Can Coworking Be a Profitable Business?
Almost every article I read seems to convey that coworking, as a business, is a break even endeavor at best. I would like to have a coworking resource near me, out here in the burbs, but all of the “local” coworking facilities are in larger cities. Maybe that’s the problem. They all seem to be located in prime real estate with expensive furnishings and equipment. That just doesn’t seem like the right way to model a new business in this economy.
Then there’s the for profit versus not for profit debate. If you’re in business to turn a profit and you’re only able to break even, wouldn’t it make more sense to be a “non profit” since you would then have access to federal grants?
I think sponsorships could be a creative way of subsidizing the operating costs associated with running a collaborative working facility. I’m farily confident a local bank or business supply vendor would be interested in the naming rights of this new “business center”.
I’m testing the waters locally since there’s a substantial “free agent” population in my suburban community and I know I’m not the only one that would like to socialize and collaborate with like-minded people. Once my preliminary research is done, I’m going to pick the brain of Alex Hillman who started http://www.indyhall.org down in Philly and is one of the few experts on the subject.
I’ll post updates as my efforts progress and I welcome any feedback or suggestions you might have.