In Atlanta, coworking is a relatively new industry, and independent coworking spaces are rapidly claiming their stake in a new frontier of shared office environments. Once the iron is hot, the larger corporate spaces are moving in and pricing out smaller, independent spaces, eerily similar to the infamous robber barons at the turn of the 20th century.
In an attempt to dominate the coworking market share, these larger spaces offer contracts that the smaller players just can’t compete with. Upon moving into a new city, companies like WeWork offer 6 months free upon signing a one year contract, and even a year free when signing for 2 years. Nobody likes a bully, and these pricing models aren’t just bad for the independently owned competition they extend to its members when these companies raise their prices after the initial pricing period ends.
Creating Value as an Independently Owned Coworking Space
But how, you may ask, do smaller and independently owned coworking spaces compete with the pricing model of these bigger players designed to force out independent providers and starve the revenue of the competition? The answer is a lot simpler than you might think, culture, community, flexibility and member satisfaction in a niche style coworking environment.
As an independently owned coworking space, our team at SharedSpace faced this exact same problem when WeWork began opening spaces in metro Atlanta in the spring of 2017. We had built a collaborative workspace, equipped with modern technology and a full suite of amenities like free parking, free printing, and free meeting room hours included in all of our membership packages. But we were still seeing a trickle of members leaving to take advantage of the free month deals offered by WeWork. In this case we fell back on the age-old adage, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” but even then, how could SharedSpace, an independently owned coworking community, prove its value to our members when these larger spaces with huge marketing and build-out budgets played the “6 months free” card? Instead, we decided to go to the source, the entrepreneurs and small businesses that call our space home for their working lives.
Create a Personal Environment
Through a series of member surveys and face to face discussions on why our member base chose to call SharedSpace home, we found that our members not only enjoy a personalized customer service approach, but we discovered that those factors played an active role in the decision-making process of which shared workspace they would call home. Something as simple as remembering their names, where they work and greeting their clientele in a hospitable and friendly manner was make or break for a majority of our active and prospective members.
Furthermore, in treating our members as friends and honored guests as opposed to another cog in a wheel, members were apt to have open and honest interactions with not only our SharedSpace staff but with other members, to foster a unique and organic culture for our spaces. Of course, we helped to guide the development of that culture by hosting in-house networking events, yoga and fitness classes, weekly happy hours and our famous “Waffle Wednesdays”, but we remained steadfast in the idea that contented members are the driving force in positive, professional and most importantly, organic workspace culture. Slapping a few pictures of “Live, Laugh, Love” or “Do What You Love” on blank white walls does not create a positive or member-focused workspace culture and our members are smart enough to know the difference…
Serendipitous interactions between SharedSpace staff, our members and the surrounding community are what have helped to differentiate SharedSpace from the hulking leviathan of the corporate coworking machine. We know and celebrate the overall diversity of thought, business, race, and creed of our members, and we provide a space where members can share their thoughts, words, ideals and time in an open and inclusive coworking community. SharedSpace symbolizes the tenants of the modern south, and our open, compassionate and professional outlook and environment instills a sense of modern and genuine southern hospitality. In our finest hours, SharedSpace represents a growing and collaborative network of entrepreneurs and small business owners, in a space designed to facilitate member interactions and unique and organic community culture where members can share their success.
Independent Coworking Provider
Sharedspace is a regional coworking business focused on creating modern, professional, and energetic work environments to stimulate the creativity and productivity of entrepreneurial businesses and their teams! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if your business is looking for creative opportunities reinvigorate your workforce and brand with a modern coworking environment like SharedSpace. Contact us today to schedule a tour of our facilities or for a consultation on your business.