Abigail Groves, Director, Operator and Landlord Solutions at The Instant Group spoke at the London Coworking Assembly Breakfast – How to scale your London coworking space. Scaling your coworking space is an important part of running a successful space.
But, knowing how to do this isn’t an easy task. Though, putting the right amount of time and consideration into your space can ensure a space that is easily scalable.
The Instant Group covers many different areas, such as data and insight consultancy. Their main aim is to keep growing the market.
Abigail explains her duties further “the team that I sit in is global looking after Operator and landlord relationships, with mine and my teams focus being the UK who are on the ground day-to-day helping the operators expand, understand what’s going on in the market, help landlords create or develop their own flex offering or partnering them with the right operator partner.”
Which areas to focus on when scaling
From Abigail’s perspective location is an important aspect of scaling a coworking space. Choosing the right location can lead to great success, and deciding where to open your coworking space is key.
But, what does that really mean?
The Instant Group released a report on the UK flex market. Abigail says that “traditionally, it’s always been about how everyone travels into the central hub, and that’s where you work and that’s where the talent goes.”
But, as of recently, that has changed. Coworkers prefer to make use of coworking spaces close to their homes and they want access to areas close to home. This means that the location needs to firstly be in areas where people want to access it, have amenities nearby, and also excite the coworker to return to the coworking space.
Stick with your brand
Abigail stated that a topic that was touched on at the LCA event was the idea of the coworking space’s brand. She continues to explain how The Instant Group is able to assist coworking spaces in the hurdles that they face.
She mentions that “what we’re able to provide is: what is the local supply and what is the demand?” They also provoke the question: where do you want to be within that?
Essentially what a coworking space can do to overcome their scaling hurdles is to identify the brand that they want to present and who they want to present it to. Each coworking space is different, which means that each one will face different challenges and hurdles.
It is important to note that it is not about being the biggest or most well-known brand, but that your space rather sticks to what your coworkers want and are used to, explains Abigail.
When you start scaling, it is important to ask yourself what brand you are showing to the world. This brand needs to be consistent throughout all of your coworking space locations. Your coworkers will expect the same type of brand when they already know your brand.
Abigail explains that once you have built a brand in the market it is hard to change it and escape what you are already known for. The Instant Group team is able to assist with identifying the brand that you are creating and helping with supply and demand questions to support your coworking space growth.
Know your market
“When setting up your coworking space it is important to identify your brand identity and stick to it,” says Abigail. But it is also important to understand the market and where you want your coworking space to fit into it.
“I think the data and the insight on where you are and where you want to go or who else is out in the market is important. So understand that the location you’re going into or who the players are in the market and on a bigger scale, really understanding that and then seeing again, where you’re going to fit in,” explains Abigail.
Knowing the market and doing your research is beneficial to your growth. Making use of data allows you to follow trends and ensure that you are up to date with what the market wants.
The more players in the game, the better the market says Abigail. She explains that coworking spaces aren’t struggling with occupancy at the moment, actually there has been a spike in demand. It’s just the type of the demand has changed on what the consumer needs to run their business and support their employees.
Abigail says that entering a saturated market is not always bad, especially in this case. Where there is supply there is demand.
In the end scaling your coworking space might seem daunting at first, but if you are successful with your current coworking space, do the same thing and keep your brand the same. Your coworking space will attract the right crowd and your new space will grow.