Coworking Software

Start a new coworking space business

It often starts with a problem.

There’s a person who has a need. And that need can’t be met anywhere else. So that person solves it and builds a business.

A new coworking space business is often started by people who want something they can’t find elsewhere — a local and convenient workspace, a child care-focused office, a fully-stocked makerspace, a creative social club, or a dynamic community of like-minded people. 

So they start imagining what that would look like if they just did it themselves.

Young professional BIPOC woman in a meetingDoes this sound like you? Do you want to start a coworking space business? Have you been dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur to become involved with something that helps other people thrive, and solves a real need in your community? 

Then stick around! We will discuss what goes into creating a successful coworking space from the ground up. From how to pick the right location to implementing effective amenities, marketing tactics, and best practices for software, this guide outlines all of the key steps necessary for setting up shop as well as provides helpful advice from seasoned industry professionals along the way. 

Keep a checklist of needs for the location of your new coworking space business

The success of your coworking space may largely depend on its location. One resource we recommend is the team at DenSwap. These coworking matchmakers help property owners and coworking operators partner together and build lasting, profitable businesses. Their analysis and expertise can do much of the heavy lifting when you’re searching for a good location for your business.

However, if you do strike out on our own, consider the following factors when searching for a suitable location for your new business:

  1. Accessibility: Ensure the location is easily accessible by public transportation, major highways, and local roads. This will make it more convenient for members to commute to and from the space.
  2. Parking: Ample parking facilities are essential, especially in areas with limited public transportation options. Consider both on-site parking and nearby parking options for members and guests.
  3. Neighborhood: The surrounding neighborhood should be safe, vibrant, and provide an attractive environment for members. Ideally, it should have a mix of residential, commercial, and recreational facilities.
  4. Proximity to amenities: Members will appreciate being close to restaurants, cafes, shops, gyms, and other amenities that can enhance their work-life balance.
  5. Foot traffic and visibility: A location with high foot traffic and visibility can help increase brand awareness and attract new members.
  6. Demographics: Consider the demographics of the area, such as the concentration of potential members, local businesses, and industries that could benefit from a coworking space.
  7. Competition: Evaluate the competition in the area, including other coworking spaces and traditional office rental options. This will help you understand the market demand and identify any gaps you can fill.
  8. Space size and layout: Choose a location that offers enough space to accommodate your desired number of members and provides flexibility for future expansion. The layout should also allow for a mix of private offices, open workspaces, meeting rooms, and communal areas.
  9. Infrastructure: Ensure the location has the necessary infrastructure, such as high-speed internet, robust electrical systems, and modern HVAC systems, to support a coworking environment.
  10. Lease terms and costs: Evaluate the lease terms, including rent, utilities, taxes, insurance, and any additional fees, to ensure they align with your business plan and budget.
  11. Zoning regulations: Verify that local zoning regulations permit coworking spaces in the chosen location and determine if any special permits or licenses are required. 
  12. Building condition: Assess the overall condition of the building, including its structural integrity, safety features, and compliance with local building codes and regulations. If you're exploring a historic property, you have some other things to be aware of.

Understand your target market

As an aspiring coworking space owner looking to create a thriving community, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of your target market. By taking the time to research and analyze the demographic data of potential members, owners are better able to develop a persona that reflects your ideal community members.

Two professional women have a podcast interview

This knowledge will be invaluable when it comes to marketing your space and crafting messaging that resonates with your target audience. Additionally, understanding the needs and preferences of your members helps owners to tailor amenities and create an environment that fosters productivity and collaboration. 

Here are five persona-building questions you can ask to better understand your target members of a coworking space:

What are your customers' specifics?

What is their age, gender, income level, education level, occupation, and marital status? Understanding these basic demographics can help you tailor your marketing messages and strategies to better connect with prospective members.

What are your members’ goals and aspirations?

What motivates them, and what do they hope to achieve? Understanding their goals and aspirations can help you create marketing campaigns that resonate with what they want and need most.

What are your target members' pain points and challenges?

What issues are they facing in their personal and professional lives, and how can your coworking space help solve those problems? 

What are your members’ buying habits and behaviors?

How do they prefer to shop, and what influences their purchasing decisions? What other brands do they respond to? What role does technology play in it, and how can you coworking space reflect those expectations?

