How to start a coworking space

So, you’re thinking of starting a coworking space. I’m glad you are, because the world needs some great coworking spaces!

Coworking is redefining how we work. With over 1 million people working in coworking spaces worldwide, and thousands of new locations opening every year, the shift away from the traditional 9-to-5 is well underway.

What’s all that mean for you? Two things: (1) you have a chance to build a great business that helps a lot of people make a big transition, and (2) you’re going to have some big challenges ahead of you as you size up what you’re going to do.

Let me help you do it right: Register to get my Coworking Space Starter Kit!

What is coworking, anyway?

Coworking happens in many shapes and sizes.

Coworking means a lot of things to a lot of people. To me, the core is this: people who can work anywhere are choosing to work alongside one another… for companionship, to find professional help, and for so much more.

Coworking spaces are emerging as physical places where people an gather to cowork. These spaces might simply be shared workspaces, but the really good ones put deliberate effort into cultivating relationships and positive experiences between their members.

Pay no attention to the big box coworking space behind the curtain!

What about compet­ition?

Pay no mind to the big box coworking space behind the curtain!

As coworking grows, the Big Coworking spaces grow too. WeWork and a whole slew of aspiring chain spaces are growing like crazy. They’re raising money, they’re getting press, and they’re coming to a city near you.

Does that mean you should stay out of this business? Heck no! The need for coworking is way bigger than just what the big spaces can handle… sort of like how Starbucks is so big, and at the same time is just one of a great many places to get a cup of coffee.

You can build a coworking space that stands out by building the kind of community that people will love no matter who moves in next door.

Because building a great coworking space has less to do with the workspace itself and everything to do with the people who are in it. And that’s where I’m going to help you win.

The secret to getting it right

The workspace is only as meaningful as the people who occupy it, and the relationships between them.

It’s the worst-kept secret to success in coworking, yet relatively few coworking spaces really do anything about it.

What’s this big secret?

Build relationships between people. 

Authentic relationships between the members of your community makes every aspect of your job easier: from attracting and retaining members to programming and even the daily headaches of running a space… they all go a lot more smoothly when you’ve done the clever work and cultivated those relationships from the very start.

It’s all about invitations.

The opp­or­tunity

It’s all about invitations.

Since you haven’t started your space yet*, you have a chance to make life a heck of a lot easier on yourself, for the next many years, right now.

You’re going to do this by creating a series of invitations: invitations to help you shape your vision, make key decisions as you develop your project, to develop programming, and so much more.

You’re going to recruit people to get emotionally invested in your project, so you’re not doing everything yourself. And when you open your doors, you’ll have an incredible group of people around you, ready to ensure you succeed.

* if you’ve already started your space, don’t fret! I’ve revitalized coworking cultures from within. Let’s get in touch!

But I’m not a community builder!

No worries, we can work with that. If you know how to build a solid business, or if you are used to dealing with commercial real estate, we can help you find the community leaders who will help you to build the culture you need to make your space truly special.

Hi, I’m Tony.

Since 2007, I’ve been learning everything I can about how to do coworking in every context imaginable: in apartments, cafes, public spaces, and offices, from tiny scales to city-sized projects, in urban, suburban, and rural environments, you name it.

I deeply believe that the world needs great coworking communities everywhere, so I’ve dedicated myself to helping people build spaces all over the world.

Learn a bit more about me and connect with me here.

Get my free Coworking Space Starter Kit

I want to make sure you have everything you need to get off on the right foot. To that end, I’m offering up a free package of resources, including:

  • A worksheet to identify where you can find your first potential members
  • A business model template so you can get to work putting together numbers
  • A draft member agreement template to save you some time with the legalese
  • Ongoing tips and tricks in your inbox!

Register to instantly get your free resources:

Researching opening a spaceActively working on a new spaceSigned a leaseAbout to open (less than 2 months)Recently opened a spaceBeen open more than a yearOther

Business / StartupCommunity buildingEconomic DevelopmentReal estateResearch/AcademicOther

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Need help right now? Let’s talk!

As a member of the Organizers Club, you’ll get access to my full toolkit of resources, discussion groups, and personal feedback on any questions you might have.

If you’re working on starting a new space, I want to ensure you do it right!

Learn more and apply