5 Coworking Space Marketing Tips to Drive More Members

We know the benefits of coworking spaces. We know you, as a coworking space owner or manager also know the benefits of a coworking space. But, does your local community know and truly understand the benefits?

Over the past several years coworking has proved itself to be a successful and sustainable business model. However, as with many other lines of business, it needs to be strategically planned and executed–including a marketing strategy.

While coworking is a hot word today, many people remain confused about what exactly it is and the various advantages it provides to businesses of all sizes. In lieu of this, it’s important that coworking operators have a marketing strategy that will help them educate and attract new members.

Here are five ways you can do it.

1. Spotlight your members

What better way for others to learn about the benefits of a coworking space than hearing it directly from those who have benefitted the most? Give your current members a shout out, it will help you attract new members and it will help build loyalty among your current ones.

Highlight what they do, their accomplishments, and how your coworking space has helped them grow and succeed. There are various formats to spotlighting members–from social media posts, to weekly newsletters, and even short introduction videos.

2. Send out newsletter

This can also help with attracting and retaining members. Use newsletters to spotlight your members, to send out promotions, updates, and invite people to visit your space or attend events.

Newsletters are a great way to build an online community and inform your local community about your space, the activities you organize, and the various uses of coworking spaces. You can even share some of your blog posts (if you have one, though we strongly recommend you do) or send out pricing information and the various types of membership options you offer.

P.s. Make it visually appealing and easy to read in desktop and mobile. We also suggest using a newsletter platform that can help you track who is opening and reading your newsletters.

Use social media

Social media is a powerful marketing tool and it can greatly help coworking operators showcase their space, their community, and their events. Use images, graphics, video, and plain text; however, choose your social platforms carefully and don’t sign up to all of them. Choose the ones that you believe will help you the most and make sure you have a strategy and that the content on all of your platforms is unique, yet always aligned to a common goal. And always remember, social media is mostly about being social, so make sure you interact with your followers and answers comments and questions.

Host events

Ever heard “see it to believe it”? It applies in business, as in life and sometimes people want to try something out first before committing to it. Coworking tours can help greatly, but oftentimes these don’t allow for people to experience the community. This is where hosting events for members and non-members can greatly help, as it allows people to visit your space and get a taste of the community that’s a part of it.

It doesn’t need to be a huge event; you can host yoga classes, marketing workshops, brown-bag lunches, or host a local art event.

Embrace video

Make a video of your space, of your members, of your local events…make short videos about “A Day in [Your Space] Coworking”. It’s about telling a story and demonstrating to people that your coworking space is not just a physical space where people can work from, but that rather it’s an experience.

Oftentimes images fall short on conveying the ‘flow and life’ of a space and its people. Video is great solution that can be easily integrated to other marketing efforts. However, don’t go making long videos; keep them short and sweet, and share them often.

Remember that marketing is not just about sharing content, you have to have a strategy, a purpose, and a holistic approach in order for the efforts to be fruitful. If you need help coming up with a marketing strategy or deciding which approaches will work best for your space, reach out to us.


Building a Strong Brand: Four Strategic Moves for Startups

It’s a problem every new business has to face: what can you do to make your brand not only stand out but stand the test of time?

Getting strategic is key to success. If longevity is your goal, you can’t simply mimic the tactics of your biggest competitors. For authenticity’s sake, you will have to think outside the box and build your brand from the ground up.

Look to your competitors to find out what others are doing in your space, but play to your strengths to establish true differentiation. Here are some tried-and-true brand-building methods to help you get started in crafting your own unique story.

1. Know and understand your audience

Defining your brand has many layers, including packaging, messaging, and marketing. To be able to craft compelling imagery and proof, you will need to know who you are selling to. If you are bringing a product or service to market that has global potential, you need to consider that as well. Cultural differences often require different tactics. Find out who your target market is and speak to them and them only. Be consistent and reach out to them over and over again.

