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Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur looking to manage your coworking space effectively? With the current economic climate, there’s never been a better time to start your own business, but finding the right management system can be a challenge.
A good management system is essential to the success of your coworking space, and that’s why it’s crucial to choose the right one from the start. In this article, we’ll share seven key factors to consider when choosing a management system for your coworking space.
Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or just starting out, this guide will help you decide to take your coworking space to the next level.
1. Ease of Use
Choosing a coworking space management software that is easy to use is critical for several reasons. First and foremost, it ensures that your coworking space members and staff can easily navigate the software and perform tasks without the need for extensive training or support. This saves time and resources while also increasing productivity and efficiency.
Additionally, an easy-to-use coworking space management software can enhance the member experience by providing a seamless and streamlined interface for managing bookings, payments, and communication.
When selecting a coworking space management software, there are several features and factors to consider to ensure that the software is easy to use. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:
- Intuitive Native Design: The software should have a design that is familiar to users who are accustomed to using Google or Apple products, which makes it easy for users to find the features they need quickly. It should be easy to navigate and provide clear guidance on how to perform tasks.
- Friendly for People with Disabilities: An easy-to-use coworking space software should be accessible to all members, including those with disabilities. It should adhere to accessibility standards and include features such as high-contrast mode, keyboard navigation, and screen reader compatibility.
- Usable Right Out of the Box: The software should be user-friendly, with a short learning curve. Members should be able to start using the software right away without extensive training. The platform should be easy to use, and the features should be self-explanatory.
- All-in-One-Tool: It’s essential to choose a coworking software that provides a comprehensive solution, including booking, payment processing, and communication. This ensures that admins can manage all aspects of their workspace from a single platform without the need for additional tools or services.
- Mobile-Friendly: In today’s world, it’s crucial to have a mobile-friendly platform that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. The software should be optimized for mobile devices, allowing members to book workspace and manage their accounts from their smartphones. Additionally, the software should also have a mobile app for admins to manage the space on the go.
2. The Variety of Features
When it comes to features for a coworking space, it’s important to prioritize those that address real pain points for members and administrators rather than trying to include every feature under the sun. This is because implementing unnecessary features can lead to increased costs and complexity without providing significant value to users.
For example, if a coworking space is primarily used by freelancers and remote workers who need a reliable workspace and community, it may be more beneficial to focus on features like booking, invoicing, and member apps rather than floorplans or CRM.
› Some common features that coworking operators may need include:
- Room and Desk Booking: This allows to set bookings on autopilot by allowing members to book a specific workspace ahead of time without the administrator’s assistance.
- Membership Plans: Membership plans allow coworking spaces to offer different pricing options and benefits for members. This can help attract a wider range of members with different needs and budgets.
- Invoicing: Invoicing features can help streamline the billing process for members and ensure that payments are made on time.
- Analytics: Analytics tools can provide insights into how members are using the space, which can help operators make informed decisions about space utilization and resource allocation.
- Member Support: Providing support to members can help ensure that they have a positive experience and are able to resolve any issues that may arise.
- Member Apps: Member apps can provide a convenient way for members to access the space and its amenities, as well as connect with other members and the community.
- Benefits Catalog: A benefits catalog can offer discounts and perks to members for services and products they may need, such as accounting or printing services.
- Shop: A shop can offer members access to basic office supplies or snacks and drinks, providing an added convenience and revenue stream for the space.
- Chat: Chat features can help members connect with each other and the community, as well as receive quick responses to questions or issues.
- Community Feed: A community feed can offer a social platform for members to get workspace updates and share news, ideas, and other relevant information with each other.
- Member Directory: A member directory can help members connect with each other and find potential collaborators or networking opportunities.
- Events Management: Events management tools can help community managers plan and organize events for members and customers, such as workshops, networking events, or social activities.
- Visitors Management: Visitors management features can help operators manage guests and ensure that they have a positive experience in the space. This may include features like guest registration and access control.
3. Customization and Branding Options
When it comes to selecting coworking management software, it’s essential to consider the customization and branding options that the system offers. The app should be flexible enough to meet the specific needs of your coworking space. Here are a few things to consider when evaluating the customization and branding options of the platform:
- Customizable Features: The software should allow you to customize the features according to your requirements. For example, you may want to add or remove specific features such as Events, Visitors, and more. The software should enable you to configure these features as per your unique needs.
- Branding: The software should allow you to customize the branding elements, such as logo, color scheme, and fonts, to align with your coworking space’s branding guidelines. This way, the app will look like an extension of your coworking space rather than a generic tool.
- Integrations: The app should also be able to integrate with other tools that you use, such as accounting software, CRM, or an access control system. This integration allows for better workflow and efficiency, eliminating the need for manual inputting of data.
When selecting management software for your flexible space, it’s essential to consider its scalability. Coworking businesses can experience rapid growth, and the software you choose should be able to keep up with the expansion without requiring you to switch to a different system. Here are a couple of things to consider when evaluating the scalability of the platform:
- Multi-Location Management Capabilities: If you plan to expand to multiple locations, it’s important to choose software that can handle multiple sites. It should allow you to manage all your locations from a single dashboard, making it easier to monitor the performance of each site and streamline your operations. This feature is particularly helpful when it comes to managing memberships, billing, and other essential tasks.
