Coworking and shared office spaces are becoming buzzwords in Australia. Both individuals and big corporations are embracing the practice and demands for more coworking spaces are skyrocketing. Large idle properties and even homes are becoming the new modern workplaces.
If you own a large property and you’re wondering how to start a coworking business — it might be better to acquire a franchise of an established coworking company. You can even rent non-performing properties in your area and then use that space for your franchise.
Setting up a coworking space will require initial investments that would amount from A$15,000 to A$60,000. This includes three months of rent, workstations, high-speed internet and a wireless router, a couple of consoles for entertainment, miscellaneous office items, cleaning supplies, and a 1-year insurance policy.
However, if you own a suitable location — you won’t need to invest as much. Partnering with an established coworking company allows more experienced experts to guide your coworking business and gives you access to corporate clients. With more people using your coworking space — you get a faster return on investment.
Starting at Home
Big franchises get the big bucks, but even small residences have taken slices out of the coworking pie. A shared office space doesn’t need a formal office setting — a large living room or a dedicated granny flat will do. All you’ll need is air-conditioning, a few workspaces, and a reliable internet connection.
Even your couch and table can be enough to serve as workspaces in a coworking setting. Some freelancers actually prefer the more private and peaceful settings of residential homes over the busier and larger locations.
You can have your home listed through the internet in many of Australia’s coworking sites, similar to an Airbnb. You can decide on daily, weekly, or monthly rates and even choose the specific days you want your home to be open for business.
Starting a Coworking Business
Like all businesses, you’ll need to do a little research to see if a coworking space will be profitable in your community. How many people are interested in coworking? How many potential members will your space have? How much will you be charging?
Smaller homes can run a coworking space on their own with significantly fewer risks. There is no rent involved, and the needed changes don’t amount to much. On the other hand, larger locations face higher risks and need in-depth research in order to assure success.
Franchising is still the best option for large properties — especially those that can house more than 30 coworkers. Large corporations prefer to keep their employees together in teams, and they also prefer doing business with an established brand.
It takes less than two years for a large coworking space to start being successful. A large coworking space running at 80 percent capacity will usually need less than two years to recoup the cost of the initial investment. Smaller coworking spaces take a little bit more time — but most coworking spaces eventually become quite profitable.