2. Your competition is not the enemy

In most industries, there is a leader that can easily be identified. If you are consistent and strategic in your efforts, you will eventually meet all of the players, up to and including the top dog. Once you set your marketing plan in motion, you will likely convince some people to switch to your brand and suddenly, you will be on everybody’s watch list. Will you be ready to handle that scrutiny? Don’t shy away from this level of competition. If the top brands consider you worthy of watching, you are in a good place. Use your power wisely.

3. Play to your strengths

If you offer added value, versatility, cost savings, better operational efficiency, or any kind of advantage that differentiates you from the rest, put the emphasis on that. Whatever it is that makes your brand stand out, find that thing and hang your hat on it. If there are trends in your industry that may necessarily change your direction in a few years, find out what they are and plan well for it. Have a plan in place that will take you well into the future and you will always have a clear path to follow.

4. Put yourself out there: give it away

Building strong partnerships requires some generosity on your part. If you’re a new service or product, it’s difficult to build a reputation without some history to back it up. Consider giving your product or service away to an influential company or individual that can give you valuable feedback and endorsements. In a world fueled by ratings and reviews, getting great peer reviews will serve you well and will get you noticed by a wider audience.

Office Suites Strategies

These are just a few steps you can take to building a strong brand. If you would like to learn more about Office Suites Strategies or about building your brand, give us a call.


3 Ways Collaborative Workspaces Inspire Innovation

These days, collaborative workspaces such as coworking spaces are fast growing in popularity. Though many tend to associate collaborative workspaces with freelancers and remote workers, they are also becoming the work environment of choice for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups, as they inspire innovation through direct connection.

It wasn’t long ago that our workspace design was focused primarily on the individual. On the heels of more recent changes in how we communicate and collaborate – both online and via our connected devices – the idea of a conventional office has been diminished in favor of environments that foster collaboration.

According to a study published by industry thought leaders Steelcase, the ability to increase innovative activity is directly related to three main concepts:

1. The workspace should support flexibility

To best support innovation, a collaborative workspace needs to be truly flexible. Moveable furniture groupings, different types of seating, items such as sculpture that breaks up the room, and portable aids such as white boards, easels, and tables or desks that can be adjusted for height. These elements allow users to configure the space as they need it, allowing them to work the way that best suite them, and not having to fit into somebody else’s pre-conceived and potentially awkward office design.

2. Space that is comfortable is also inspirational

Natural lighting, views of outdoor areas, and high ceilings are all elements that stimulate creative thinking. Access to technology, innovative art, and plenty of focal points to engage the visual sense add to the aura of creativity, helping workers to envision a future that looks different. Workspaces that offer moderate ambient noise levels – as opposed to high noise or no noise at all – are optimum for fostering creativity.

Temperature that is neither too warm nor too cold helps also, and although this tends to be a very individual preference for many people, keeping the thermostat hovering in between 70 – 75˚F seems to be a good baseline. Any colder and you will be expending more energy simply keeping warm, taking away the attention and energy needed to come up with newer, greater ideas. Keep in mind, too, that as the temperature goes up, attention tends to drop.

3. Workspace that supports culture supports collaboration

A collaborative culture can be best emphasized and supported through workspace design. If innovation is connected to collaboration, and collaboration is connected to engagement, the workplace itself should be engaging of its culture. For instance, if employees are working in an environment that recalls a company’s past accomplishments and instills a sense of pride in how they have impacted other geographies, it will support the desire to engage in future achievements, and perhaps impel them to take risks. Whether the workspace is dedicated to one single company or accommodating a multitude, high-impact collaborative work environments need to minimize individual work spaces and emphasize easy-to-change environments and open spaces. This allows for a higher degree of experimentation and expressions of individuality, which in turn inspire innovation.

Office Suites Strategies: inspiring innovation

Achieving maximum value from your dedicated office properties requires agility in today’s changing marketplace. Office Suites Strategies delivers insight, strategy, and ideas that drive equity and profitability. Call today to find out more about what we can do for you.

