What’s it like running a coworking space? Can you make money doing it? Over on GigaOM Pro (subscription required), Imran’s written an interesting article that takes an in-depth look at the journey taken by two coworking spaces: Philadelphia’s Independents Hall (also known as IndyHall), and UK-based Fly The Coop, in Manchester.
In the article, Imran shares some key figures, such as the costs of running each space, and in the case of IndyHall, some fairly detailed revenue and profit/loss figures. One thing is clear from looking at the figures — coworking spaces run on very tight margins.
To help boost their bottom line, coworking spaces need to look for additional revenue streams, but in a way that doesn’t adversely impact impact on their members — because these spaces are, effectively, communities. This is something that Imran has written about here on WWD before, and previously suggested:
- Charging drop-ins a small “pay as you go” fee for daily use, rather than the member’s traditional “pay monthly” subscriptions.
- Reselling web hosting or magazine/service/software subscriptions.
- Providing externally-sourced legal and accounting expertise, where suppliers pay referrals for access to the community.
- Providing innovative nutrition services from companies such as Graze.
- Leasing and renting meeting space to non-members for modest fees.
- Hosting “master classes” and training courses for local businesses.
What other innovative ways could coworking spaces boost their revenues without impacting their members?
Related GigaOM Pro content (sub req.): By The Numbers: Running a Coworking Space