If you want to create and grow the community side of your coworking space, I’ve created a course that will help you: the Coworking Community Challenge. It goes beyond what we discussed in this webinar and develops the practical how to. Check it out and let me know what you think.
On Thursday February 7 I will be hosting my first free webinar to answer your questions about coworking communities. I would like to focus on the community side, but please ask any question you need help with.
It will take place at 9:30am SF time, 6:30 pm Brussels time. Find out your local time here.
This course is for owners or employees of coworking spaces that don’t have a community yet or are struggling with creating, growing and maintaining an active and healthy community.
Intro Welcome What are you going to learn in this course What will you be Able to do at the end of the course Who is the instructor and why is he the best person to be teaching this course
Community Why is community important for coworking What is community The value of community Your role as a community manager Take care of yourself and of the community Trust, Ethics & Personality How community helps you get and retain more coworkers
Build a growing, thriving and helpful community of coworkers Strengthening links among coworkers & accelerating serendipity The power of introductions Introduce yourself Introduce others Be on the look for win wins Start your community
How to grow your community Reach out Get people into your space Events: attend, host & organize Events to organize in your coworking space
How to nurture your community and keep it healthy Creating and strengthening links How to deal with conflict Have more events and more attendees at their events
Event Organization How to have more events at your space with less work from you How to get more people to sign up to your events How to get the attendees to show up to your events
Getting and giving help Helpful coworkers that contribute positively to the community and to the coworking space. How to get help for the community How to get help for the coworkers How to get help for yourself
As part of the bonus lecture I’m thinking of including some tips from the leading practice specialists in the coworking world, and of course deals.
Last week I closed the deal to sell Betacowork to three of its coworkers: Toon Vanagt, Eric Rodriguez and Erik de Herdt. This is great news for me, but it is also for Betacowork and its community of coworkers. I love coworking but I don’t want to manage a coworking space any more. I want to be just a coworker and move on with new businesses and learning.
Ever since I decided to sell Betacowork I’ve been trying to find the best solution for the business and the community . I first tried to create a cooperative with the members so that they would take over, but it did not work. Then I started contacting some members and coworking entrepreneurs that I thought could be a good match: interested in coworking and Betacowork, understanding coworking, looking forward to the benefits of acquiring a profitable business and to take it forward.
I could not have thought of a better match than the three coworkers that have taken over. They’ve been members since the early times of Betacowork, they’ve launched their companies here, they’ve found each other and some of their employees at Betacowork… We have mixed DNA! And all this without counting all the time that Toon Vanagt has spent being my counselor, bouncing ideas back, and helping me out.
Another page of the book of my life has turned over, and this gives me great relief. I’m still part of coworking, I just don’t own a space any more. The next things to do are relaxing, learning (mostly programming), and getting my motivation and energy up to launch new businesses and projects.
In the last six years I’ve managed to create an amazing place to work and to bring together an extraordinary community. I will do all my new stuff while working from Betacowork: it is the best place on earth to work from. Why would I go anywhere else or, much worst, stay at home?
If you are in a line of work where you receive reviews about it, like I do running a coworking space and writing books, you understand the importance of reviews and feedback from your clients. True positive reviews are great (even the dreadful perfect four star review): they motivate you and your team and also help you with the marketing. Negative ones can help you improve your space if they are constructive and detailed, and the nasty ones can hurt morale a lot.
The best review ever started with this proposal from Fabio that came to my email a few months ago:
A proposal to volunteer to translate The Coworking Handbook to Portuguese, that was executed and gave birth to O manual do coworking :)
Every single review is welcome, but when somebody like Fabio gets to work hard and translates the book because he thinks it is so good it needs to be in Portuguese it is the best review ever. What could be more positive?
The best feedback ever
In the emails that followed and the conversations we had he made it clear: the book had helped him to run his coworking space and he thought it had to exist in Portuguese to be used by other coworking entrepreneurs to set up and run their espaces. Isn’t this the best feedback ever?
Not only this. Fabio run a crowdfunding campaign to edit the book and 41 people contributed to make it possible. He even got Coworking Brasil to contribute to the project ! Doesn’t this make his feedback even better? :)
Why and How
To be able to better explain Fabio’s point of view, I sent him a few questions that I thought could help you understand why he decided to translate The Coworking Handbook and how it has helped him to run his coworking space.
How & when did you decide to open Tribo Coworking?
My partner Camila Mireilles and I decided to open Tribo Coworking in 2013, when Camila saw a lecture about shared economy and heard about coworking. We were talking about opening a business, quitting our jobs, so when we heard about it, we decided “this is it!”.
Which have been the biggest challenges to open and run Tribo Coworking?
We thought that it was a growing market (and it is), but we were surprised that very few people knew about it, at least in Rio de Janeiro. I believe the biggest challenge is to get people to know about it, and to show them that you don’t need an office just for you, you can share with others and still grow your business.
How has The Coworking Handbook helped you in your coworking business?
We discovered The Coworking Handbook when we were already creating our space. It helped us to organize how things would work, understand that the community is the center of a coworking space, learn about marketing and about having a minimun size for the space to be interesting for the clientes, learn about finances, etc. With the book, we had an idea about how a good space should be.
What is the part of The Coworking Handbook that had the biggest impact in your coworking business?
It was 3 parts: community, marketing strategy and finances. These chapters in the handbook gave us a direction to follow.
Why did you decide to translate The Coworking Handbook?
First of all, there were no books in brazilian portuguese. All the books were in english. O Manual do Coworking is the first one, and I believe it’s important to have references in this industry. Also, the coworking industry is growing in Brazil. When we opened, we received some people asking for tips to open a coworking space. When I heard some of the ideas, I knew they wouldn’t work (for example, people thinking about opening a space with R$ 10,000). So I started to think about that, if they opened a space like this, people wouldn’t like it, they would be broken and the coworking concept would be badly judged. So, I decided to talk to Ramon and translate the book, to help them build a good space.
What’s next for Fabio and Tribo Coworking?
We want to be a reference for coworking spaces in Rio de Janeiro for locals (cariocas) and foreigners (we are coworking in Copacabana, and we receive many foreigners from all over the world), grow in size and reach, and help as many entrepreneurs and small companies as we can.
What can you do to thank Fabio and help O manual do coworking
First of all, send a thank you message to Fabio via Twitter to @tribocoworking or via their contact page. He deserves the reward :)
Then, write up a true positive review of O Manual do Coworkingand recommend it to your friends and colleagues that will benefit from reading it (for links to the different stores click here).
Do you want to translate The Coworking Handbook to your language?
Follow Fabio’s example! If you are willing to do the work and translate the book to your language or can get a budget to pay for the translation, contact me :)