When to expand?

To those of you who either moved from your first location to a newer, bigger location, or you opened a second location, how did you know when the time was right, and how did it work out for you?

We are currently not maxed out, and honestly, we're still not even profitable, so I don't think the time is now. However, all our private offices are full and we've started a waitlist.

Input appreciated. :slight_smile:

We had a waiting list for our full time membetships for > 6 months each time before we expanded (which we have done 5x, across 3 unique locations), and each time we were both profitable and certain that expansion would give us some new capabilities beyond just taking on more square footage. More space can mean more members but it also means more overhead and potential headaches.

Bigger isn't always better, so we had to decide as a community how the expansion would actually make us better, strategically.

Each time we gave people priority on the wait list who joined with flex memberships while they were waiting.

In terms of your waiting list that's great (but it sounds like you really need to work on profitability before expanding). If your coworking memberships and other biz channels aren't growing, I'd be dubious that a adding MORE overhead is going to make that easier.

Also don't forget to ask yourself: do YOU really want to run larger or multiple spaces? I know plenty of folks end up doing it and doing it "successfully" but I also talk to lots of people who expanded because they thought they were supposed to, or had to. I just had a conversation with someone who realized that she was about to open two additional locations on top of her first because they were "good opportunities" but realized that it didn't line up with her personal goals or strengths. Don't get caught up in the "you have to grow by adding square footage" mindset.

Focus is massively underrated in our industry :slight_smile:

Alex

路路路

On Feb 24, 2018, 4:35 PM -0500, Kevin Haggerty <[email protected]>, wrote:

To those of you who either moved from your first location to a newer, bigger location, or you opened a second location, how did you know when the time was right, and how did it work out for you?

We are currently not maxed out, and honestly, we're still not even profitable, so I don't think the time is now. However, all our private offices are full and we've started a waitlist.

Input appreciated. :slight_smile:

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Oh I left out a super crucial part: talking to the community about it before it happens.

I've never presented growth as an inevitably to our community. Only as an option. At each expansion this has led to a great conversation about what's going well and what isn't; what we want to get better at and do more of, and what we need to improve. Concerns about the expansion itself. Pros and cons from their point of view.

It's not a vote or consensus, it's taking the pulse. I still make the decision but it's the most informed decision I can make, and I can make adjustments to our plans based on what I know people are excited about...as well as worried about.

As always: do things with people instead of for them, and everything gets 10000x easier.

Alex

路路路

On Feb 24, 2018, 4:35 PM -0500, Kevin Haggerty <[email protected]>, wrote:

To those of you who either moved from your first location to a newer, bigger location, or you opened a second location, how did you know when the time was right, and how did it work out for you?

We are currently not maxed out, and honestly, we're still not even profitable, so I don't think the time is now. However, all our private offices are full and we've started a waitlist.

Input appreciated. :slight_smile:

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To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Thanks, Alex. Incredibly helpful as always!

We've definitely tried to take your advice every step of the way, especially in regard to building with your community.

About a month ago, we noticed our conference rooms weren't getting a ton of use, but we did fill up our offices quickly, and had more people wanting offices as well.

So we kicked around the idea of converting the upstairs larger conference room into another office, and then we'd still have a conference room downstairs, and we'd be upping our income by adding another office member.

My partner wanted to just do it. I pushed back and said we should really involve the community in the decision. So after going back and forth a bit, we decided to let our members know what we were considering and asked for their input.

They responded quickly and fairly passionately, and they were clearly not in favor of the idea. (They all were concerned that a few months from now, it would cause a bottleneck as far as meeting space, and they also liked the idea of having a larger meeting space if it was needed.)

We decided to leave things alone, and I feel like it earned us a lot of rapport and credibility with our members. It was an opportunity to show them that we weren't just BSing when we said they were owners with us and that we truly wanted to build something that met their needs, not our own.

So, I feel like your advice was really helpful in that scenario. Wanted you to know I'm listening. :slight_smile: