Are you ready for September?
Here in Santa Cruz, the summer crowds have departed and locals are flocking to the beaches, excited to enjoy the quiet. Traffic is mellow, the streets are passable again and today I saw the first picture-perfect golden and red leaf flutter to the ground.
Fall is in the air and the kids are back in school.
But wait, you ask, what does this have to do with coworking? And we answer, everything!
Get ready, because members are coming your way!
September is YOUR month. We are really excited for all of the amazing people who will walk through your doors this month, ready to get a fresh start on their businesses, ready for collaboration, interaction, and yes! a whole lotta coffee!
This is the time of year to get busy, get ready to grow, and make sure you are ready to receive the members who will surely be ringing your doorbell, excited to come and cowork with you.
We wanted to help you prepare to receive your new members so that when they show up, all you have to do is welcome them in. As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And while there’s no crisis in signing up the new members coming your way, there are a few things you can do now to set yourself up for a friction-free few months and allow you to sail through the end of the year, enjoying your community, space and members all the while.
Here’s what we are doing in our communities to get ready for busy-time.
Checking our processes, especially onboarding and orientation.
All those new members are going to need to know how to best interact with their new community. And if you don’t have an orientation process, you need to create one STAT.
We don’t mean onboarding, though doing so efficiently and effectively every time is important. We are talking about giving each new member a thorough orientation into the community, the “Member Tour” if you will.
Spending 20-30 minutes orienting each member will save you and your staff countless hours and headaches in the future. You want to show them how to navigate the space effectively (think booking conference rooms and getting them set up on the printer and successfully printing their first page), interact with the community and what to expect from events to programming to expectations of conduct.
Setting up a Halloween costume contest.
We won’t be in our spaces for Halloween this year, because we will be attending GCUC Canada, but our community managers will. And if your members love Halloween as much as ours do, making sure you plan out your Halloween festivities now will give everyone in the community time to plan a chance to show off their creativity as they don their alternate personalities.
Taking care of the details.
One of our favorite analogies for being coworking hosts is that it’s like throwing a party. Of course you want to make sure your guests have the best experience at your party. Making sure all of the little details are lined up and taken care of will allow your members to get their best work done at your “work party”.
We are paying close attention to these things as we gear up for all of our new party guests to arrive!
- Check your supplies: Do you need to up your coffee and tea order? Got enough toilet paper? Paper towels? Tampons? Urinal cakes? (Also did you ever think you were going to know way more than you wanted to know about the inner workings of urinals when you decided to open a workspace?)
- Prep for the colder winter months, anticipate the cold zones in your space and determine whether you need to buy a couple of extra heaters.
- If you live in a rainy climate, invest in a few community umbrellas. You can buy ones with your brand on them, or go for a few fun patterns, just make sure they aren’t too expensive so you won’t mind when they wander off.
- And if you’re using umbrellas, it’s time to drag out the umbrella stand to keep your floors dry and safe for people to walk on. A small garbage can by the door with a sign will do the trick.
- If you live in snowy areas, designate a boot knock-off zone.
- Communities in both snowy and rainy climates benefit from having a coat rack or hook system located above or near a heat vent so people can dry off their outerwear.
- Make sure you have plenty of Kleenex and get ready to wipe all your door handles down with alcohol prep pads or Clorox wipes. Germs spread fast in coworking spaces and keeping healthy is a priority.
Planning the date for our holiday party.
Yes, we know it’s technically still beach weather, but trust us, December is around the corner and your member’s schedules will fill up faster than you expect. There are only so many days in December that you can actually host a holiday party and if you want people to have the chance to say yes to yours, book the day now and send out those save the dates.
Is our network robust enough? Time to add more bandwidth?
Planning for and getting excited about the growth you are about to experience must include some real talk about your network. If you are not 100% positive you can support 30% more people than you have now, you need an upgrade. There’s nothing worse than having people come to your work party and not be able to work because your bandwidth can’t support them. And in coworking spaces the average user has two devices connected to the network at all times. If you’re in a tech-heavy space, that could be as many as five devices per person accessing your network. You’re gonna need a good pipe and robust equipment to meet that demand.
The most important thing you can do to prep for your new members is to practice those smile muscles. Start smiling today as you imagine them coming in for a tour, signing up on the spot and getting their productivity on in your space!
We wish you a busy and happy fall, one which allows you to harvest the fruits of your labors and one in which you get to celebrate your new community members each week. They’re getting ready to come right now. We can feel them lining up, can you?
If you want to receive more pro tips like these, join us in Toronto for our upcoming retreat. You’ll have a chance to sit down with the Women Who Cowork team, pick our brains and share ideas with other women who own and operate coworking spaces. We know you will walk away rejuvenated and inspired.