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COVID-19 Doesn’t Have to Destroy Your Space: 8 Ways to Strengthen Your Coworking Business Right Now
There’s no doubt about it, COVID-19 is hitting the workspace industry hard. Operators are scrambling to make sense of financial relief programs, take care of their teams, handle essential services in the space, and navigate an uncertain future.
But this time also offers an unexpected pause in the day-to-day urgency of operating a coworking space.
The pause gives us an opportunity to slow down, take a clear-eyed look at your workspace business, systems, operations and projections, and course-correct as needed.
Satellite Deskworks founder and CEO Barbara Sprenger offers the following 8 insights and tips for making the most of this time.
1. Step Back and Think About Your Space
What do you want your workspace to be? How do you want it to operate? In the day-to-day scramble to keep things moving and problem solve on-the-fly, when was the last time you looked up to see how things are going? Spend some time on high-level strategy for your space, community and business.
2. Tackle Those Nagging ToDo’s
What pieces of your workspace business have you been putting off? Now is a great time to tackle them. For example, we recently set up credit cards for all of our community managers and put a better expense-tracking process in-place. We also updated our time-tracking system.
When was the last time you looked at your employee manual? Is it current? Are there sections that need to be rewritten or updated?
If you can afford it (and check out power company grants), now is a good time to make upgrades to your facilities, such as switching to LED lighting or improving your wifi access points.
It’s also a good time to evaluate whether your coworking space software is working or whether you’re putting up with something less-than-ideal because you didn’t have the time or space to switch it out. While things are slower, this is a great time to transition. (Let us know if you’d like to see how Deskworks can make your life much easier!)
3. Get Analytical
What are the biggest challenges you’re facing in your space and business? Lay them out, analyze them, figure out what each one requires, and put them in order of urgency and importance.
You may not be able to take care of everything right now, but get them ready so you have a clear picture moving forward.
4. Get Rid of Old IT Equipment
We recently discovered that we have thousands of dollars of IT equipment sitting around disused—items we had replaced but are still functional. These items are not doing us any good, so we’re getting them organized and ready to sell. Take a look at your closets, server room and storage areas to see if there are things you can offload and make a few bucks.
Note: You can generate revenue and help your members by offering them IT support during the pandemic.
5. Monitor Your Business
What tools and systems do you use to monitor your business? What are the KPIs (key performance indicators) you’d like to see to understand how your business is performing? Now is a good time to revisit existing tools and create new ones to improve your systems and priorities.
6. Investigate Virtual Office Plans
Do you already offer virtual office plans, including virtual mail? If not, check out Spheremail, iPostal1 and other virtual office providers. These services allow you to offer products your members can use without coming into your space, and they can drive more revenue.
7. Level-up Your Workspace Amenities
Do you have a podcast booth? What about Zoom-enabled meeting rooms? Have you been meaning to put another phone booth into your space? Do your research and order the supplies you need.
8. Take the Long View
I know it feels like this is going to go on forever. But it won’t. In the life of your company, a year time horizon is not a huge time horizon. Do what you need to do to weather this storm and keep your business alive.
But don’t miss out on the incredible opportunity here to work on your business rather than in it.
Let us know how we can help with IT, workspace software and anything else. If you’d like to see Deskworks in action, request a free demo.