How to Write a Business Plan For a Coworking Space

Writing a business plan for a coworking space is much like writing one for a hotel business. You are offering a space for people to conduct business where they may not have access to a brick and mortar office space for themselves as a sole proprietor or their small business as a limited liability company.  

You can write a business plan for a coworking space by:

  1. Following the usual business plan template.
  2. Research other local coworking spaces. 
  3. Choose the spaces you want to offer clients.
  4. Price your clients’ use of those spaces accordingly. 
  5. Think of strategic marketing tactics to accumulate clients. 

Once you start to think of your coworking space as a multi-faceted product and service, you will be on your way to successfully open and operating! 

1. Follow the Usual Business Plan Template

How to Write a Business Plan For a Coworking Space

While you are mainly offering a convenient service for small business owners and freelancers that need office space, you have to present the coworking spaces much like a tangible product when you are writing the business plan. 

Present the coworking space as a product by considering:

  • What type of coworking spaces do you want to offer? 
  • The types of office furniture you would need for each type of space. 
  • How many furniture pieces would be needed for all the coworking spaces that you will offer. 
  • Present your startup spending budget and compare it to how much you have to spend to get all the furniture.  

Essentially, think of it like you are writing a business plan as if you are running a hotel. However, you are running a business-like hotel for small business professionals. 

2. Research Other Local Coworking Spaces

To get a good idea of how coworking spaces operate, the types of spaces they offer for rent, and their price points, research other local coworking spaces in your area. 

The best way to create your success with a small business is to see how the people before you have done it. However, do not completely copy what another coworking space is doing. 

Learn the key elements of the business from researching other local coworking spaces then make it your own by interweaving your ideas and niches to make it unique from your competitors. 

The usual coworking space gives clients:

  • A lounge area for break time. 
  • A kitchen for them to eat lunch. 
  • Free coffee and tea as refreshments during their work time. 
  • A specific space in which the person or business rents. 
  • Access to a conference room (if needed) for business meetings. 
  • Fast Wi-Fi service so that they can get their online work done. 

Think of other amenities that your clients would desire by asking potential customers what they would want in their dream office space. 

3. Choose the Spaces You Want to Offer Clients

As mentioned above, you have to discover what type of coworking spaces you want to offer. Of course, these decisions would be based on your vision of the coworking space you wish to create and how much room you have in the building in which you are renting or mortgaging to offer these services. 

Open Desks

Open desks are a small work area mainly for sole proprietors such as freelancers. Equip this area with a desk, computer, printer, fax machine, and comfy computer chair. 

Make the area feel welcome with a couple of fun additions. Put a picture frame with a motivational saying propped next to the computer or hanging on a wall adjacent to the wall. Place a green potted plant on a plant stand next to the desk. 

Sole proprietors that decide to rent open desks can only be in the building for select hours. For example, one company in New Jersey called Incutate, allows Open Desk membership holders to only be in the building from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm and starts at $100 per month. 

Cubicles

Cubicles are more private than open desks and have all the same amenities. However, each area is sectioned off for more privacy as you complete your work on the computer. Plus, a cubicle membership will come with your own private Wi-Fi network connection and storage cloud account. 

Starting at $325, a client can rent a cubicle for private use and have access to it 24/7. Whether your client wants to get work done during regular business hours, or they have to come in the middle of the night to crunch down a deadline before sunrise, he or she can come in and use the cubicle any time desired. 

Private Suite

How to Write a Business Plan For a Coworking Space

A private office has all the amenities of an open desk or a cubicle. However, the office is located in its room for the utmost privacy possible amongst all the coworking space options. Market the private office for small business owners that have to do one-on-one consultation chats with their clients in person. Clients who are lawyers, accountants, graphic designers, and the like would benefit from utilizing a private office so that there is more privacy as they confidentially discuss the services that the client needs. 

Conference Room Use

Each type of membership comes with an allotted conference room usage time. If a client has a cubicle or private suite membership, Incutate gives 4 hours per week in the conference room. If a client has an open desk membership, Incutate gives their clients 2 hours per month. 

Conference room use is included with the clients’ monthly membership and does not cost any extra money unless the client utilizes the conference room beyond their allotted usage time. For example, if you use the small conference room beyond the 2 hours or 4 hours you are allotted at Incutate, it costs an extra $20 per hour. If you are using the large conference room, it costs an extra $30 per hour. 

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4. Price Your Client’s Use of Those Spaces Accordingly

Now that you have gotten an idea of pricing in the above examples, now you must think of how to price your client’s use of your coworking spaces accordingly. 

Think about the amenities that you will offer for each membership. If one membership plan is more costly than another, be sure there is an extra amenity or two added beyond the membership below it so that it can be more worthwhile for the client by going for the higher-priced membership. 

For example, Incutate offers the client lockable storage if they rent a cubicle or a private suite. If you are using an open desk, you do not have access to lockable storage. The lockable storage involves being able to store files in filing cabinets and such in the rented area. 

5. Think of Strategic Marketing Tactics to Accumulate Clients

With the rise of small businesses in America today, more people need a place to conduct their business rather than just from the kitchen table at their homes. 

Freelance writers and graphic designers may live with multiple people at home and not have a quiet place to work. A coworking space rental could do the trick for them. 

A business has expanded in size, but the business owner may not possibly have enough space to conduct the work. Hence, a coworking space would help substantially. 

Social Media

Market your coworking space on social media by:

  • Posting promotions for discounted rental of coworking space for the first month. 
  • Customer polls on why they use a coworking space; open the conversation on a Facebook thread. 
  • Post a customer testimonial as a status on your business Facebook page to say how proud you are that your business has satisfied a customer. 

Customer Testimonials

Speaking of happy customers, always consider collecting customer testimonials as a free source of public relations. Place the customer testimonials, as aforementioned, on your social media wall. You can even post them on your website in a prominent area so that potential customers can be encouraged to try your coworking space services. 

Video Advertising

Get the camera rolling and do your own video advertising or you can have a freelance videographer do this part for you. Make a 30-second commercial displaying your coworking space’s amenities to post on your company’s YouTube or have it on television on your local news station for nearby clients to learn about your coworking space business. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What other amenities can I provide my clients who use my coworking space business?

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Besides the main amenities that a coworking space would offer, you can also have:

  • A veranda area for people to take work breaks outside during the spring and summer. 
  • Turn conference rooms into a small daycare, if large enough to accommodate a small number of children.
    • A daycare owner can operate out of this room. 
    • You can hire a daycare teacher and clients can drop their children off so that they can be watched while the client gets their work done. Charge extra per hour that the child is watched or an amount can be included with the monthly rental of the office space. 
  • A vending machine for quick snacks (small out-of-pocket cost from the client).
  • A cafeteria that serves meals throughout the day, especially if you have a larger building and multiple coworking spaces.
    • Consider you would need a license to serve food. 
    • Experienced cooks to make the food. 
    • Hire cashiers to take orders and expedite the food to the clients. 
  • If you do not want to go the extra mile of having a cafeteria, you can have a grab-and-go station with ready-made foods where clients get one free meal for each mealtime they are present at the office.

Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.