The Days of Telephone Answering Services Aren’t Gone

Earlier this week, Karen Condi, Office Suite Strategies’ President, hosted a webinar for The Global Workspace Association (GWA) on how telephone services are not so 2005, as many mistakenly believe.

Considering mobile tech has exponentially grown in the last several years, it’s no surprise that workspace operators starting out and people looking to get into the business of serviced workspace are a bit skeptic about offering telephone services.

“Our clients/members all use their smartphones, our market is extremely tech savvy,  or our client/members would rather use their mobile phones at all times, or coworkers don’t use office phones” are only a few of the excuses that Karen has run into. We’re not about to argue against the increased use of mobile phones, but whoever said an office phone line can’t integrate with smartphones?

Before we dive into the perks of actually offering this type of service, here are some stats that will get the ball rolling for you:

  • 12% of overall revenue of OSS managed centers comes from telephone services and its related add-ons such as vm to text, and live answering services
  • 60% of workspace members from OSS managed centers are taking phone services today
  • 35% of virtual users from OSS managed centers are subscribing to phone services today
  • 47% of total members in a center (office, coworking and virtual)  are purchasing telephone services according to a WUN Systems survey

Still believe telephone answering is out?

The way telephones are used and the revenue they provide has drastically changed over the years, but it’s an experience no one is ready yet to fully turn their backs on. Especially today, as the coworking and flexible workspace market grows and increasingly continues to attract large companies and corporations to the industry.

A big driver behind the success of flexible workspaces is the amazing customer service that staff gives to its members. Not to mention the convenience factor of having their phone supported and managed by the same group that is providing their workspace.  Imagine the downtime involved when the client/member has to set up their own business phone line with Google Voice or any other web based service.

Whether you are a brand new center or If you’re running at full capacity and experiencing a high call volume, it becomes really hard to manage members and calls while keeping everything running smoothly. Just another reason why you should consider hiring the telephone answering services of an expert. Because there are scalable and cost-effective options available today through hosted phone systems and outsourcing of live answering services, it’s really a no brainer to offer these services in your workspace. There are various options out there, one of them being PROS, which rolled out a year ago and offers a wholesale and whitelabel model of telephone answering services that’s specifically designed for workspace operators of all kinds.

Now that you’re convinced and sure that telephone answering services aren’t as old school as you thought, let’s go over some best practices for selling the new service to your members.

Sales Best Practices

  • Start with a question that puts members in a mindset of how they will provide the service to their clients as opposed to a matter of whether they will or not. Here’s an example: will you be porting a phone number into us or would you like for us to provide you with a new number?
  • Follow-up by asking them how their current call answering is handled. Do they have one? If not, share the benefits of having one. If they do, explain to them why having an integrated workspace and call answering service is beneficial to them.
  • Continue by highlighting some of the most popular features. Take for example the voicemail to text service; this is a great service to highlight as it clearly shows how smartphones can easily be integrated with the telephone answering service. (Think tech savvy members.)
  • While you’re doing your ‘sales pitch’, remember to make it sound as if everyone you talk to takes the service. It’s like a psychological thing, clients want to do what other clients are doing.
  • Finally, remember to mention all of the services and add-ons of your telephone services such as live answering, call screening and voicemail to text services.

Now that that’s taken care of, don’t forget to include your new service in your website and give yourself a shoutout over social media or a newsletter. Here’s a fun fact to close: “once a sale is done, the retention rate for phones is extremely high for the service.”

If you’d like to check out Karen’s webinar, you can easily find it by clicking here. And if you want to get started on setting up the telephone answering service, you can learn more about PROS and how it can help you generate revenue here.

