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I am looking for new positions within my company, and I came across one that looks good, and the best part is they offer remote work. I currently work remotely a few days a week in a not-private home office. If I were to take this position, I would need to either build an office in my home that can lock, or find an alternative.
One alternative that has been going through my mind is coworking, but not going to a coworking place, opening a coworking space and running it as a second job. I am on a major commute corridor to a large city, there are a lot of malls and office buildings in the area with high vacancy, and the only major coworking competition is downtown in the major city (which, sorry, but that kind of defeats the point of working remotely to me).
Has anyone had experience as an owner or customer of a coworking establishment? Any thoughts on my idea (it is still VERY much in the initial concept phase)?
Thank you for your input.
They can be great. We have helped several companies setup their co-working/co-officing spaces. I have enjoyed going to them just for meetings. The energy from other "groups" there is envigorating. I have some data and example firms if you are interested.
I am very close to buying a month or two here. --->> http://www.icafekc.com/
Others in Kansas City include: http://officeportnetwork.com/
I love the idea. I haven't participated in one yet. My suggestion is to be very flexible and meet the customer where they are. Bend to their wants and needs. Every co-worker and remote worker is wanting a different set-up and needs to do and have access to different things. I would even suggest letting the customer tell YOU what they need and then creating a package around their needs. A customized package for everyone. Lots of people also dont want to commit to a full month, just a few days a week or month. A 10 day stamp card is a good idea I have seen.
That icafekc.com looks great. That open house party is a great idea.
Derek's idea of the the 10 day samp card is a great idea.
We are working with a group now that are debating that kind of membership.
Remember, you are competing with Starbucks, the public library and Panera Bread and they are all FREE. (with a $5 cup of coffee of course) There are no membership costs or "use it our lose it" situations to consider with these "free" distance-working places. I have put off joining one of these places because I am quite happy in my apartment and the coffee shop that is 100 feet from my front door. Im over there (Im here now) for hours a day. I have not found a place that adds value to my situation for a fee that I am willing to pay for the services they offer.
Check this out
Mark, here in Austin, and Dallas where I moved from co-working spaces are very popular. There are several here in Austin, but one of them just went under (but that's not to say they didn't close their doors for reasons other than failure). Most of the one's I looked at went for around $200 - $250 a month and included amenities such as fax machine, kitchen, free coffee, donuts in the morning, etc. I think you have a VERY good idea. If you have a space you can sublease go for it. I don't think it would be too hard to run on top of your current job.
I know Derek mentions coffee shops, but some people need a place that is quieter and can make phone calls. Often the coffee shops I do work from in the afternoon and plagued by the sounds of loud music, noisy blenders, and lots of people. So, don't let that discourage you. People will pay for space to work, the coffee shop environment isn't for everyone. Plus some people want to work around like minded people to inspire them.
The current space my company is using is a co-working space of sorts (a small business incubator) and the woman that runs it also runs two businesses within the space. So, I think it's manageable.
I have interviewed the managing partner of a Kansas City co-working space called Bizperc. Fantastic guy with a big vision. They refer to Bizperc as an entrepreneurial incubator. Listen to the episodes labeled "bizperc/think big partners" and "Planet Reuse & Flow"
I am also going to be producing a podcast for Bizperc starting in January. I will post details and links as they are created.
I will check that out.
Thank you Derek.