Finding the perfect location for your coworking space can be a daunting task, but it is essential in order to provide the best experience for members. Whether you are an aspiring coworking space owner or an established one looking to expand to another location, understanding the factors to consider when searching for a space and weighing the pros and cons of each potential location is key in finding the ideal spot.
When selecting the perfect spot for a coworking space, aspiring owners should take into consideration a variety of factors. These factors include:
1. The people you want to attract: It is crucial to consider who you want to attract with your coworking space. Are you looking to attract freelancers, entrepreneurs, startups, or established businesses? Or are you looking for musicians, artists or photographers? Knowing who you want to attract will help you determine which neighborhood and type of space will be appealing to them. For example, if you want to attract freelancers and entrepreneurs, you might look for a location in a trendy neighborhood with lots of coffee shops, bars and restaurants. If you are targeting corporate employees, building in or near a CBD might be more appealing to them because they want to look more professional.
2. Neighborhood: It is a big plus if your space can be located in a neighborhood that values community and collaboration because the people in that areas will tend to be more friendly, supportive, and interested in connecting with others. Imagine a location like Yaowarat, Ekkamai, Ari, or Khaosan.
3. Public Transport and Walkability: In order for your space to be successful it is important that it is easily accessible (and walkable) to public transportation like the BTS and MRT. Accessible generally means a walking distance of no more than 1 km and walkability means a walking path from your coworking space to and from the BTS that is in a good condition. It's also important that a lot of people are using the path all day and it is generally well-lit at night for safety
4. Highway: Being close to a highway can make it much easier for those who use cars or other forms of transportation to reach your space quickly and easily. We know thatThai people love to drive. It can be challenging to put a distance on what it means for a location to have easy access to the highway because in the peak-hours in Bangkok, a highway 500 meters away could take you 20 minutes to reach. Rather than measuring the distance for highway accessibility, one suggestion would be that an easily-accessed highway is one that takes no longer than 15 min. to get to or does not feel hard to get to from your space.
5. Residential property: Having a location where there are a lot of residential properties (that are a good value for money) is a big plus if you are also targeting digital nomads. Digital nomads are generally foreigners and they like their workplace not too far away from where they live. In fact, we often have had members who have just landed in Thailand and they have headed straight to our space from the airport, with their luggage in tow, to start a membership and ask us for recommendations about places to stay in the area. Additionally, more people working from home doesn't necessarily mean more people working at home so having a space in a residential area could attract these types of modern workers as well. \
6. Parking Spot: Providing easy access to parking spots is essential for those who use their own vehicles. Make sure there are enough parking spots, ideally, a minimum shared parking ratio of 1:10 (1 parking spots for every 10 seats). If your space doesn'tt have enough parking spot, see if there are parking spots nearby where members can park for cheap without having to worry about their car getting broken into or stolen.
7. Food: Employees of companies in a coworking space really appreciate access to cheap and good food while they work. Having food options nearby can be beneficial when choosing a location for your coworking space.
8. Natural Light: Natural light is essential for people who work in an office environment as it has been proven to have a positive effect on productivity and focus.
9. Internet: Having fast internet speeds is essential in today’s digital world and you will be surprised at how many potential sites do not already have the access and are ready to connect. Make sure that you have a reliable internet connection that is fast enough from multiple providers because you will need a second connection from a different provider as a back up in case your main one goes down for a few hours.
10. Diversity: Having diverse amenities, social, and cultural activities around your space can be beneficial as it can help your members feel comfortable in an area where they can transition from work to non-work related activities easily.
11. Visibility: Having a location that's visible from the main road can help potential customers or clients find your workspace easily, which can lead to more business opportunities for you. Consider how visible your space will be from the street when selecting a location so that people will know where it is located without having to look too hard for it.
12. Cost of Rent: Consider what budget you have available before making any decisions so that you can find a location where you can budget an 18 months ramp-up period to reach 80% occupancy without compromising on quality.
Having a good location for a coworking space can provide owners a greater chance to achieve meaningful profitability but the perfect location does not exist and you will still need to make trade offs. I suggests that you take your time when choosing a location for your coworking space. Do your research, talk to people in the community, and make sure that the location you choose will help you build the kind of community your members are looking for. At the end of the day, as long as you can bring like-minded people together in a space where they want to spend time together, that is the perfect location, wherever it is.
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