How do I start a coworking space when I have no business starting a coworking space?

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I got an email from someone working on starting a new space recently. They asked a few questions about how to raise financing and generally gear up for renting a big space.

The clever community builder, however, side steps this issue until they’re ready to take it on. Behold, my process for getting a space when you have no business getting a space (from a guy who did it):

STARTING SMALL

It sounds like you’re in a place I’ve been in before: where you have the desire to get something going, but lack the resources to build out a space of your own.

This gives you a tremendous opportunity, because building out and running a space is an expensive and distracting undertaking!

At this point, you may do well to focus on building your community through small, regular gatherings and making use of whatever spaces are already available to you.

FINDING A SPACE PARTNER

You can then work on finding a partner who either already has a space or is looking to move into one. It could be a consulting firm or a startup or a small business of some kind… you’ll know when you’ve got the right fit.

Working with a partner like that helps you get in the door, literally, without having to have all the resources you’d need to sign your own lease.

This was how I was able to get started in NYC, a notoriously expensive place, as a 23-year-old with just a few thousand bucks of savings. I subletted from a startup that had more room than they needed.

Being clever helps you evade the usual barriers!

GETTING YOUR OWN SPACE

Then… as you continue to build momentum… you will line up potential sponsors, members who can pre-pay for their memberships, government support, and more.

When the time is right, you’ll be ready to make the jump to a space of your own.

 

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