Creating a Sense of Community
Community is the secret sauce of coworking. Without it, it’s just a room with WiFi. As you prepare to breathe this essential characteristic into your business, consider the following guidelines to get started:
1. Identify Core Values
Businesses are often asked, “What are your core values?” Building community starts with a greater understanding of company goals and letting your core values guide you there. For example, one of Google’s core values: “Focus on the user and all else will follow”. This core value serves as a north star they can always refer back to. So how do you identify core values? Start with a list of words that describe, “What is important to our space? What makes our business special?” As you write out your list of 40-50 words, prioritize them and then narrow them in half, then in half again, and then in half again. At the end of this exercise, you will land with 5 keywords that are your core values!
2. Share your Mission, Vision and Core Values with your Members
Outside of hanging a poster of these words in a conference room, how are you sharing your company vision with your members? If you are trying to cultivate a community that embodies your vision, your members play a key role in accomplishing the next goal. Do your community events and programming align with your initiatives? Do you practice what you preach? Ultimately, it’s important your members are clear on what makes your space unique so that they will be your grassroots marketing. If you establish a clear vision, they’re going to help you establish organic growth through word of mouth.
3. Listen for Feedback
Every business loves the idea of collecting user feedback, but it’s often done with a lack of intention or purpose. As a space operator, it’s important to know what is missing or what members want more of. From there, it’s even more important to action some of the feedback to show improvements in the space so that you can build trust with your members. Additionally, feedback can be beneficial in other ways. Is someone hogging a conference room? Tell them. Perhaps they need to upgrade their space for a dedicated desk or suite? Creating an open-dialogue creates less frustration and gives operators a chance to offer a solution.
4. Don’t Always be the Entrepreneur
We always reinvent the wheel and sometimes it’s easier to pause and partner. Being the expert at everything is exhausting and not sustainable when can you lean into other industry experts. Whether it’s creating a training program or if you want to bring wellness into the space, someone has probably finessed what you’re looking to do. This is the intent of coworking and, after all, collaboration is key.
5. Empower your Members
We often overlook this idea because coworking is a service industry, but what Coworks has found is members want to self-service, or at least have the option to drive their own results/experience. After all, your space is full of members that more than likely consider themselves entrepreneurs, self-starters, and leaders.
Coworks was created to be a tool for members to embrace community offered in their space. We believe in driving a mobile experience for members so that space owners/operators can invest their time in actually creating that community. The Resources feature allows you to curate your space via mobile guides. Through this feature your members can learn how to make coffee, view amenities you offer, or maybe they just need to know the WiFi password. These resource guides can be photos, feedback survey forms, URL links or text. When getting started building your resource guide, consider the following questions:
- What is that one question your members ask you everyday?
- What amenities do you want to ensure your members take advantage of in the space?
- What house rules do your members need to know in the space?
Our resource feature helps empower you to share your mission, core values, and vision with your community, listen for feedback, and empower your members. It’s tailored to help foster a community in your coworking space. Whether you’re just opening your space or have been open for a while, it’s always important to check in on your community.