5 Co-Working Spaces in Auckland, The 6 Lessons I Learnt

Last week I visited all 5 of the co-working spaces in Auckland:

  1. Movers & Shakers, Auckland Central, Dion Bettjeman
  2. Loft503, Auckland Central, Matt Knight 
  3. Generator, Auckland Central, Ryan Wilson
  4. The Kitchen, Grey Lynn, Auckland, Murray Sheard
  5. Bizdojo, Auckland Central, Nick Shewring

I am honoured that every single one of the founders/owners made time for me and my questions. I loved hearing their stories.

6 Lessons I Learnt About Setting Up A Co-Working Space in New Zealand:

1. Set The Stage

  • Set the style
  • Set the theme
  • Set the scene
  • Set the culture
  • Set the values
  • and you will attract those that want to belong

2. Have Wow Factor

  • Have wow factor when people walk in the door
  • Eg 1 Movers And Shakers has a giant inflatable brain-shaped meeting room, all lit up with LED’s + the desks made with old pallets and ply wood + globes of light hang down at irregular heights
  • Eg 2 Loft503 has sleek modern high-end glossy black furniture
  • Eg 3 Generator has a bar in the lounge with a full time barman/barista
  • Eg 4 The Kitchen has a lunchroom kitchen where they all get around the dinning room table for lunch every day
  • Eg 5 The Bizdojo has set up a creative space (across the road, called a “co.space”) which has high-end business machines, a photography studio,  3D printing, and industrial sewing machines. Their attitude is “we have built it so come and use it and create something awesome”

3. Party Lots

  • I’m not talking about boozing, I’m talking about making a place for people to come and talk with each other
  • If you’re huge, host weekly get-togethers for the co-workers to ensure they mingle
  • At least every month host a get-together for the co-workers, their networks, and other connected people you know (and want to know) in your city
  • This is just about the only marketing you need. People experience the space and tell others about it, and these messages filter through the eco-system to potential co-workers

4. Hot-Deskers Are Not A Gold Mine

  • If you think providing desks for hot deskers is a gold mine, think again
  • Their commitment is low, the terms are short, your income from them is small, and worst of all, the disruption to permanent co-workers is high
  • To make money on them you have to oversell the space (just like gyms do), and hope they don’t all turn up on the same day (don’t worry, the chances are low)
  • The lesson for me is: Have 1 or 2 hot desks that people can use to trial the space for a few days or a week and then sell them on a permanent spot

5. You Are A Connector

  • As the founder, it’s your job to help your co-workers succeed. Do lots of one-on-one sessions. If they don’t succeed, it’s your fault
  • Help them discover what they need, and then help them get it
  • Help them out grow you
  • Connect them with who and what they need to connect with
  • Delegate and share jobs amongst the co-workers. This eases the burden on you and helps them give back to the community

6. Co-Working Is Living The Future, Today

  • Over a hundred years ago factories were invented. Thanks to the internet now you don’t have to work in a factory, you can work for yourself, in your bedroom, wearing your pj’s and work for clients that you choose
  • The problem is, even with all this awesome hardware (Smart Phones, Laptops, Tablets, PC’s – which are so cheap you can have all 4) and communication software (Email, cheap mobile calls, SMS, Facebook, Skype), you can be “connected” but lonely and isolated at the same time
  • That’s were co-working is awesome because it brings the face-to-face back into your life that so many of us crave. Here are 14 more reasons why co-working is awesome.
  • (If you are going to continue wearing pj’s to your co-working space, at least get ones with a very secure button at the front)

Photos of Auckland’s Co-Working Spaces:

IMG_4585
The inflatable brain (meeting room) in the centre of Movers & Shakers, Britomart

 

Crates and Desks at Movers and Shakers
Workspaces made from pallets and plywood at Movers and Shakers

 

The sleek modern high-end glossy black furniture at Loft503
The sleek modern high-end glossy black furniture at Loft503 (in this case, the kitchen)

 

IMG_4596
Sleek, shiny, classy furniture at Loft503 (in this case, the 90secondsTV corner)

 

The fulltime barista/bar tender at Generator
The fulltime barista/bar tender at Generator

 

IMG_4600
The “Plaque of Legends” at Generator. Who is the pie eating champion this month?

 

IMG_4617
The “maker-space” at Biz Dojo

 

How Many Co-working Spaces in Hamilton?

Good news for you if you can answer “YES!” to these 3 questions:

  1. Are you are freelancer in Hamilton?
  2. Do you work from a home office?
  3. Do you want to move into a co-working space in Hamilton city?

Up until now you would have had no option but to start your own space (which has all the complications of lease terms and becoming a landlord).

But now SODA Inc (Hamiltons business incubator), has just pushed 2 companies out of the nest (they have grown so fast and big, they had to go out into the big wide world and get their own office), which has made room for 7 freelancers to join the space.

