One of the most common ways to increase the visibility and overall success of coworking spaces is through local partnerships. Partnering with nearby businesses is mutually beneficial and increases the sense of community, both in the shared workspace and neighborhood.
Some businesses, like restaurants, coffee shops and gyms, are obvious choices for partnerships. Before suggesting working together, here are some helpful steps to maximize the value of these relationships.
Who can you partner with?
Partnerships can be as important to your profitability and brand recognition as any other marketing strategy. For example, a nearby gym could offers a discount or promotional trial to coworking members. In exchange, the coworking hub offers a free day pass or free meeting room booking to gym members. PR for the promotion could include mutually beneficial flyers, brochures, emails, sample products or any other communication method. Nonetheless, the gym and coworking space both ideally see an increase in visibility and clientele.
In order to partner with the right business and maximize value, know your members. If the majority don’t stay in the neighborhood before or after work hours, then a local gym or bar may not be an optimal partner. In this case, a popular lunch spot or office supply store would work better. If a nonprofit organization uses the space, then it could be possible to team up for events in the neighborhood.
Keep in mind that regardless of the business, whether it’s a beauty salon, gym, restaurant, or coworking space, the goal is to get potential new clients in the door. At that point it’s up to the onsite team to provide the experience that will make the guest return beyond their promotional period.
Do your homework
Before reaching out to a neighboring business, make sure you are prepared to back up the stance that this partnership will benefit both parties. Successful partnerships will require investment on both sides.
Put together a spreadsheet that details why the demographics of the coworking space match the target audience for their business. Include information on potential revenue and exposure gained based on number of regular members and guests. With social media playing a vital role in marketing and communication, highlight reach on all social platforms and target businesses with similar or greater following.
Talk to your most loyal members to find out:
• What local businesses they frequent most often;
• What guests mention when they visit the space;
• Which businesses draw the best local crowds; and
• Where members would like to see the coworking space promoted.
Offer them a thank you promotion for sharing ideas and suggestions.
Striking a deal
Once there is verbal consent from both parties to begin a partnership draft the details of the agreement. Include the duration of the promotion, the type and value of products or services provided and any discounts that will be applied. If either business will be promoting the partnership via flyers, email or social media, include all relevant details including distribution channel and duration. Be sure to consult with your attorney about the terms of any contract or promotion.
Consider that coworking members will benefit from a variety of different promotions. While the main goal in a partnership may be increased exposure and profitability, your member retention will also benefit from new and fun opportunities. Reach out to restaurants of different cuisines, look for gyms that feature different types of workouts, talk to nonprofit organizations that target different initiatives. Paint as broad a canvas as the interests of the space’s members dictate.
With a successful partnership strategy, there will be natural advertising and coworking opportunities, the coworking space will see an influx of new members and member retention rate will hopefully rise.
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