Coworking in recent years is a word we have often heard, and the rest is the way of working of the future. The fact that now more and more people work not in the office, but around, at home, with their laptop, has led to the creation of premises equipped with sockets and WiFi, often bars such as Starbucks or similar, so that students and workers had a place where they can be quietly performing their duties. But the coworking center is a further step, and if well exploited it could become your (excellent) new business. Let’s see how to proceed.
UNDERSTAND WHAT COWORKING IS
Before going into all the practices and procedures you need to do to open a coworking office, you must certainly understand the concept of coworking well: what exactly is it?
Coworking takes place when people, workers from home or around, but also emerging companies and startups looking for their first office, freelance workers looking for occasional places to carry out their work, but also students, go to share the same working space .
The same space can be made up of a very large common area, full of desks, seats, in some cases PC (but now they are not needed, since everyone has their laptop) in which all these workers indicated above can work at their projects, sharing the roof.
However, the most modern coworking spaces also share services, such as a kitchen, meeting rooms, but also private rental offices that are exploited by companies if they need them; as well as other spaces designed to have multiple functions, and therefore in a very flexible way.
Some coworking centers also have hardware laboratories, environments for events and presentations, catering and projection rooms. Today a coworking office, thanks to the constant evolution of technology, is much more practical and functional than in the past: just the new cloud services, which represent the future so much that the major majors ( Microsoft above all) are making it their main business; they, it was said, allow access to programs, calls, e-mails, and files in any place and with any device as long as it is connected.
So a freelancer no longer needs to remain anchored to his home computer, just as companies no longer have to equip their offices with the right equipment, and employees can still work using their personal devices in any workspace as long as they are connected. to the wifi network.
OPEN A COWORKING OFFICE
To open a coworking office you must understand all the reasons why a coworking office manages to attract people so much, to the point of having an exponential growth.
The first coworking was opened in San Francisco in 2005: who founded it was a freelance who wanted to combine the idea of working for himself with the idea of community, involving other people. Since then, coworking has grown continuously, becoming extremely popular in less than 20 years.
It is estimated that by the end of 2019 the people who will work in the coworking offices around the world will be about 2 million, and they are destined to grow. In short, coworking is the next step of the freelancer who started his business at home.
But now let’s move on to the facts. To open a well-equipped coworking office, you must allow people to separate their working lives from their private and domestic ones, thus aiming and allowing a lot of productivity; to take advantage of a professional environment, as well as an address where you can meet investors and customers; to give space to present and future employees; to encourage direct contacts by developing a sense of community between colleagues and other entrepreneurs.
The coworking space must have peculiar and unique characteristics, which distinguish it from the traditional office and which make it attractive: therefore it allows you to have lower management costs and more flexibility than a rental or property contract.
Usually the monthly payment for coworking offices are considerably lower than for rents for private offices, and provide for greater flexibility; moreover, the coworking contracts are valid for shorter periods, even for a single month and the notice period is short for cancellation.
Those who want to open a coworking space during its design, as well as during the organization of the space, must enter the shoes of young entrepreneurs and freelancers, therefore trying to understand everything that is useful for the management of work activities.
It is obvious, however, that a coworking office is not addressed only to new entrepreneurs but also to startups and freelancers, because there are few companies that love coworking to the point of exploiting it even when they can have their own office. Many multinational corporations, even large ones, have their offices in coworking centers.
Those who turn to a coworking office are looking for all the useful services for the development of their work, and for this reason a coworking space must guarantee:
- Stable and fast WiFi;
- Printers, scanners, copiers;
- Meeting and conference room.
It must therefore make collaborations and online work simple for each worker. And since they are mostly frequented by entrepreneurs at the beginning, or that they are growing their business, there will be many opportunities to exchange experiences and advice, to collaborate on projects. There are many coworking offices that actually encourage these relationships, with free events and workshops for their customers.
And then going to design a coworking space you have to focus a lot on the design and the atmosphere that is created, with elegant and modern furnishings, colored perhaps even a little extravagant, but which are not too heavy and loaded to make the environment pleasant and stimulating.
SUCCESSFUL COWORKING OFFICES
Among the fundamental things for the success of the coworking office there is certainly the low cost, which is well below a traditional office. In any case, the rates must be well studied, given that self-employed workers tend not to want each other or to be able to bind to a single office for a long time.
You can therefore think of different packages that change in terms of duration of use and billing period. You can also rely on complete packages with a fixed desk 24/7, and on reduced packages with a flexible and freely selectable desk.
Of course a coworking office prefers long-term customer loyalty, but nevertheless do not forget that the package for short periods is one of the most successful. Many customers live with short-term projects and are unable to have long-term plans, given the varied and poorly standardized work they do, so make sure to give monthly, weekly and even daily bills .
The good accessibility, the equipment and the working atmosphere, therefore, guarantee the success of the coworking space. But if you want quick success you don’t have to limit yourself to wifi, seats and equipment. Beauty pleases, but has its limits: better a less luxurious center but full of consultative events, workshops, entertainment to be organized for members.
You aim a lot at dinners together, aperitifs, cocktail parties that strengthen the bonds and cooperation between the various workers. It is clear, therefore, that you have to study well the type of structure you want to propose to people. But to promote the interactions avoided too large rooms and also the separation with individual offices.
The right compromise is a mix of large areas of interaction and a few individual offices to be able to work in a group and operate in private, according to the person’s mood and needs.
So, in conclusion, to open a coworking center you have to keep these considerations in mind:
- Consider carefully the name to be given to the business,because as in any business, logo and brand make the difference.
- Contact the Public Administration to understand all the bureaucratic processes regarding commercial and state licenses, and everything you need.
- Try to understand if there are convenient opportunities to set up a company, as an alternative to individual management and therefore to protect assets in the event of bankruptcy.
- Open a companybank account , thus separating personal assets from those of the company.
- Draw up a good business plan, well detailed; and organize corporate accounting.
- Take out an insurance policy.