Opening in the Same City
The Work Lodge, a beautifully crafted US based coworking space, launched their second space in the same location as their first: Houston, Texas. We spoke to Founder, Mike Thakur, to find out more about his experience of launching in The Woodlands (North Houston) after their first opening in Vintage Park (Northwest Houston).
1) Have a purpose to serve your city
The Work Lodge expanded in the same city to improve the quality of life for Houston’s residents. Mike explained “Houston is a large, sprawling city with long drive times from one area to the next. We aim to cover the city over the next few years so that no one needs to drive more than 20 minutes from any of the major suburban areas to reach a Work Lodge location.”
2) Consider the practical implications for your business
Mike took time to consider everything, from managing a dispersed team to the nuances of member movements. He noted that “the structure of the team and operations changed significantly due to the fact that now, no matter what, there is distance between some of the team members. You lose that natural ebb and flow along with the smoothness and harmony that comes with working alongside the same people day after day. The biggest challenge was figuring out the processes and policies to ensure we could train new team members to deliver the same, exceptional experiences that we strive for.”
3) Focus on the finer details
Assess where you should spend more time on the smaller details in order to gain better value. For The Work Lodge, the learning process of construction from the first build out was incredibly beneficial. Upon opening their second location, they were able to focus on greater details earlier on and address some of the shortfalls they encountered from the first location. This enabled The Work Lodge to ensure they delivered a great product from day 1.
4) Establish your market position
Confidently shout about your unique selling points and know exactly who you are. The Work Lodge is incredibly customer focused, delivering exceptional experiences based on their core value of 'being amazing'. In terms of who they compete with, Mike states “we see everything from fashionistas jumping on the bandwagon just because coworking is the 'in' thing, to developers who open their own space to make an extra buck per foot.”
5) Plan for the future
Think about how your second location will tie into your future growth and expansion plans. In the words of Mike himself, “be sure it's worth the work. For us, opening a second location was simply part of the journey to opening many locations. If we were only operating 2, I'd rather not have opened it at all. The gains from only having 1 location versus 2 outweigh any financial benefits of a second. From my perspective, 2 isn't better than 1, but 5 is!”