What are your prospects’ interests and hobbies?

What do they like to do in their free time, and what are their passions and pursuits? Understanding your customers' interests and hobbies can help you create marketing campaigns that speak to their personal interests and connect with them on a more personal level.

Have a clear vision for your coworking community

This is what sets coworking apart from simple office rentals — the people who choose to be part of your space will help shape the culture and the vibe

At Keller Street CoWork, Danielle Stroble advises coworking space operators to stay focused on your 'why'. She emphasizes the ease with which one can lose sight of the reason for starting the venture. 

Stroble reiterates that she was able to identify her ideal customer by spending time on branding work; however, she realized that she, in fact, was the ideal member. This discovery led her to shift her focus to the creative community in Petaluma, which was a perfect fit for her business. 

"They've participated in building the community — they have skin in the game," she said, and those who showed up in the first week still continue to be members even after five years. Stroble further advises space founders to let go of who they perceive as their ideal client and instead concentrate on the community they aspire to be with. Doing so will bring individuals who share your vision to the table and also contribute to and participate in developing your community. She concludes by sharing how she started as an "overly enthusiastic spin instructor" but quickly became known for her belief in the community.

Two professional men lounge in a coworking space drinking coffee and talking

A final tip: You don't have to curate all the experiences — at times it's better to let go and trust someone else.

Meanwhile, Wesley Alexander hails from CoBiz located in Richmond, CA. The space occupied by CoBiz is situated in one of the two recognized 'opportunity zones' that are defined by specific community needs.

Alexander's initial experience upon joining the community involved introducing the concept of coworking, which was received with open arms. In his words, "you attract the energy you put out there" and he was particularly taken aback when a member shared his enthusiasm in protecting the energy in the space.

To Alexander, it's crucial to understand what the community aims to achieve so that he can deliver on their expectations. This enabled him to provide the necessary resources within the space that would facilitate the creation of content, true to his community's desires.

Moreover, Alexander acknowledges the importance of ensuring that every member feels like they belong in the community. To achieve this, he spearheads efforts to connect members with one another through a sharing of social capital. This practice ensures that members are introduced to individuals who can expand their networks and facilitate their goals.

A useful tip that Alexander suggests is the creation of a formal process that introduces new members to the community. As such, CoBiz sends an email to their existing community, introducing the new member and including some key facts about them.

Consider all workspace options

Different people have different work styles, and it's important to provide a variety of workspace options to accommodate them. As you look at space and imagine your floor plan, keep in mind the different styles of workspaces you members might need, depending on their personal style, their personality, and their business.

  1. Open plan hotdesks: These are ideal for teams that require frequent communication and collaboration. Open plan workstations can feature shared tables, open shelving, and ergonomic seating.
  2. Private offices: For employees who require a quiet space to work, private offices with soundproof walls and doors are essential. They can include ergonomic chairs, large work surfaces, and adequate lighting.
  3. Collaboration spaces: These areas are designed for team meetings, brainstorming sessions, and group work. They can feature whiteboards, projectors, comfortable seating, and ample space to move around.
  4. Breakout areas: These spaces are designed for relaxation, informal meetings, and socializing. They can feature comfortable seating, a kitchenette, and a coffee machine.
  5. Quiet zones: For employees who need to concentrate, quiet zones are ideal. These spaces can feature individual workstations with acoustic panels, soundproof walls, and comfortable seating. Or they can be single-person pods and phone booths, ensuring privacy.
  6. Standing desks: These desks are designed to promote better posture and reduce back pain. They can be adjusted to various heights to accommodate different individuals' needs.
  7. Lounge areas: These areas are designed for informal meetings, socializing, and relaxation. They can feature comfortable seating, a TV, and a coffee machine.
  8. Wellness areas: These areas are designed to promote employee wellness and reduce stress. They can include meditation rooms, exercise equipment, and standing desks.

By incorporating these specific features into an office design, you can create a variety of workspaces that meet the needs of individual employees, resulting in a more productive and efficient coworking business.

Offer a range of amenities and services 

While the workspace configurations are probably the top consideration for your space, you also want to offer additional services and features that bring value to your members and help differentiate your coworking space.