Data Driven Goal Setting for Customer Growth

Goal setting is a critical decision making process for any business. Failure to establish appropriate goal can contribute to more widespread failures, dampening of company morale, wasted opportunities, and misallocation of resources. To avoid these outcomes, we must use more than intuition, ambition, and experience to motivate our goal setting decisions. Our goals must also be informed by relevant data. This blog post will outline four key data sets that can optimize our goals for customer growth in the workspace services industry: Leads generated and conversion rate, lead sources, and customer decision making period.

Sales Leads Generated and Conversion rate

Customer growth begins with lead generation, so it is important to record real data on the number of sales leads drawn by your current marketing endeavors and the success of your sales team in converting those leads to customers. If your sales team’s conversion rate is moderate to high, you know that you need to focus your goal on increasing the number of opportunities they have to sell by contributing more resources to marketing. If the conversion rate is low, then you need to focus your goal on improving their effectiveness in the sales process. A low conversion rate compared to leads generated could also be due to insufficient sales staff to handle lead volume. In that case, your goal should be hiring and training additional staff to further grow your customer base. In short, lead generation and conversion numbers help produce more specific targets and justify your strategic planning activities for reaching those targets.

Lead Sources

Part of your goal for customer growth could be geared at improving the effectiveness of your lead sources. You must record the investments made into your marketing endeavors and the quality of the leads generated by each. Some forms of web advertising generate hundreds of leads per month. Yet, if those leads far less likely to reach customer stage than leads generated by other sources, is it worth it include that form of marketing as a component of your goal for customer growth? Or if your time is spent nurturing a strategic partnership that only produces 1 successful referral in a year’s time, is achieving your growth goal by referral accomplishable in the goal’s timeframe? Questions like this should be considered as you are setting your goal and strategizing how to attain it.

Decision Making Period

In the workspace services industry, decision making periods are rarely within a 30-day window. People like to think long and hard about where to house their business and rightfully so. Tracking the time from lead to customer stages will help you install a reasonable time period for your goal. Use the decision making period that occurs most often (mode) for your customers rather than the average time period to define your time limit for reaching the goal. Using the average can cause you to attribute too short of a time to see maximum results. To better illustrate this point, consider the following data set.

Number of Customers
Decision Making Period in Days

Average time: 38     Modal Time: 42
If you evaluated the success of the goal activities at the 38-day average mark, you would miss out on the majority of customers that took 42 days.

Final Thoughts

If you’re not currently tracking these figures, contact us at Office Suite Strategies, and we can help you get the systems and procedures in place to make recording this data easy and reports on this data accessible. We also provide complete serviced office management services to ensure that businesses meet and exceed every goal assigned.

Prioritizing 101 for Serviced Office Center Managers

The single most vital employee to the success of any serviced office center is its manager.  The person in this role is responsible for driving the operations, finances, sales, and marketing functions of the business, so there are often times where their task list can seem insurmountable.  If you’re a serviced office center manager, and you’re in search of some tips on how to prioritize that endless scroll of To-Do’s, then this blog post is for you.

1. Stick to the Strategic Plan

The first tip on my list is to stick to the strategic plan for the serviced office center.  This plan determines how time, staff, and monetary resources are allocated to achieve various business goals.  The managers that I work with are all major contributors to the strategic plans for their serviced office centers.  Because they help develop the plan, they have a detailed understanding of the overall vision for the business and can prioritize based on the targets outlined.   So, if you’re removed from strategic planning and goal setting for the serviced office center you manage, then you should work to be involved in those processes.   Your participation will naturally influence how you prioritize your day-to-day activities going forward.

If your strategic plan has already been established by the center owners or other shareholders, it should still motivate how you prioritize whether you’ve helped with its composition or not.    If your strategic plan makes customer growth a major focus, then dedicate the appropriate percentage of your time in sales and marketing.  Or, if the major focus is improving efficiency to better serve your current client base, then shift your time to process improvement and/or technology upgrades.    Again, the strategic plan’s purpose is to guide resource allocation decisions toward business objectives. As the business’s most valuable resource, you must do your part to make sure your time and talent is used accordingly.

