Hi all - I just joined this group after searching “small coworking spaces”.
I’m opening my own space (hopefully) in October, and I have no more than 1,050sqft to work with.
Early 2017 and I’ve bought the second floor of a ~ 167-year-old house in a smart little town commuting distance to a 1 million strong gov/tech/art city.
The place was a disaster when I bought it, but it was in THE perfect area; right dead-centre in a busy confluence. I put a lot of muscle and (newly-found) renovation skills to work and turned it into a gem (hardwood, sliding glass doors, kitchen). It has a colonial industrial modern-ish feel. I’m aiming for a bespoke kind of place - something comfortable, charming, and inviting.
The 1,050 sqft includes everything - small maintenance/server/storage room, 2-piece washroom, small galley kitchen (fridge, stove, microwave, sink, dishwasher), 2 small meeting rooms, and a large open area that’s 22’x20’.
There is no reception area - the space is entirely automated through SaltoKS (access control), Uquiti Unifi wifi (networking), and Office R&D (member relationship management).
From the website, any prospective member can join a plan and will instantly be given credentials and a link to a smartphone app. They log in, push a big virtual button, and the doors unlock for them. The outside door is shared with another business, my entrance door is mine alone.
They can also have a key fob (with a deposit) to access the space. there are 24 small lockers (1’x1.5’x1.5’) that members can use (don’t think I’ll charge for that, yet).
Temperature is web-enabled and automated, and I’ll have a low-profile CCTV system monitoring the space for my members’ safety.
I never have to be in the space for it to run - cleaners will be in daily at ~10pm.
I toiled a bit over how-much-space-does-a-member-need. To a great degree, I’m winging it - I’ve had custom furniture made for the space (from India, industrial-style leather, wood, and iron). This arrives next week and I’m literally going to put the furniture into the space, move it around until I like the arrangement, then open the doors. I’m perfectly game to make adjustments to suit what the members need and want.
I’ll be using the space myself 2-3 days per week, which is why I did this in the first place: My home office had left me feeling lonely and without fidelity-to-purpose. I looked around for a coworking/collaboration space of any kind, and there were none. So, I built one.
My marketing so far has been textbook organic - word is spreading by good ole fashioned word-of-mouth and my professional encounters.
My short-term plan is to get the space paying for itself by attracting like-minded people from the immediate area - this is a smart little ville, there’s plenty of smarts nearby.
A well-known docu/filmmaker that I came to be friends with after buying my place has expressed real interest in being semi-regular bringing a few people with him. A friend who is an executive at a national arts facility has asked to be able to hold their 3-4 retreats per year here (and I been granted bragging rights!).
My only real mental barrier is on pricing - amount, type, etc.
I should be able to arrange 4-5 3’x6’ tables with 4 task chairs each (16-20 seats), another 10 seats on 2 couches and 6 club chairs. Somewhere between 26 and 30 seats, packed - that’s full to the brim. I’m using 25 as the magic capacity number and only a modest leverage of 20% against chance vacancies, meaning I could sell 30 memberships.
I don’t want to be considering dedicated desks at this point, because there are occasions where I will rent the entire space for events and special training sessions.
I’m thinking of:
- Hours of 6am to 10pm, 7 days
- Full-time membership, open hours for ~C$300/month
- Part-time, 72 hours per month for ~C200
- Evenings and weekends, 5pm-10pm m-f, 6am-10pm s&s $150
- Weekends only, 6am-10pm Saturday and Sunday $100
- Per day, any day $35
- Rent the space for a day, ~C$1,500 (it’s very well-appointed)
I’ll try and stay in touch here with how things progress.
Pardon the long post, but I thought this would be a good place to blurt that all out.
On Friday, 12 January 2018 10:58:27 UTC-5, [email protected] wrote:
We started with a space of 1000sqf, I agree with everyone below - it’s all about the way you design the space.
But my advice is, don’t get hung up on that. Start with what suits the numbers and keep changing the space as you go along. Let it evolve. Year and a half later and I am finally satisfied that we have the perfect layout for our members.
Also agree with everything Tony said - Work out what you’re doing it for and your growth plan if you have one - if you are content on building an awesome community and group of people who thrive together and become friends, and you dont need a salary, then you should be just fine. However for us we hope to make this a business that can give people jobs - our 1000sqf is working out to pay 1 living wage salary, however looking forward we want to expand that when we have the numbers where we want them.
On Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 3:09:59 PM UTC+1, Kyle Thibaut wrote:
We have about 600 sqft of open space in our coworking space. Is there anyone else out there with a small space like ours?
- What have you learned to make it work well?
- Is it too small such that voices carry over and disturb others?
- Have you made any creative solutions to help out with having a small space?
- Bonus: What sqft per person-desk is needed and how many members per desk is normal? In this case, what would critical mass look like?