Small Coworking: Revenue and Use Mix

Nothing vexes new coworking space operators as much as figuring out how much space to allocate to flex desks, dedicated desks and private offices. Throw in common areas like the kitchen, bathroom, conference rooms and hallways and it gets even more complicated.

I’ve been running a lot of numbers in my coworking space, Cohere, this month. Partially because we might be on the cusp of expansion and partially because we’re bursting at the seams and we need some relief RIGHT NOW. And when I can’t magically add a floor to the building, I do math to find the answer. I also talk with members but I use the math to guide what options are available to them.

Here are the numbers I used. First I wanted to know how much square footage we have on each of our FOUR floors. Cohere is only 2,500 ft2 so each floor is teeny and frustrates us to no end.

Top Floor/Coworking/Offices: 832 ft2

Kitchen/Bathrooms/Living Room/Small Meeting Room: 822 ft2

Entry/Offices: 170 ft2

Offices/Large Conference Room: 624 ft2

Then I wanted to know how much square footage we have for just my desk, the 10 flex desks and 2 phone rooms on the Top Floor. It’s just 520 ft2.

The 9 offices occupy nearly double that at 980 ft2 and a whopping 950ft2 is just common areas (kitchen, bathrooms, meeting rooms, hallways, landings, living room).

Next, I wanted to see where my revenue was coming from and frankly, I was a little surprised. As you can see below in the infographic, the 520 ft2 flex desk coworking area is bringing in a whopping 48% of revenue. I always just assumed that the offices were winning b/c their monthly checks *seem* so much bigger.

I also took a look at what types of memberships are both most popular AND which coworking membership brings in the most revenue. The most popular membership is the Explorer 1 day/week plan at $69/mo and the most profitable membership is the 3 day/week Nomad plan at $169/mo.

A few weeks ago, a member decided to leave his private office and my instinct was to simply fill it with another private office member. Unfortunately, this does nothing for the people languishing on our wait list, which is a painful thing for me to bear right now.

Luckily, because of my math, I was able to see that flex desk coworking is more profitable than offices for Cohere. I emailed a few Coherians who have been interested in having something akin to a “writer’s den” or quiet project/writing space to see if they were still interested. They were!

I’ll have to spend around $1,000 to outfit the office with 4 workstations and some storage bins but the added flex desks will allow me to pull almost everyone off the wait list while offering a new nook for the Coherians to enjoy. Interested in what furniture I prefer? Get the whole list here.

The Key Takeaways:

Do some math on your space every few months. Coworking is dynamic and changes constantly. We use our space in very different ways than we did when we first moved into this building.

Don’t get locked into a use for a particular room in your space. What is an office today can be desks tomorrow or a living room or a meeting room. Do some math, change things up, make more money.

Did you like that? You’ll like the workbook I wrote for you. The Ultimate Coworking Launch Sequence is here to help you start your coworking community with a mix of history, hands-on exercises, field work and introspection. Grab the workbook today and you get the free email course to keep you on track and motivated while you complete it.

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