Learnings from our first 6 months of running our coworking space
So next month we officially turn 6 months old. Where have those months gone? They have passed in a flurry of mad activity, a rather enjoyable (& at times a little manic) romp through meets & greets, talks & events, tours & trials, app downloads & WIFI connections, toilet cleaning, plant watering, laughing, learning, working, talking & growing……….that’s where!!!
As we go into our 6th month with an impressive community of over 80 active members we have taken the time to stop & think about what we have achieved so far and more importantly what we have learnt.
For any new business it’s important to take time out to think about the past, present & future as it is so easy to be head down all the time in running the day to day.
So, we thought it might be useful to share with you what we think have been our key learnings in our first 6 months. They are pretty much applicable to any business.
1. It’s all about the people.
Sounds obvious but with any business getting the people situation right is key. Never more than with coworking, Lucy and I as old friends knew we shared a similar work ethic and personal values which is crucial in any partnership, but coworking is more than just the people who run a space. The success of any coworking space like Rume2 is ALL ABOUT the people who come and work here as well as us. If Rume2 was full of people who didn’t get on, had bad habits, or just ignored others it wouldn’t be a nice place to work. Thankfully the members we have gained at Rume2 are all utterly brilliant & thoroughly nice people. Maybe it’s a result of the vibe we give off as owners, or a result of the space itself but we seem to attract exactly the people we wanted to. A broad mix of people from many industries, all keen to work, talk & grow with each other.
2. You must get stuck in.
Although Lucy & I are not new to running our own business, coworking was a completely new area for us. We were diligent in our research before we started Rume2 but there is nothing like learning on the job. As a start-up we haven’t been able to afford to hire anyone yet and its been really hard work at times, but I think that has been the best grounding for us in all areas of the business. From cleaning the toilets, to running events, talking to members, running social media, you name it we do it all. By doing this we have learnt every little element you need to be on top of to make a coworking space work. We know moving forward what areas we need to focus on to grow the business, what is most important to our members, what isn’t. We are now in the best position possible to move forward and scale the business. We know what is crucial we keep hold of, and what we can delegate without impacting the experience for our members. It’s been a steep learning curve and that curve will absolutely continue but getting stuck into everything from the get-go really has been the best way to start for us.
3. You must be part of the wider business community.
Never underestimated the power of your network. We are a local business trying to support the local economy by encouraging more people to work in the area and spend money on the high street when here. There would be no point in us promoting this message unless we really understood local business and what they need. We have spent a large proportion of time over the last 6 months going to several local business groups, we have hosted events for those groups for free in our space. We have contacted local businesses to try and set up mutually beneficial collaborations and support them on social media wherever possible too. We have even got a team together for a local dragon boating event. None of this is to gain immediate members (although the extra brand awareness isn’t to be sniffed at) but to make sure we are living what we preach and taking our own accountability to support the local community.
4. No can’t be a word in your vocabulary.
There is ALWAYS a solution to a problem. You just need to have a positive enough attitude to find it. We have had all sorts of challenges raise their heads but have always found a solution. We have also bent over backwards to try and accommodate every request from our members too. There is nothing worse than “a” straight no, or an immediate “I give up.” If running your own business was easy everyone would do it!! We have learnt to see the positive in everything.
There are plenty plenty more lessons we have learnt but I think they are probably the biggest and those we will find most useful in our journey onwards.
Looking back, we couldn’t have hoped for a more positive start to our Rume2 journey and would like to thank everyone who has been part of it so far.
Those who have helped us…..
drink 990 litres of freshly brewed coffee,
eat 990 nosh balls (I know! What a coincidence!)
attend 39 events,
hold 144 hours of meetings &
enjoy 2548 hours of coworking.