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Profitable coworking business models

Over the past five years, the growth rate of coworking spaces has averaged 100% each year. Yet at the same time, almost one in every five coworking spaces has closed its doors, according to Emergent Research. The income from renting desks often doesn’t cover all the costs, especially in cities with high rent and strong competition. What are the models of sustainable success? Participants of the Coworking Unconference in Austin discussed several models. Today Deskmag presents a summary of the main ideas aired at the Unconference.

  • How to welcome new members to your coworking space

    If you’re a coworking space catalyst or a coworking space owner, you should probably have a welcome mat in front of your space. Okay, not necessarily a literal welcome mat. I’m talking about making new members feel welcome by doing the basic “host”-type duties in your space. While these my seem like no-brainer things to do, I’ve discovered that in some coworking spaces, these things are simply not happening. However, some actions are musts.

  • How to crush the spirit of community with private offices

    "Several years ago, I asked my mom where she keeps the plastic wrap for leftovers. She replied, 'I don’t believe in it.' My initial reaction was that she was crazy! It obviously exists! You can buy it and lots of people use it every day. She said, 'well, I don’t really care about those people, it has never worked for me.' Today I think the same about private offices, I don’t believe in them.” Angel Kwiatkowksi writes about why privates offices weaken a community.

  • An Easy Way to Build and Foster a Coworking Community: Tell your story

    People thrive on stories. Whether fact, fiction or a little of both, as is most often the case: Stories are what bind us together, as friends, families, companies, religious group, political sway or country. Stories can also enhance the connectedness of coworking communities. We all have to tell something, whether our own personal story or the story of our business. However you’re involved in coworking, tell your story. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Two Quick Fixes to avoid Bad Networking Events

    Angel Kwiatkowski had attended her fair share of networking events in the last year, and she just want to go on the record as saying: "Most networking events are a waste of my time and yours." She's been to networking events for web people, sustainable people, people with “integrity,” early risers, late nighters, coffee drinkers, tea enthusiasts, women, pet lovers, commerce lunchers, bar hoppers and more. Here are a few examples of why those events are falling short.

  • Chrome beats Firefox in the coworking world

    Technology is a major part of coworking life. Nearly all coworkers use laptops and the internet on a daily basis. So what operating systems and internet browsers do coworkers use most often? The answer differs widely depending on age, gender and location. There’s good news for Google – its Chrome browser has overtaken Firefox in several demographics. Internet Explorer, however, has become as popular as the Ebola virus. In terms of operating systems and brands, Apple remains the favorite except among women.

  • What Coworkers want

    Coworkers like their workspace to be small and interactive, flexible on opening hours and close to restaurants. Most work daily and prefer 24-hour access. A coworking visa with access to coworking spaces worldwide is of high interest for them. And the majority don't care much about the recreational activities on offer. Those are some of the findings of the first global coworking survey, which is being released over the next few days on Deskmag.

  • Coworking - 19th century style

    Welcome onboard one of the world’s most interesting and ecological coworking spaces. It has wireless internet, good coffee, a great view, natural air conditioning and space for about 25 coworkers, as long as two of them are horses. Yes, it’s a coach, an old-fashioned wagon, covered and horse-drawn.

  • Cheap and creative furniture for coworking spaces

    How to work in peace, yet still benefit from the bustling and sometimes noisy atmosphere of a coworking space? That is the conundrum that plagues most coworkers. One workshop looked at solutions to the problem and came up with a blueprint for the coworking space of the future with cheap and adaptable furniture, preferably made from recycled materials.

  • 7 tips for a successful coworking space

    What five years ago started unpredictably as a cross-over between a business center, a shared office and a cafe has become its own entity with a unique identity. More than a thousand coworking spaces have now sprung up in cities all around the world, but it’s not automatic that all will fill up. What, then, are the secrets to a successful coworking space?

  • A workspace made for flexibility

    A creative workspace should be as versatile as its occupants. If the users can quickly adapt their thinking and practices, why should the physical boundaries of their workspace be rigid and inflexible?

  • When Coworking doesn’t work

    For every nine coworking spaces that take off, there’s at least one that is forced to close its doors. So what lessons can be learned from those coworking spaces that, despite an enormous amount of optimism and energy, have had to shut up shop? Deskmag spoke to two former workspace operators who were willing to share their advice.

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