- Capacity to Handle High Traffic: As your flexible space grows, you’ll likely experience a surge in traffic and usage. The software you choose should be able to handle this increased usage without slowing down or crashing. It should have the ability to handle multiple concurrent users, allow for quick and easy booking of meeting rooms, and offer seamless member check-ins.
5. Privacy and Security
When selecting coworking space software, it’s important to prioritize privacy and security. Coworking centers handle sensitive data about their members, such as personal information, payment details, and more. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose a tool that has robust security features to prevent unauthorized access to this information. Here are a few things to consider when evaluating the privacy and security of coworking software:
- Importance of Keeping Data Secure, Available, and Private: It’s critical to ensure that your coworking space app keeps your data secure, available, and private. This means that the platform should use encryption to protect data in transit and at rest, secure login mechanisms to prevent unauthorized access, and access control to limit data access to authorized personnel only.
- Hosting and Data Processing Infrastructure: The hosting and data processing infrastructure of the software is also essential. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a popular hosting option for coworking management software. AWS provides a robust, scalable, and secure infrastructure that ensures that data is safe, accessible, and private. Amazon RDS and DynamoDB encrypted database instances also provide additional layers of protection against unauthorized access to data.
- Protection against Hacking: The software should have built-in protection against hacking attempts, such as firewalls, intrusion detection, and prevention systems. Regular security audits and vulnerability assessments should be conducted to identify potential weaknesses and address them promptly.
- Compliance with Regulations: Regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) require that organizations protect the privacy and security of personal data. Therefore, the software should comply with these regulations, ensuring that data is collected, processed, and stored securely and transparently.
- Product Security: The software should undergo regular security testing and quality assurance to ensure that it’s secure from the ground up. The development team should follow best practices for security, such as adhering to secure coding standards, performing security reviews, and implementing secure configuration management.
6. Efficient 24/7 Support
Choosing a coworking space platform that offers efficient 24/7 support is essential for ensuring the smooth operation of your coworking space. In today’s fast-paced business environment, downtime can be costly and can negatively impact the productivity of your business. Therefore, having access to quick and reliable support is critical in minimizing downtime and keeping your business running smoothly.
One of the main reasons why it is important to choose a vendor that offers quick 24/7 support is that technical issues can arise at any time, including outside of regular business hours. If you encounter a problem with your software during off-hours, you don’t want to wait until the next business day to get assistance. Having access to 24/7 support ensures that any issues can be addressed immediately, regardless of the time of day.
Another important consideration is the cost of support. It is important to choose a vendor that offers free support, as paying for technical support can be expensive and can add up quickly. Many vendors offer free support for a limited time but then charge a fee after that. Therefore, it is important to choose a vendor that offers free support for the life of the software.
Having a dedicated success manager is also important. A success manager can help you maximize the benefits of the software and ensure that you are using all of its features effectively. A success manager can also act as a liaison between your business and the software vendor, ensuring that any issues or concerns are addressed quickly and effectively.
When choosing a coworking management system, it is important to check what customers say about the level of support. Don’t believe promises made by the vendor. Instead, do your research and read reviews from current and past customers. Look for reviews that specifically mention the level of support provided by the vendor, including response times and the effectiveness of support.
7. Transparent Pricing Model
When selecting a coworking space app, one of the most critical considerations is the pricing model. You must choose a vendor that offers a transparent pricing model that fits within your budget and provides you with a clear understanding of the costs associated with the platform.
One of the most common pricing models for coworking software is per-location pricing. Under this model, the vendor charges a fee for each location that uses the software. While this model may work for some businesses, it can quickly become expensive for those with multiple locations. It’s important to choose a vendor that offers unlimited locations so you don’t have to worry about additional fees as your business expands.
Another important consideration is the pricing of ongoing maintenance and support costs. It’s important to choose a vendor that includes support and maintenance in the price so you don’t have to worry about unexpected expenses. Ideally, the vendor should provide excellent customer support and should be available to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
It’s also important to look for a vendor that includes all features in the price, so you don’t have to worry about additional costs for certain features or modules (such as events management, meeting room display, and visitor management). The pricing should be clear and transparent, and there should be no hidden costs or fees.
Finally, it’s important to look for a vendor that offers white-label apps at the price. White-label apps allow you to brand the software as your own, which can help you to build brand awareness and increase customer loyalty. This feature can be costly with some vendors, so it’s important to choose a vendor that includes it in the price.
» To Take Away
In conclusion, choosing the right coworking space software can make a significant impact on the success of your business. By considering the key factors outlined in this guide, such as efficient 24/7 support, transparent pricing, and the ability to scale and customize the app to meet your needs, you can find a solution that helps you streamline your operations and improve your bottom line.
Remember to do your research, read reviews, and ask for demos to ensure that the platform you choose is the right fit for your business. With the right management system, you can focus on what matters most – building a thriving community of entrepreneurs and professionals.
Author’s bio: Helga Moreno
Helga Moreno is an advocate of flexible work styles and a lover of luxury coworking centers. She has a passion for spreading the word about cutting-edge coworking space management software that makes these hubs enjoyable to use. Her knowledge in this area is vast, and she aims to keep up with the latest flex space industry trends.