

Mobile: 802-585-0909

···

The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Better Coworkers: http://indyhall.org

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 11:43 PM, [email protected] wrote:

Great comments here. Gotta go and get it.

So, 5 years later from this post, what’s changed? I’m guessing, to attract commuters, one will need to educate them on the value of NOT commuting. I’ve been researching commuting costs and it’s insane. Between the auto wear-and-tear and the time (assuming an hourly rate equivalent to the person’s wage) it’s thousands/year, in my case, WAY more than the annual cost of the coworking membership. That said, coworking is still new, and commuting has been part of our culture since the past WWII boom, so folks need to be told about it.

There’s an emotional component here. For people that drive an hour round trip, with a family or other things close to home they’d like to do, what’s the value of more easily getting to a kids’ soccer game or a friend’s dinner party? Ditching that time spent in the car for either productive work OR being with friends/family.

I’d say that part of your outreach and market assessment is to meet with the employers themselves to understand their needs and concerns. The trends underlying the rise of remote work (high speed web, younger folks more comfortable with amorphous work/life overlap, sharing v. owning, etc.) are not going away. The way we work has changed, and the way we “office” is catching up.

Oh! And there are environmental benefits too. And, both the employer and the employees can claim that for personal satisfaction and marketing. Here in VT, that’s important.

On Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 10:33:53 AM UTC-4, Alex Hillman wrote:

Tip #1: Go outside.

This isn’t the field of dreams, it’s a new business, which means you need to go out and find your customers. They don’t know they’re looking for you.

Normally, I’d suggest walking into a cafe or bookstore, look for people on laptops. Go say hi. Don’t sell them on coworking, instead, have genuine interest in why they’re working in a cafe or a bookstore. Find out what problems that solves, and what problems still exist. But since you’re looking for commuters, you need to figure out where they hang out - and then hang out there.

Get involved in the local community. Be a friendly face, a supporter and a connector. Get known as the person who people want to be around to get things done - and be known as the person surrounded by people who get things done.

-Alex

/ah
indyhall.org
coworking in philadelphia

On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 9:05 AM, CK [email protected] wrote:

You could title this reply "Bought the furniture, built the web site,

hung the sign - now what?" We too are finding it difficult to get

traction in a small town, although in our case our proximity to a

decent size metro area led us to believe that there were people

commuting into the city that would find they preferred to work here

(Anoka, MN) instead. Mark - we’re interested in your article too.

Niki - we’ve been considering trying several ideas that you mention

but I think for us part of the challenge is that we are trying to draw

in commuter traffic rather than “locals” that live/work in the small

community where we are located.

We don’t have much available to spend on advertising or the like, but

if folks have found that a particular formula seems to work well, we

would certainly put some money behind it. Any suggestions on where to

put our scarce dollars?

CK

On Sep 13, 10:54 am, “Mark W. Kidd” [email protected] wrote:

Hi Niki,

I’ve been involved in some of the same kinds of conversations in small

communities, and I’ve got a forthcoming article which is my attempt to

synthesize what I’ve learned about how to talk about rural coworking.

I’ll send you the manuscript off-list.

Best,

Mark

On 9/13/2011 11:37 AM, Niki wrote:

I look forward every day to seeing what new posts show up here.

Everyone is so interesting and seems to be so knowledgeable about

coworking. I want to thank you all first for giving of your expertise

and time. I ran an executive suites in Washington, DC years ago that

really had the soul of a coworking space. We had parties, networking

events, meetings, and fun. It was great and I loved every minute of

it. However, due to life circumstances, about three years ago (right

in the middle of the economic implosion) my husband and I moved back

to Michigan where my parents live and where I grew up. Boy is life

different here! I’ve tried for three years (in different iterations)

to create a business here (education/training programs, virtual

assistant, etc.) with the newest being a shared desk/cowork center.

It’s in a small town (there are such organizations in some of the

larger cities but most people have no idea what I’m talking about);

when I share the idea people say wow, how fantastic. I do have a

weekly group that has started to meet and seems to be growing, and

I’ve had one person come in and rent the conference room, but my

“security cats” and I get lonesome most days of the week. I’m really

struggling to find the energy to continue. As a side note, I am

disabled with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and while I’m

working really hard at trying to get business in, it’s really wearing

on me.

I have flyers, pr in local papers, have talked personally with every

business I can think of in the local community. Every month I get

notices of new DBAs and send them invitations to a FREE networking

session, or day at the center. I have joined the local chamber, the

downtown merchants, Rotary and several other community groups. I go to

meetings and get involved. I just don’t know where else to turn. I’m

hoping that some of you who may have experience in rural coworking

centers, and in psychology of small towns might be able to share some

insights that I’m just not seeing.

Thanks guys for spending some time thinking about this for me. I

really appreciate it.

Nancy Becher

Business Success Unlimited

challenge – motivate – collaborate

www.success4biz.biz

269-858-3431

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google

Groups “Coworking” group.

To view this discussion on the web visit

https://groups.google.com/d/msg/coworking/-/Jl1J9gJferMJ.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to

[email protected].

For more options, visit this group at

http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

Mark W. Kidd

Roadside Theater - Thousand Kites - Appalshop

606-536-0115 (cell)

roadside.org

thousandkites.org

appalshop.org

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [email protected].

For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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