“Coworking can and will change the world.” — Amarit Charoenphan
Proximity recently hosted a community call titled “Independently Together”. The intention behind this call was to get coworking space owner/operators and managers from around the world together to answer the question, “How can we raise the tide of the industry, together?” The conversation brought about so many great ideas and points, so I thought I’d share them with you here. You see, the coworking industry is growing fast and furious and spaces are popping up everywhere. It’s becoming normal to see multiple spaces in the same town or city. This is awesome because it shows that more and more people are becoming aware of the power of coworking and they’re getting involved with the industry that we all love so much! Rather than thinking of the coworking space around the corner as a competitor, let’s start thinking of ways that we can partner with each other and truly raise the tide of the industry. Here are some of the ways we can make that happen:
Plan a gathering event in your community
If you have multiple coworking spaces in your community that’s a perfect opportunity to plan an “After Hours” event to meet up, mingle, and get to know each other more. You can have one space host the event and provide the food and have everyone else attending bring a beverage. During the event give each space the opportunity to introduce themselves and encourage all guests to visit each space.
Be excited and supportive when a new space moves in
Every coworking space has a different vibe, a different culture, a different list of offerings and amenities, and a different story. Your differentiation and uniqueness will attract the people you want, and as Dave Lundy said, “It’s not so much competition but another person promoting coworking.” When more spaces move in, that brings about more awareness about coworking in general (which is awesome). Coworking spaces are not a one size fits all by any means!
Build upon the coworking narrative
Tony Bacigalupo, one of the call attendees and a top coworking advocate said, “Our biggest competition is our lack of awareness in the value of coworking.” People don’t just need workspaces, but they do need what happens in them (community, collaboration, connections, etc.). We need to talk more about the good and awesome things that are happening in our spaces, the relationships that are being built, and the positive outcomes that are being generated. We aren’t selling workspace, we are selling much, much more. Remember the campaign “Got Milk”? They didn’t care what brand of milk people were drinking, all that they cared about was getting more people to drink milk. So, what they sold were the benefits of milk (calcium and vitamin D) with a catchy tagline “milk makes the body good”. What benefits of coworking should we be selling to people and what taglines could we use? It’s something to think about.
Spend time outside of your own space
Stepping outside of your normal environment to talk to people in your community about the value of coworking is a game-changer! Give yourself a goal to spend at least 8 hours outside of your space in one week and share the value of coworking with people you come in contact with.