Are you exploring the market research process of launching a new coworking business in your local area?
We often hear the question:
How do I know if my local area is a good place to launch a coworking business? Is there a demand for coworking in my area?
In order to do some of the initial research in determining the answer to this question, here are three strategic guideposts to consider and some tactics to help you get started:
1. Identify the existing coworking businesses in your area
Of course, this is the most obvious. Find out the local players in the industry. Go to their website, read news articles, look on Yelp. Try to identify what their offerings are. What are their prices? What does their community of members encompass? e.g. are they mainly lawyers, graphic designers, tech startups, etc.
Research Existing Coworking Businesses Resources:
- Coworking Map: Spaces Around The World
- Coworking Wiki – Coworking Space Directory
- Search Google for ‘coworking [insertcityhere]’
- Various Coworking Listing Websites
2. Identify the existing private office and meeting room rental locations.
Often these are executive suites, hotels, event businesses, and other coworking spaces, etc. Even though some of the listings you may find in your area are not direct competitors to you, it is an indicator if there is demand for offices, meeting rooms, and event rentals in your area. Research their pricing. It’s good to know these things so that you can price according to the market. It also helps you to know how equipped (or not equipped) these room for rent are with amenities, add-ons, etc. This will help you position your coworking value proposition compared to the existing market.
Meeting Room and Private Office Research Resources:
- Evenues – Unique Meeting Spaces for the Everyday Planner
- Sharedesk – Book a coworking space, business center, or shared office space nearby
- Davinci Meeting Rooms – Find Your Meeting Room
- Liquid Space – Flexible Office. Fast.
3. Identify the business, entrepreneur, startup, tech, etc communities in your area
It’s important to know about the scene that is there. Is there a local entrepreneur meetup? How about a tech startup event that happened recently? Where was it, how many people attended, etc? Who are the leader(s) of the local business community? The idea is that you want to understand the essence of the local scene. This allows you to make sure that you’re launching a business that is congruent with the local community. Doing desktop research is one way, but probably the most qualitative research you can do is actually attending events and ultimately, being a part of the local community. This makes it much more likely that your future space can be a local community hub, as it will be coming from someone that is connected to the main community hub, already.
Local Business Community Research Resources:
- Meetup.com e.g. local Tech Events
- Alignable – The Small Business Network
- 191 Creative Cities – CreativeMornings are organized by talented volunteer hosts and their teams.
Macro Coworking Industry Research is helpful too
To supplement the specific local market research it’s also important to understand macro trends. Perhaps your local city or town is similar in some ways to the global trends or unique in some other ways. Below are some resource links as well as an embedded slideshow library with a number of decks dedicated to statistics of the global coworking industry created by coworking research expert, Carsten Foertsch, founder of DeskMag.
Coworking Industry Research: