Nearly 9 in 10 coworkers say they feel happier after joining a coworking space and as many as 83% say it makes them feel less lonely, per Small Business Labs

While the numerous benefits of coworking communities are well-documented, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make a coworking space business thrive. Between marketing the space, nurturing leads, managing budgets, and addressing member issues coworking space owners and managers have their work cut out for them. 

In this post, we’ll walk through proven strategies for how to make a coworking space business more profitable, while retaining existing members and attracting new ones.

Coworking space business owner

How to Increase Profitability at Your Coworking Space Business

1. Put yourself in your members’ shoes

One of the best ways to pinpoint opportunities to boost revenue in your space is to try to see your coworking space from your members’ perspective. After all, they’re the ones not you who drive the revenue.

For instance, ask yourself if the pricing structure is fair, given the median wages in your region. Would you pay to work at your coworking space? We know it’s hard, but try to be unbiased. 

Actually walk through the morning routine as if you’re one of your members, and give an honest assessment of what needs work. Is the space inviting? Is everything stocked? Would I have everything I need to comfortably work here for longer than I would at home or a coffee shop? And if so, how many days a week would I realistically work here?

Are there good networking opportunities? Events?

A survey by Small Business Labs showed that 82% of respondents have expanded their professional network since joining a coworking office space. If your space develops into a hub for people particularly freelancers to network and grow their revenue, that could very well lead to high member retention. That, in turn, could help you grow revenue for your coworking space business. 

Also, key into your differentiators, especially if there are other coworking spaces in your neighborhood. Make sure your unique sales proposition is front and center on your website and marketing materials. If your membership base is what makes you stand out, then lean into that. That way, your members will understand the value your coworking space provides before they ever set foot in the building. 

2. Explore creative ways to staff your coworking space

Beyond covering rent for the building space and utilities such as high-speed internet, one of the bigger costs associated with managing a coworking space business can be staffing. Having someone on-site to open the doors, make the coffee, keep everything neat and tidy and check people in, can help create a warm and welcoming atmosphere in your space. But we know — staffing a building full-time can be a bit of a challenge, especially in the earlier stages of your journey to profitability.

That’s why it’s important to get creative. Have you explored a digital concierge? Perhaps now’s the time. Proximity Wave is your own digital concierge that comes included in the price of every Proximity subscription. You can set it up at your front desk to:

  • Greet visitors
  • Check in members
  • Notify your members and employees of deliveries, packages, and more
  • Help people request tours

But most of all, it helps create a more secure environment for members and staff.

Proximity digital concierge to greet coworking members

Perhaps you’re set on having on on-site staff. In that case, consider adopting a work-for-trade program as a means to staff your coworking space. That is, in exchange for a few hours per week of work, you can offer a coworking membership to interested parties. It’s essentially a bartering arrangement, in which they’ll be able to access the space and all of its amenities exactly the same as any other member, minus the membership fees. It’s a win-win you get help, and they get space.

Of course, this requires vetting the right candidates, as it’s important to make sure the expectations are clear on both sides. Just because it’s not a paid position, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be treated like one. In other words, if one of your work-trade staffers has a day job they want to work remotely while staffing your coworking space, make sure it’s communicated up front what the specific duties are for each shift. That way, everyone will be on the same page. And you’ll be able to comfortably slash operational costs, without sacrificing any peace of mind. 

If you’re interested in a work-for-trade arrangement, rest assured the practice is legal, but there are a few things to consider.

3. Prioritize customer service

Like any other business, customer service is the lifeblood of a coworking space. Truthfully, these days, many people are more comfortable with self-service than with actually talking to a human staff member. But even if coworking is, on the whole, a fairly self-sufficient business model, members want to know they’ll have the support they need should an issue arise.

The staffers in charge of hospitality at your coworking space should be you guessed it hospitable. Every customer interaction should leave your members feeling seen and heard. 

Suppose you have a member who’s upset about the noise in your coworking space, and they don’t know where to go to get it resolved. Or, they’ve addressed it via the proper channel(s) but a day’s passed and nothing’s happened. They’re likely to become increasingly frustrated. And if that happens too many times to too many customers, that can have a direct impact on your bottom line.

Whether you have a receptionist, a community manager, or only off-site support, make sure your users can reach a staff member whenever they need to, for whatever reason. If you’re off-site but your members contact you via Slack, for instance, make sure you have your Slack notifications turned on during work hours and you can give each request the time and attention it deserves. 

4. Upgrade to the best technology

Technology and coworking software are foundational components of any coworking office space. While investing in a top-tier coworking management platform such as Proximity might feel like a purchase that can be delayed for when cash flow is stronger, the earlier on you can implement it, the better.

Coworking business space quote

Having a comprehensive solution to manage bookable resources, door locks, membership fees, and everything in between, will free you up to do more of what only you can do — build your community. 

5. Host events your members care about

Planning events is a lot of work and requires a lot of time, even if only two people show up. So if you’re going to make that investment, it’s important to understand up front who you’re planning the event for.

For instance, what fields do to they work in? What times would they be able to attend an event? Always invite your members to share at an event if they’re qualified to speak on the chosen topic.

For more ideas, download our Guide to Planning Events for Your Member Community

6. Set up an ergonomically-friendly space

Ergonomics is the science of altering your workspace to maximize your comfort. Whether it’s supplying your space with chair cushions, laptop stands, ergonomic keyboards, or something else, these subtle upgrades can help your members ward off pain and other risks associated with working desk jobs.

If your budget allows for it, it might be a good idea to invest in some sit-stand desks, to give your members the option to work from either an office chair or a standing position. Alternating between sitting and standing has proven to reduce pressure on the vertebrae and increase circulation to the legs. It can also virtually eliminate lower back pain. 

As ergonomists love to say, “your best posture is your next posture.” When you have healthy members, you have happy, productive members. When you have happy, productive members, you have a much clearer path to profitability. 

7. Get regular feedback from your coworking space members

While it’s never a bad idea to put yourself in your members’ shoes to try to get a gauge on what needs improvement, you can also just ask them directly. Whether it’s an informal in-person conversation or a carefully crafted SurveyMonkey survey, polling your coworking space members on their unique experience is an invaluable tool for refining your revenue strategy. 

You might learn something from them that you just plainly overlooked. For instance, perhaps you have multiple bookable meeting rooms, but only one gets used regularly. If that’s the case, maybe it’s time to repurpose the other room into something else that could generate more revenue, such as private office space. 

Another proven avenue through which to solicit feedback is the Net Promoter Score survey, a market research metric that typically poses customers a single question: 

“On a scale of 1 to 10, rate the likelihood you would recommend this business to a friend, business partner or colleague.”


It’s a simple yet revealing query. After all, if you’re scoring 10s across the board, it’s likely you’ll generate considerable traffic via word-of-mouth. If you can capture a good portion of those leads, your coworking space business will be in excellent shape. 

 

Looking to spend less time on operational tasks and focus more time on building your community? We’ll show you how.

Schedule your Coworking Space Optimization Call HERE.