I’d love to! We decided to open the space about a year ago when my business partner and I (we run a video production company) were looking for coworking ourselves, but couldn’t find anything that was a good fit for two reasons, 1. everything around austin was either very tech focused or very entrepenuer focused (granted, any freelancer is an entrepenuer) and we didn’t see anything that was a great fit for communities, and 2. We needed 24/7 access and reserved desks at a reasonable price, and nobody offered that combination. When we first set out, we had the idea that almost every other person working in the video industry was also working out of their homes, we did a lot of surveys and research and we built a business plan around the space being a hub for visual artists. We knew people would be reluctant to add on a monthly expense just for a workplace, so we made deals with a lot of rental houses and studios to get our members discounts so they could get some kind of very tangible benefit out of their membership fees. Everyone was very excited and asking how they could sign up, and we really thought that we had a pre-existing member base that was going to be there on day one. Unfortunately, people are well intentioned liars, and suddenly as soon as the doors opened all of their enthusiasm disappeared. I’ve had a few people ask me advice about opening a space and this is what I stress to them more than anything else, if people aren’t putting money down, they’re probably not going to join. They have the best intentions and think that they’re being very supportive by telling you how great your idea is and that they’re really interested in a membership, but they don’t get that it would really be so much more helpful if they were just upfront about saying “great idea, but it’s not for me.”
Anyway, rant over. We got very lucky in that we had a small startup of three people who came to our opening party decide to sign up within the first week, so we actually (usually) had some people working in the office. The vast majority of our members have found us through google, we try to host pretty regular events and workshops, and we’ve found a few members through those, but there’s never been a very strong correlation between events and signups. We still haven’t been able to attract the film/video crowd and we’re changing our focus to be more creative freelancers in general. I’m working on programming more “improve your freelance business” lunch and learns and workshops for 2015, and we’ll see if that draws more of a crowd, we’re also hosting a few meetups as well that I’m excited about.
I also had an idea recently that I’d be curious to bounce off of everyone here, Austin is a big startup town, and we’re thinking about trying to get in touch with companies that hire a lot of remote workers or are expanding too quickly for them to house everyone, and seeing if they’d be interested in some kind of discounted group rate where they could offer coworking to all of their remote members. Has anyone had any luck with a program like that?
On Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:24:44 PM UTC-6, Alex Hillman wrote:
Jensen, based on what I hear from a lot of new spaces, you’re ahead of averages for spaces that start with zero members!
At this point, the thing I would start noticing is how long people are staying members, not just how many new members you can add each month.
Also, it would be great to hear how your first 6 months went in more detail. How and when did people start joining, how did they find out about you, etc etc?
On Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014 at 5:55 PM, Jensen Yancey [email protected], wrote:
I’m a co-founder at Createscape coworking in Austin, TX and as we’re about to enter our 6th month of being in business, I thought it would be a good time to ask some other coworking space operators what they think of our progress. One of the hardest things for me to find when we were forming the business is what the typical growth rate is of a coworking space, and so our business plan was made with a lot of guesswork which turned out to not be very accurate. We started in the summer with a 1500 sq. ft. office and no members, right now, we’ve got 17 paying members with a monthly revenue of $2500 and monthly expenses of about $3200. I’m really just curious to see how that stacks up with most other new coworking spaces that don’t have an existing member base.
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