The American entrepreneurial spirit is standing strong even against the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that while the applications for new businesses decreased in the first three months of the health crisis from March to May 2020, these spiked in June to a record high from January 2019. In July 2020, it hit a historic all-time high. Each month from August 2020 to April 2021, the number of new business applications was higher than any month from 2004 to February 2020.
This trend continued even up to the latest data in September and October 2021. There is a growing momentum of business startups, and this is reviving the economy. It is advisable to join the surge at this early stage to become part of the vanguard and, therefore, gain a foothold sooner.
The Homebased Coworking Space
If you are thinking of a new business idea, consider putting up a coworking space where remote workers can rent individual offices by the day. This is ideal if you have a large yard where you can construct a small building that is at least two stories high. Not having to spend on land acquisition already cuts your costs drastically. Find out first if this is allowed in your area. It is also best if you are within walking distance of public transportation. You must also provide parking spaces for those who will come in their vehicles.
The popularity of coworking spaces among remote workers is supported by data culled from several reports. Among remote workers who never used coworking spaces before, 54.9 percent are thinking of using these going forward. The forecast is for the number of coworking spaces in the country to grow by six percent in 2022. The estimate of the Commercial Observer is that these will be twice or thrice as many by 2026. By the end of the decade, coworking spaces are seen to make up 30 percent of offices in the U.S.
The coworking space provides remote workers with a temporary option to work away from home but not return to the office. Perhaps they need to get away from renovations being done on their home office. Perhaps they live in a studio apartment and their partner is also using it for work. Perhaps they have children doing distance learning at home. There are also times when people simply need a new work environment to recharge their energy.
Necessary Features of the New Coworking Space
While there were already coworking spaces before the pandemic, these must be redesigned to fit the new normal. The HVAC system for the entire structure must include a high-level HEPA filter and UV disinfection. To keep the workers comfortable in winter and summer, and to ease the load on the HVAC system, commercial spray foam insulation installation is a must. The coworking space must have a powerful generator to enable the clients to continue working even if a power outage occurs. The Internet service for the entire building must be fast and stable.
The open layout and side-by-side seating popular before will no longer do. It is now safer to have one-person offices totally closed off from each other. The partitions can be made of glass with drapes or blinds that each client can keep open or close for privacy.
To avoid crowding in enclosed corridors, the offices can face outward to an open-air roofed corridor. It is best if each office includes a restroom. If that is not feasible, the common restrooms must have exhaust fans and upper air UV light disinfection as well as portable HEPA filters.
Each office must also have a mini-refrigerator and a counter with a microwave oven and a coffeemaker. This way, the client can bring in their own meals and snacks then store these in the fridge or heat these in the oven.
In addition to being utilitarian, each office must feel inviting, inspiring, and energizing. Indoor plants and good artwork can lift the vibe of the room. The sound of running water from small tabletop fountains also provides a soothing backdrop. These can be infused with essential oils that will make the clients feel like they are in a spa or a resort but also increase concentration.
Crunching the Numbers
Before embarking on the project, research online on how much other coworking spaces near your location are charging. This will give you a ballpark figure of how much you can charge your clients, as well. Compare this with your costs in building and maintaining the coworking space. Give it about a year or two to break even and start earning profits. If the numbers come up positive, then you can give your startup the green light.