The ‘KoSpace Founders Say’ Series has shown us what coworking space Founders say have inspired them and what they believe have made them successful. As we all know, success is rarely a straight line up and that’s doubly true for entrepreneurs. In this series, we’ll cover what challenges Founders say they have faced.

Problems on the demand side

KoSpace Founders Say Challenges demand

One of the primary challenges facing the Founders surveyed was that coworking spaces were (and still are) a relatively new concept, meaning the general public is still mostly unaware of the concept and benefits of working out of a coworking space. This is especially true in tier 2 Asian cities.

Of course, this only adds to the problem of building a customer base, which Founders have stated can be very challenging. With coworking spaces increasing in popularity, competition for customers can be stiff.

On the flip side, Founders of coworking spaces especially in Tier 1 cities, have also said that high demand for their kospaces have been an issue. Because of the higher than projected requirement for a desk or office in their business, some of the Founders surveyed stated that they couldn’t accommodate growing demand from their existing customers. Also because their spaces have been almost 100% utilized, they have been forced to refuse new clients. The challenge of not able to host existing and new clients affects the Founders moral but supports their expansion plan.

Problems on the supply side

KoSpace Founders Say Challenges Supply

Numerous Founders in our survey have stated that running a coworking space is capital-intensive and any misstep in their line of work can end up costing them a lot of money. Free amenities such as office printers, scanners and snacks can be quite expensive! The more expensive spaces justify their cost by offering exotic amenities such as beer on tap. Needless to say that that is costly.

Founders say it is also important to keep adding amenities in order to stay ahead of the curve. Opening a coworking space that already comes with a ton of amenities may not be the best idea because apart from taking a long time to have everything prepped for opening, it will appear in the future as if the business is not adding any new amenities (since they opened with plenty already).

Founders say it is also important to keep adding amenities in order to stay ahead of the curve. Opening a coworking space that already comes with a ton of amenities may not be the best idea because apart from taking a long time to have everything prepped for opening, it will appear in the future as if the business is not adding any new amenities (since they opened with plenty already).

Broker costs can also be steep and the Founders surveyed said trying to avoid involving a broker in order to rent a space for their coworking place is a big challenge.

The devil is in the details

KoSpace Founders Say Challenges Details

Logistics! Multiple Founders have noted that managing logistics with building owners can be tricky at times. A common problem is a large coworking space can accommodate a lot of entrepreneurs and sometimes that can cause issues with parking, noise and safety in the building.

Managing day to day tasks can also prove to be complicated. Need to keep track of when the meeting room is free and when someone is using it? Need to know how many hot desks are available on a given day? A paper schedule can work, but that has its’ limits and the big spaces are expected to have an online booking system. In fact, as the coworking spaces grow, day-to-day operations need to be automated.  For e.g. integrated attendance system for occupants of coworking space is always needed and getting something like that working is a challenge.

Like we said, the devil is in the details!

 

Any questions or comments? Are you a Founder of a coworking space and want to share your sources of inspiration? Let us know in the space below.

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