Opening with a New Concept
Mutinerie, a French coworking business, opened a coworking and coliving space in the rural Village of Mutinerie, 1 hour and 30 minutes from Paris, after successfully launching their original coworking space in Rue de Meaux, Paris. We spoke to Antoine van den Broek, CoFounder and President, about how they developed their concept from a city space to a rural development.
1) Dare to be different
Push the boundaries and identify future trends. Mutinerie’s second space, Mutinerie Village, is vastly different from their first workspace in Paris. The Village was built as a rural retreat for entrepreneurs seeking short-term escapism and focus. The community of digital nomads typically cowork and colive for a period of 3 – 10 days with offerings including agriculture, events and courses. Antoine states “we’re on the forefront of new trends. Even though the market for coworking retreats is still small in terms of general metrics, it’s growing fast.”
2) Be patient with your revenue streams
Your new concept might not make as much money as your original or mainstream concept straight away. Antoine commented “our first location makes much more revenue than our second. It’s been up and running for 6 years and we know how to run it, whereas our second location has been around for just 3 years and we are still learning visitor patterns. Income is unpredictable as people arrive at different times and you don’t always know how long they’re staying for; it might not make sense to stay open for just 2 people over 2 days in terms of business expenses. We don’t just have the normal operational costs of running a coworking space, we have the added costs that come with operating a green garden, agricultural field and additional projects with the National Park.”
3) Stay positive
Antoine is a prime example of this as he states “although Mutinerie Village isn’t perfect yet in terms of revenue made on a monthly basis, we are still growing fast. Three of our members are even looking to relocate to the regional denomination of Paris, thanks to the Village. We also see those who visit for the short-term returning later down the line after their experience of productivity and a taste of the nomadic, rural lifestyle.”
4) Utilize existing tools
Although your existing business model might change, there will be other elements of your first space which can help with your new concept. Antoine agrees to the extent that they “built on the social aspect of the first location by extrapolating what we already knew. It would have been difficult to develop the new concept without our existing communication channels and tools. Many processes are built from scratch, but you can utilize existing connections and trusted relationships to get to where you need to be.”
5) Remember, it’s ok if you don’t want to grow into a huge chain!
You can be very happy and successful running a total of 2 coworking spaces, especially if one is a very different concept compared to another. Antoine is very pleased with what they have achieved at Mutinerie Village and is excited to see what more they can do to improve their existing locations. He states “we don’t have a plan to open 20 new spaces and we’re very happy with that decision. We are focusing on what we currently have. If we suddenly receive huge demand for a new space from trusted people as a result of our popularity, we will of course respond to that by speaking to landlords, but until then we will enjoy the good margins we have right now.”
It’s safe to say launching a second coworking space depends on your intentions for serving your company mission, innovating with your concept and planning ahead with growth and expansion. There is no right answer or guidebook as to how it should be done, since every coworking space is so unique, but there is great value to be taken from listening to those who have already experienced the process and have fantastic lessons to share upon reflection. We wish anyone looking to launch a second location the best of luck, we don’t doubt you’ll ace it!
Opening Coworking Spaces & The First Year Post-Launch (Global Coworking Survey Results)