Coworking spaces might be something you’ve only recently just heard of, but they’re already a really big thing. The Wall Street Journal estimates that startup coworking company WeWork already has a valuation of $45 billion, even as it continues to take on investments.

Even though there are already big names in the space, there’s still plenty of opportunity to set up and run coworking spaces. The biggest challenge is the building itself. The less you spend on the structure, the more you can invest in the shared infrastructures that have become such a big draw to entrepreneurs and small business that are just getting started.

How Big is the Opportunity?

Business News Daily reports that WeWork has grown from 7,000 members in 2014 to more than 220,000 members by the summer of 2018. The average charge is $1,000 per month for a private office area. If you’ve got a small team and plenty of flexibility, you can utilize shared workspaces for as little as $450 per month.

This gives you access to basic business services you’d otherwise have to pay for yourself, such as Wi-Fi, printers, conference centers, phone service, mail handling, and even refreshment or kitchen areas.

How Much Space Do You Need?

According to The Balance Small Business website, there’s no exact science for calculating how much office space an organization might need if they’re considering moving into a coworking space you own and operate. Indeed, the geographical area itself might make that decision. As The Balance puts it, “Think space-pressed Manhattan vs. spread-out Houston.”

Your coworking space will have some permanent rooms that will be shared. The Balance recommends these minimum sizes:

  • File room (200 square feet)
  • Storage room or library (200 square feet)
  • Mail room (125 square feet)
  • Work room (125 square feet)
  • Reception area (100 square feet plus 10 square feet per person waiting)
  • Lunch or break room (75 square feet plus 25 square feet per person seated)
  • Conference room (50 square feet plus 25 square feet per person seated)

How much will the people renting space need? The website Coworking Resources says that the average workspace in today’s coworking spaces tends to be from 75 to 95 square feet per person. Add this to your permanent spaces and rooms and you start to get an idea of the amount of space that you’d need to incorporate into a coworking space.

What else do you need? Coworking Resources offers this checklist as a way to get started on creating a comprehensive business plan. Once you’ve determined the size of your coworking space building, get in touch with us for free information about prefabricated buildings that can be easily scaled to grow as your business does.

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