Virtual office and mail services

Virtual office and mail services allow members to have a professional business address, a physical mailing address, and a virtual mailbox that they can access from anywhere. This amenity is essential for entrepreneurs and remote workers who need a business address and a place to receive mail without having to maintain a physical office. For example, we talked with iWorkSpace now about ways that virtual mail can deliver additional revenue streams to coworking spaces.

Small business insurance

Small business insurance is another essential amenity that coworking spaces can consider offering. It provides members with protection against various risks, such as property damage, liability, and theft. Small business insurance is crucial for freelancers and entrepreneurs who may not have the financial resources to cover unexpected expenses. By offering small business insurance, coworking spaces can attract members who are looking for a secure and safe work environment.

Wellness programs

Wellness programs are becoming increasingly popular in coworking spaces as members are becoming more aware of the importance of taking care of their physical and mental health. The kinds of programs you might offer at your coworking space can include yoga classes, mindfulness sessions, health workshops, smoothie machines, and access to nearby fitness centers. By offering wellness programs, coworking spaces can attract members who value their health and well-being.

Startup cohorts

Startup cohorts are groups of entrepreneurs who work together to develop and grow their businesses, usually under the guidance of a mentor or program. Cohorts offer members the opportunity to share ideas, collaborate, and receive feedback from like-minded individuals. Cohorts are crucial for entrepreneurs who are starting a new business and need support and guidance. By offering an incubator program or entrepreneurship center, coworking spaces can attract members who are looking for a community of like-minded individuals to work with.

Meal delivery

It’s the age old question: what’s for lunch? And should you go out and get it? Meal deliver is one way that coworking spaces can take decision making off the plate of your members. You can provide members with healthy and nutritious meals — and they don’t have to leave the workspace. Bring in lunch from local restaurants or coordinate with various providers for dinner pickups at the end of the workday.


Childcare is more than a nice-to-have amenity like yoga or virtual mail. It’s really an essential service that coworking spaces should consider offering to working parents. It provides members with a safe and secure place to leave their children while they work. That service could be onsite in your space or nearby with a partner childcare operation. 

Business support services

Business support services are essential for members who need help with various aspects of their business. These services can include legal, accounting, and marketing services. Business support services are especially helpful for entrepreneurs who may not have the expertise or resources to handle these tasks themselves. By offering business support services, coworking spaces can attract members who need help with these tasks.

A happy professional woman in glasses and that has tattoos holds a coffee cup and sits on her desk at a coworking space

Choose coworking space software that offers automation, optimization, and engagement

When selecting software to manage your new coworking space business, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you are making the most of your time, resources, and opportunities to foster a vibrant and growing community.

First, choose a software platform that automates tasks and frees up time in your day. You absolutely want automated billing capabilities for the different memberships you offer, as well as invoicing for special events, meeting rooms, and resource rentals. 

Your booking software should allow members to quickly and easily find rooms and resources with real-time inventory updating. Ideally, the platform should integrate into your website for ad hoc, external rentals by non-members. To make things even more efficient, the platform can be present at the front door for automated check-ins, providing you with an accurate picture of your day-to-day occupancy.

 Start your new members off right with this friendly, informative email sequence to get new coworking members into the groove.

You also want to look for software that integrates well with other tools and solutions you use. Event management tools such as Eventbrite and Meetup can help you promote exciting events at your coworking space to people who might not otherwise know about it. Consider also using Google Calendar and accounting software, such as Quickbooks, which provides real-time visibility into your membership earnings and expenses.

You may also want to integrate an access control solution like Brivo, Kisi, Doordeck, or Salto to ensure your space's security. And easily-embeddable forms on your site for tour requests, signups for nonmembers, newsletter subscriptions, and outside events rentals.

Finally, choose software that helps engage your community. The top differentiator that coworking spaces have over traditional office rentals is the sense of belonging and collaboration that they foster. The software you choose should enhance your community-building efforts, including the use of a mobile member app where members can find each other via name, title, or job description. This app should also provide push notifications regarding upcoming events, local news, or space updates. Additionally, your platform should have a section that includes frequently-asked-questions, direction on resources such as printers, coffee makers, or other tools, and general neighborhood information for things such as parking and lunch spots.


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