Five Essential Tools for Starting a Coworking Space

Finding a way to draw independent professionals with introverted tendencies out of their home offices and into a coworking space can be tricky. Whether you want to know if your community's ready for coworking, or are looking for tips about how to choose the right permanent location, veteran space owners and current coworkers are the best people to ask.

These online resources will help you tap into the experience of the global coworking movement, and build a vibrant space in your community.

Coworking Wiki
Just learned about coworking yesterday? Want to find a coworking space while you're traveling? The Wiki is a great introduction to the larger coworking community. You'll find over 700 pages of user generated knowledge about successful business models, best practices, useful details about the Coworking Visa Program, a growing space directory, and coworking events list.

Coworking Google Group
Created as a way for space catalysts, owners, and coworkers to ask each other questions and make connections, this group makes it easy to access the collective knowledge of the coworking community. Introduce yourself, share stories about how you learned about coworking, ask questions about how to prepare your community for a permanent space, and learn how to anticipate and meet the needs of independent professionals in your town.

Meetup.com
Once you've introduced yourself to the coworking community, and announced your intention to create a space for coworkers to gather, it's time to start building a permanent group of interested freelancers. Meetup.com is a great tool for organizing casual group meetings between people that have common interests. It's also a great way to find out if someone's already working to build a coworking community in your area. Be sure to start a group with an inclusive name, like Boston Freelancers Meetup, or Harrisburg Mobile Workforce Meetup. Cast a wide net and see who shows up. Chances are the first people through the door will likely become your charter members.

WorkatJelly.com
If you've got commitment anxiety and don't want to bother creating a Meetup group until you know people are interested, think about starting a Jelly instead. Created in NYC but now popular all over the world, these casual coworking events take place in apartments, basements and coffee shops any time freelancers and starters need some human contact. Want to learn more about this unique style of pre-coworking? Check out this video from the founders.

Global Coworking Blog
Wondering if other catalysts are struggling with the same challenges as you? Want to share your thoughts about how coworking can support a healthy business ecosystem? Share it on the Global Coworking Blog. All coworkers and space owners are invited to submit content to the Blog, which makes it easy to share, learn, and contribute to the coworking community at large. Look for industry research, commentary on coworking benefits, and follow the official #coworking Twitter stream.

Other resources you might want to check out:

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