You’ll get most of the perks of living in the middle of a business incubator in terms of connections and networking.

They have an ad on TradeMe right now: http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/commercial-property-for-lease/auction-550939857.htm

Thinking of starting your own co-working space in Hamilton anyway? Let me know and I’ll help you spread the word.

Will You Join the 2013 Marketing Bootcamp in Tauranga?

The 2013 Marketing Bootcamp is a series of 12 workshops (one per month) which will improve both you and your business.

Is the “2013 Marketing Bootcamp” for you?

  • YES! If you own a Tauranga-based Small Business and you are either a solo operator, a husband-and-wife team or have a business partner
  • YES! If last year went by in a blink of an eye and you want to be more proactive and in control of your business this year
  • YES! If you want to set new goals for your business and for yourself personally for 2013, and see them achieved
  • YES! If you are sick to death of wasting time and money on marketing and advertising that doesn’t work
  • YES! If you want to learn new-age sales and marketing techniques, tips and tricks to help your business thrive and can be implemented straight away
  • YES! If you think it would be valuable to work with a small group of marketing pro’s and other small business operators who you can bounce ideas around with and who can keep you accountable to the actions you will take toward your goals

If you answered “YES” to those questions then the 2012 Marketing Bootcamp IS for you. (If it’s not for you, can you think of someone who needs this sort of help? Yes? Well, get this content to them today.)

During this 12-month bootcamp you’ll learn how to:

  1. Define your point of difference and shout it from the rooftops
  2. Create and perfect your own, memorable ‘elevator pitch’
  3. Develop and implement a sales process that’s tailored to your business
  4. Structure your pricing to suit your business (and your goals)
  5. Write proposals that make saying ‘yes’ easy for your prospects
  6. Collect the perfect customer testimonial and put it to best use
  7. Extract the most value from networking events
  8. Write articles and copy that inspire action (perfect for websites or blogs)
  9. Use social media as a marketing tool for your business
  10. Deliver outstanding presentations with confidence

Each month you’ll attend

  • A 1-hour workshop delivered by Dan Necklen and Sheldon Nesdale
  • A coffee catchup in between sessions, to report back on your progress to the group

Our commitment

  • Our sessions will be fast, focused, and tailored to suit your needs and your business
  • You’ll have the opportunity to put forward any topics you’d like us to cover
  • We’re so sure you’ll get value from the bootcamp, we’re offering a 110% money back guarantee (that’s right, there’s no risk)

About Sheldon & Dan

  • “Hi, I’m Sheldon. My mission on this earth is to help turn your business into a goal achieving machine for you as the owner. To find out more about me read through https://www.marketingfirst.co.nz/about-me/
  • “Hi, I’m Dan. My purpose in life is help small businesses realise their potential and become (even more) awesome. To find out more about me read through http://likeable.co.nz/about-me/

Included within the marketing bootcamp:

  • Twelve 1-hour bootcamp workshops (one per month)
  • Twelve 1-page guides (one for each topic) + any other materials or guest speakers we need to pull in
  • Twelve group coffee catchup’s in between sessions (including the coffee itself!)

Cost:

  • This is a 12 month commitment for those who are serious about dedicating sustained effort to their sales and marketing in 2013
  • The cost is 562.50 per quarter (this is a $44 per week investment in yourself and your business)
  • There’s no risk to you thanks to our 110% money back guarantee (yes, we’re serious!)

Bootcamp Schedule

Define your point of difference and shout it from the rooftops
10.30am Tuesday 22nd January

Create and perfect your own, memorable ‘elevator pitch’
10.30am Tuesday 19th February

Develop your own sales process that’s tailored to your business
10.30am Tuesday 19th March

Structure your pricing to suit your business (and your goals)
10.30am Tuesday 23rd April

Write proposals that make saying ‘yes’ easy for your prospects
10.30am Tuesday 21st May

Collect the perfect customer testimony and put it to best use
10.30am Tuesday 18th June

Mid year re-cap and skills review
10.30am Tuesday 23rd July

Extract the most value from networking events
10.30am Tuesday 20th August

Write copy that inspires action (perfect for websites or blogs)
10.30am Tuesday 17th September

Use social media as a marketing tool for your business
10.30am Tuesday 22nd October

Deliver outstanding presentations with confidence
10.30am Tuesday 19th November

End of year re-cap and skills review
10.30am Tuesday 17th December

Will you let this year slip by faster than last year or will you take control of it?

Imagine getting to December 2013 and looking back on your year and thinking “This year was the best year of my life! I set aggressive goals for my business and for myself and I bloody-well achieved them!”

Or will you just think like everyone else “Oh… 2013 is over already. Wow, that sure went quick. I hope next year goes slower.”

You can have the first scenario.

The first step is to secure your place in the 2013 Marketing Bootcamp.

Contact me before 5pm Friday 18th January (either by phone, email, or by filling in the form below). Spaces are limited to 6 business owners so be quick.

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