New businesses are coming up every day. People are looking for places to network as they carry on with their work. Lack of resources like Wi-Fi and printing services makes working at home a challenge. This has led to the rise in the establishment of shared offices and co-workings spaces.
If you are planning to start a co-working space business in Kenya, this is how to go about it.
Have an Interest
The first step to a successful business is to have an interest. This involves getting to know what resources people want in shared and co-working spaces. Also, find out what a majority of your target customers do. Are they freelancers, entrepreneurs, artists, or designers? This will help you to avail the necessary resources for your target customers.
Have a Business Plan
Any successful business needs to have a business plan. Calculate the amount of startup capital and the source of funding for the co-working space business. The amount of startup capital will help you differentiate your business needs and wants. Have a list of all the necessary items and their prices.
Come up with a means of marketing your business. Depending on your priorities and the available startup capital, decide whether you want a sole proprietorship or a partnership business.
Read also: Sources of business ideas.
Have a Framework
First, decide if you want a co-working office only, or a co-working space with private offices. These are some of the models to consider.
1. Co-working Space with Private Offices
If you want to start a co-working space with private offices, look for a spacious rental facility. Then design the offices before you can partition the private offices for privacy. Equip the private office with the necessary equipment like working desks and office chairs.
2. Co-working Spaces with Events
Starting a co-working space business with events can help you raise extra income. Events can include activities like swimming competitions. It is also a way of marketing your business. Consider community events, cinemas and talks.
You need to come up with pricing for each of your business’ activity. First, calculate all your overhead costs and other costs. Calculate the profit margin of your business. Add the total costs and the profit margin and then subdivide the sum with the daily activities of your business. Make sure that the price is fair to your customers and enough to meet your overhead costs.
Consult other Players
If you know a person who has had a successful co-working space business, make sure to get some advice. They may help you maneuver the rough waters in this business and some unforeseen circumstances. Ultimately, they can be a source of inspiration for your business.
Considerations for Starting a Co-working Space Business in Kenya
Most of the successful co-working spaces are located in city centers. However, since more people are moving away from towns, co-working spaces are also doing well in growing towns. One of the factors you need to consider when starting a co-working space business is the business location. Ensure that is located in an accessible place with high influx of people.
There are no fixed rules on the kind of furniture you need for your co-working space business. However, ensure that the furniture is comfortable and one that ensures proper sitting posture of your clients. Consider your budget when deciding the type of furniture. You can even choose second hand furniture or can hire a designer to advise you.
At some point, you may require to install utilities like printers, scanners and photocopiers. When starting, make sure to provide Wi-Fi to your customers. Also, have Ethernet plugs for those who cannot access Wi-Fi.
Some amenities that established working offices should have include a fully fledged kitchen, coffee, tea, milk, water, sugar and a fridge.
Make sure that there are washrooms with hot showers, soap and towel. Likewise, toilets should have toilet papers and washed regularly.
Ensure that your co-working space business is comfortable. Have some facilities that can help your customers relieve their tiredness. Sometimes, your customers may want a place to relax and play games like table tennis and pool table. The facilities will be a source of extra income.
The motive of your business will dictate what kind of a business model you want to start. However, the first thing you need to do is to consider the community. Know the needs of your potential clients and then target their meet their needs.