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Business Plans

Page history last edited by Tony Bacigalupo 3 years, 5 months ago

Your coworking space business plan reflects who you and your team are, your goals, the conditions in which you will have to work to reach them and the plan you have to make it happen.

A business plan is great to have when working with a team as you will put everyhting about your idea, your environment and the steps to be taken further on paper, and it is also usually necessary when looking for funding or when your coworking space is a new business in your area and you need to convince other about the viability of your model. In these cases the business plan will be more formal and it is a good idea to make a long term plan of 3 to 5 years, and include an exit strategy (what happens if everything fails?). 

A business plan is always recommended. If you plan to find investors for a space a business plan is a no brainer as you won't get far without one.  For people bootstrapping a space, as with any business startup, it's still highly recommended.  A business plan is your road map to a successful coworking space. And I hope by now you understand that "successful" is not the same as "profitable". 

The business plan can be as formal or informal as you'd like (depending on who you'll be showing it to), but it definitely should include certain information.  Whole books have been written about writing business plans so that will not be discussed here.  Though, several spaces have released their business plan to the public and reading them is highly recommended.  Business Plan search in the Coworking Google Group.

 

Typical Structure

A business plan does not have a set structure, and neither a set length, but some common elements to include are:

  • Business Description
    What is a coworking space? What problem are you trying to solve? What is special about your coworking space? Where will the money come from? 
  • Industry background
    How is coworking growing in your country and area? Do you have any growth data?
  • Environment
    Where will the space be? What makes this location great? What can be found around? How's the people in this area?
  • Competitor Analysis
    Are there other coworking spaces in the area? Are there other internet cafes or business centres? What makes yours a better option / what is your competitive advantage?
  • Market analysis
    Who is your target customer? How many of these customers are there in your area, and how many of them you think you will be able to attract? Where are your future customers currently working at?
  • Marketing plan
    How will you reach your potential customers? Which is your main message?
  • Operations plan
    How will you manage the space? How many people will there be in your team?
  • Financial plan
    How much money do you already have to get started? How much money do you need to get started, and how will you spend it? Where and how will you find the ret of the capital needed to start your coworking space? How will you return in? When do you expect to start being profitable? How much money do you think you will make each month? What can go wrong? What is your exit strategy? 

 

Examples

 

  • Coworking Business Model Template, based on real numbers from 7 years of running New Work City in NYC
  • co.up coworking - Berlin (GER), Sep 2012
    • This is a very short business plan we wrote for requesting a merchant account with a payment provider.
  • Flow | A coworking space inspired by creativity - Illinois (USA), March 2013
    • This was written for a business competition. 

 

 

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