2. Hone your Routine

With so many responsibilities on your plate, it is imperative to have a well-crafted routine.  As a serviced office center manager, you should have the autonomy to develop that routine to best carry out your job function.   When developing your routine, you should ensure that each recurring task adds value for current clients, drives new business development, and/or ensures that the business functions optimally.  You should exclude tasks from your routine that can be delegated–tasks that another employee is or can be trained to complete.  If you’re the only employee, as is the case for many small serviced office centers, you don’t have the option to delegate. In these cases, you need to prepare your routine so that the tasks that require your skills the most are done first and other more general tasks are left for afterwards.

Remember that your routine is not set it stone.  You should assess the tasks that you accomplish on a routine basis regularly to ensure that they are still appropriately prioritized. When you established your routine, you might have had filing paperwork on your to-do list for every other week.  But, you’ve recently hired a part-time assistant who has time to file once a month.  You can now delegate that task even though it will occur less often.   You can then increase your time spent on tasks that can only be accomplished by you.

3. Outsource What You Can

Outsourcing is a great tool for center managers. There are businesses dedicated to accomplishing some of the tasks that can clog up your day.  Providing reception services, for example, can be burden on the time you should be using to generate new business or better serve your customers.   At Office Suite Strategies, we offer Professional Receptionist Outsourcing Services, PROS, to provide outstanding call answering service to serviced office centers.    PROS helps serviced office centers effectively grow their businesses and improve their productivity by removing the constant distraction of a ringing phone.    If you are interested in adding PROS to your tools for effective prioritization, please contact us to learn more.

How to Introduce Change to Your Clients

Through my business, Office Suite Strategies, I have developed, consulted, and managed workspace services industry businesses nationwide. In my 17+ years of experience, I’ve had the opportunity to lead my clients and their customers through hundreds of transitions, both major and minor. One fact that has been confirmed time and time again over my career is that change is hard. But, I have discovered some strategies that loosen some of the inevitable tension that comes with introducing customers to change and make the process smooth and manageable. In this blog post, I will share these strategies and how they can be applied in your serviced office center when there is an upcoming transition.

1. Before the Change

One of the largest contributors to unsuccessful periods of change in serviced office centers is lack of care and consideration in the implementation process. Many times, I’ve seen business owners and center managers put their new ideas into action without taking into account how that transition will affect their customers’ businesses. A large percentage of the professionals who use serviced office centers are solopreneurs, meaning they are operating their businesses by themselves and taking a considerable amount of risk in doing so. To solopreneurs, the center facility and the support provided there are crucial to their operation. So, if a change is made that doesn’t account for the solopreneur’s or any other customer’s reliance on the center as is, the results could mean heavy resistance to that change, customer attrition, and loss of revenue.
To ensure a successful period of change, you are best served by communicating with the customers who make the most use of your center’s facility and services before the decision to make the change is made. Don’t just ask, “Do you think [brief description of change] is a good idea?” This question makes it seem like you’re looking for support for a decision that you’re already in favor of. Instead ask, “We’re considering [brief description of change]. How might that affect the way you do business at our center? Are there any suggestions you have that would make the transition comfortable for how you use our center?” Have constructive conversations about how the potential change could cause problems, and invite feedback on how to avoid those problems.
Be mindful of all of the concerns and questions raised as you plan the execution and implementation of your change. And, once you’ve begun the transition, make sure to follow up with those customers that provided concerns to see if the process is going smoothly for them.

2. During the Change

Make sure that everyone is well educated on the changes coming. If your transition will be a multistage process, make sure to notify your customers of the various stages planned to calibrate their expectations. Also, don’t forget to give regular progress reports on when one stage has ended and when another stage is going to begin. Be aware that no matter how many emails you send or bulletins you post; some people are best served by a simple conversation.
If your transition involves a change to access to services, spend some time instructing your customers on how the access will work going forward. In some of my centers, we’ve changed how customers make reservations to the on-demand meeting space. I’ve developed tutorials, both written and video to make sure that the customers are clear on how to make reservations with the new system. And, if they still need support, one-on-one sessions are always provided at the customer’s request.

