Coworking has come a long way from its humble beginnings, and is now a significant sector of the commercial property industry and an integral part of the way we work. The growth of the flexible workspace sector has been rapid over the last 10 years, and it shows no signs of slowing down, with The Instant Group predicting that up to 12.5% of the entire office market will be flexible by 2023.
That leaves a lot of room for new market entrants – if the pie is growing, more people can have a slice. In other words, now is potentially a great time to consider opening a coworking or flexible workspace. But it’s no walk in the park to get a coworking space off the ground, especially when you’re starting from scratch.
Venture X is the fastest growing coworking brand in the world, with 45 locations open and an additional 130 franchise agreements across the world. We know how to start a coworking space and, more importantly, how to make it successful. Outlined below is our guide to opening a coworking space the traditional way, alongside notes on how becoming a Venture X franchisee makes the journey simpler and more fruitful.
The first step when creating a business of any kind is to carry out in-depth market research, and it’s no different when entering the coworking market. Market research should be oriented around building your understanding of the sector, how it works, who the main competitors are, and what the target market looks like. The findings from your market research should make it clear what opportunity is open to being captured, and therefore how likely you are to make your coworking space a success.
As a Venture X franchisee, you start your journey by working with our real estate services team to carry out market research. With access to our in-house tools and techniques, you’ll get clear insights into the market in your region and how fierce the competition is.
Next, it’s time to put together a business plan. This will be your guidebook to the rest of your journey, laying the foundation for every other decision you’ll make. Putting together a business plan involves tying many strands into one thread – you need to consider every aspect of your business, including:
- What you aim to achieve
- How your brand will be positioned
- What limits your finances will pose
- Roughly where you’ll set up
- How you’ll market your workspace
While you don’t have to make final decisions on any of these factors at this stage, it’s important to get a sense of where you’re headed and what it will require to get there.
As a Venture X franchisee, the requirements involved in creating a business plan are significantly lessened. You’ll be part of an already established brand, the financial situation is clear, you’ll have support in choosing a location that makes sense, and you’ll benefit from an established approach to marketing. You’ll still have to do some planning of your own, but you’ll get a lot of support along the way.
Sound financial planning is essential to the success of your coworking space. First of all, you need to figure out where you’ll get the money from to start up. This can involve using your own capital, seeking external investment, or a combination of both. You’ll have to pay close attention to the repayment plan on any financing you take, as it’ll affect your profitability for years to come. You also have to determine what pricing structure works for you by projecting revenue, ensuring that you’re making a comfortable enough margin to make ends meet.
As a Venture X franchisee, you don’t have quite as many financial decisions to make. The investment size starts at £500k, which covers you for the franchise fee, fit-out of your chosen space, marketing, working capital, and all of the initial training and support available from Venture X. You also have the opportunity to add additional revenue streams to your workspace’s financial plans, including car parking, meeting room hire, catering, and much more.
With your finances sorted, you can move on to unpacking the findings of your market research that relate to location and picking a city or region that suits your business plan. Selecting the right location to build your coworking space is an important part of the process, as it will intrinsically affect your addressable market. You then need to decide whether to renovate an existing space or build from scratch, depending on your budgetary constraints, before you can get to work bringing your ideas into the physical world.
As a Venture X franchisee, you’ll get support in finding the perfect location for your franchise workspace from our real estate services team. They can utilise their own locational data and market research techniques to help inform your decision, ensuring that you’re making a sensible choice.
Fit-out and marketing
The really exciting part of opening a coworking space starts here, as you get to begin designing, fitting-out, and marketing your workspace. Your choices in this stage will be informed heavily by your chosen brand positioning and other elements of your business plan – you should know by now who it is you’re targeting and this is your chance to design the perfect workspace for them. However, it’s also an expensive stage of the journey, as you’ll have to cover the costs of renovations, any required building work, electrics, furniture, equipment, and more. You also have to consider how to roll out your marketing plan to generate interest in your workspace before it exists – it’s important that you fill seats before launch to ensure a smooth transition into operation.
As a Venture X franchisee, you’ll be supported throughout the fit-out or renovation stage by our consultants, who can guide you in the process of creating a cohesive Venture X space. While you’ll have less choice in the overall appearance of the space, there’s still plenty of room to make your mark. We also provide full initial marketing services to get your campaigns up and running and begin to generate interest in your space, and you’ll get access to our tailored marketing plan that’s tried and tested on other Venture X locations.
Finally, you’re ready to launch your workspace. It’s massively satisfying to see your dream space come to life, so take the time to enjoy it. It’s always a good idea to host a launch event, too, attracting potential customers and generating a buzz around your new contribution to the local business ecosystem.
Opening a coworking space the Venture X way
As you can tell, opening a coworking space is a massive undertaking. The road to getting your workspace open and filled is a long one, and there are plenty of potential speedbumps that’ll slow you down or make things difficult.
The Venture X franchise route offers a different choice – you’ll be following a path that’s already laid out for you using our proven model for opening coworking spaces, meaning the risk involved is much less threatening. You’ll also get to become a part of the fastest growing coworking brand in the world, and reap the rewards that come with that including instant brand recognition and access to our systems and bank of knowledge.
You can find out more about the Venture X franchise opportunity by downloading our brochure, full of all of the facts and figures that prove why becoming a Venture X owner could be your first step into the future.