You can incentivize customer’s completion of the tutorials by offering a contest or quiz. One of my center managers did a tutorial on how to access the customer portal, and put together a 3 question quiz. The customers that submitted the quiz were put into a drawing for a percentage discount on their coming month’s services. By incentivizing your customers to engage with the educational materials you will find that customers feel attended to and that they can better navigate the transition.

Final Thoughts…

I hope that these tips help you get through your next period of transition at your center with little difficulty. If you are a workspace services business owner that needs help overhauling your center’s services or facility, please contact me, Karen Condi,

How To Choose A Blog Series Topic that Draws Your Members In

In the first post in this “How To” series, I posted a video that highlighted tips that any business owner can use to stay motivated to write for their business blog. In that video, I shared that writing about subjects that align with a series topic can help keep you motivated to write. This third post in the “How To” series will focus on blog series topic selection specifically for serviced office center blogs. I’ll share tips that I’ve picked up as I’ve been consistently blogging for Office Suite Strategies. My goal is to give you a reliable system for producing successful and share-worthy blog posts that interest serviced office community clients.

1. Poll Your Members

One of the ways to make sure you’ve selected a blog series topic that will appeal to the members of your center is to ask them what they want to read about. This was proven to me back in October 2015 when I first started writing for the Office Suite Strategies blog on a regular basis. I had the opportunity to host a breakout session at the Global Workspace Association Conference in Denver Colorado. My session focused on workspace-as-a-service industry best practices. I engaged in a dialogue with my target audience and found out what topics they were most interested in. Their ideas inspired me, and I was able to gauge their responses to my own ideas on the subject. I left that session with a list of 20 or so topics that business center industry leaders were excited about. So, I started my Business Center Best Practices series based on that list. The posts in this series garnered positive responses and feedback. I earned several new followers and a few of my posts were shared by the Global Workspace Association’s social media accounts.

While you might not have access to a conference full of people wanting to share thoughts on a particular subject, you do have the ability to ignite conversation on your social media. Ask questions of your followers, friends, and connections and see what interests them the most. You can also check out their pages to see what they’ve shared most often. If you see a common (business-related) theme, then use that as a blog series topic. Do some research on what’s already been said on the topic and out if there’s anything unique you can add to the canon.

2. Feature Your Members

In How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie says “A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.” You can select a series topic that features the particular business and name of your center members. Some of my most successful content has been when I share case studies that focus on one of my clients and the success that they are seeing as a result of working with Office Suite Strategies. One of my center managers did a series where she featured video testimonials from members of the center that received a very positive response from the rest of that center’s social media audience. When specific people are featured in your writing, that person is inclined to share it to their own social media audience who would not have otherwise had the opportunity to see your branded content.

3. Help Your Members

This How To series and my Business Center Best Practices series are both driven by my desire to produce content that helps you all be serviced office center industry leaders. Even with posts that don’t fit into a specific series, my goals are to help you improve efficiency and effectiveness and to provide valuable tips that can make your businesses more lucrative. As you write for your centers’ blogs, make sure you focus on making your members’ business lives better. I encourage you to consider a series that shares specifics on ways they can use your center’s services optimally. If you’ve recently changed your operations platform, conference room scheduling system, or receptionist services, consider making one of your blog series topics instructional in nature so that they are well educated on how the system has changed or will change. Lastly, your blog series topics can also be helpful by aiming to motivate and inspire, so don’t count those particular topics out.

Final thoughts…

I hope this blog post has put you at ease about series topic selection for your serviced office center. If you are a serviced office center owner and you would like help putting together a blog for your business, please contact me, Karen Condi,