Looking for a way to boost your hotel or resort’s bottom line? Consider creating a co-working space. Co-working spaces are not only a great way to increase foot traffic and attract new customers, they’re also a fantastic way to increase revenue. By partnering with local entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote workers, you can offer your guests new services and experiences, without any additional overhead. To create a successful co-working space for your hotel or resort, just follow these easy steps.
The benefits of adding a co-working space to your hotel
There are countless benefits to adding a co-working space to your hotel:
Connect with brands
Most people who need a co-working space are business owners and corporate clients. Having them as your renters not only allows you to network with a larger group of corporate clientele but also puts you on the map of their business partners. This, in turn, puts your hotel or resort on their radar.
Increase your corporate reach
A hospitality partnership is when a company establishes a business relationship with a hotel or restaurant, often resulting in discounted rates for the company’s employees and customers. If you’re not already familiar with the concept, you’ve probably stayed at a partner hotel before without even realising it. Many businesses choose to form these partnerships in order to save on travel and accommodation costs for their staff and clients.
If you have clients who rent your office space, chances are they’ll take their business partners out to lunch or dinner at your kitchen or restaurants. This is a great opportunity to get noticed by corporate clients who use co-working spaces.
You are more likely to be contacted by a potential partner if they are actively searching, but you could also incentivise them in your lease agreement. For example, the corporate company gets a discount or privilege at your hotel if they agree to make you their hospitality partner.
Having a corporate rental client is a great way to increase your income, and it can be especially helpful during economic downturns. Instead of having to worry about your empty rooms or vacant offices, you can rest easy knowing that there is always going to be someone renting space.
The key to increasing your revenue is creating a space that companies will want to use regularly. This will encourage them to book company wide conferences, or even, at minimum, to rent out the office space once a month or year.
Tips for designing the co-working space within a hotel
It is essential to design a co-working space that potential customers will want to lease. This means having different types of seating so that people can choose what is most comfortable for them. Include cubicles or booths, spacious desks, circular tables, comfy recliners, ergonomically designed chairs (ones with high backs), and cushioned benches in a café fashion. Add a few beanbags, hammocks, and/or accent pillows if your customer is going for a more artistic clientele. These tips are perfect if your ideal customer is a tech start-up company, artist studio, or writer’s office.
1. Have a good blend of privacy and collaboration space:
Having a long desk where everyone collectively sets up their gear to work is a great way to encourage collaboration. But it is also important to ensure that you have private booths or couches where a person can work undisturbed.
2. Have enough plug points:
This seems very obvious, but it is usually not for most first-time designers. You need at least one functioning outlet per 10 square inches for the office to be comfortable for working. Be sure to check ahead of time if your space is already wired with electricity, and make arrangements accordingly.
3. Lighting is key
Remember, lighting can turn your lavish office space into a jail-cell looking room really quickly. If your office space does not have natural sunlight, you must invest in some good top and ambient lighting fixtures. Again, do not buy a light that is too bright or white. Invest in a slightly off-white bulb for these fixtures so that it is soothing to the eye during long hours of working.
4. Make sure comfort is taken care of
Beanbags, chairs, and ergonomic table heights are very important. Make sure you have enough of them in your office. You could even consider standing or treadmill desks to keep your staff comfortable and productive during long hours. If you invest in armchairs, make sure that your cushions are soft and long-lasting.
5. Have a kitchen and dining area nearby
It is essential that you have break rooms with high-quality coffee makers or espresso machines, microwaves, fridges, and vending machines nearby. Depending on your customer’s needs and desires, you may even want to include a mini-library in the space. Just make sure you have enough storage for board games and books, too.
6. Always consider your customer’s business needs in the design
Ultimately, you want to build a co-working space that makes your customer successful. This means thinking about their productivity and efficiency as well. Make sure your layout is conducive to work and will not frustrate or annoy your customers. Consider things like noise and clutter in the area, as well as the needs of your customer’s employees. You may even want to offer services like professional meeting spaces or video conferencing locations so that your customers can stay productive while traveling.
How to market and promote the co-working space
If you plan on converting the space into a pure diverse co-working space and not a corporate office for one startup, you will need to market the space as such. This can be done through various means:
1. Leverage your existing corporate clientele:
You might already be a part of a hospitality partnership deal with a company. If not, don’t worry. Every customer that stays in your hotel owns a business or works for one. This is all the contact that you need.
Make sure every guest knows that you have a spacious and inviting co-working space. If needed, offer to give them a free tour of the space if they wish to use it themselves. If someone books an executive lounge in your hotel, communicate to them that they can host meetings within the hotel itself. This is a great way to organically attract customers.
2. Offer discounts to your corporate clients
Partner with other local businesses and offer a discounted rate to your clients. For example, you might be able to partner with a nearby gym or health club and offer complementary access passes if they book in your hotel. This is a great way to generate interest in the space and build long-term relationships with customers.
3. Leverage social media and online marketing
Make sure that you have an active presence on all major social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Post regular updates about your co-working space, including photos of the layout, information about special events or guest speakers, and so on. You should also consider promoting the space through paid ads or sponsored posts on social media, to target specific audiences more effectively.
Ideas for creating added value for members
1. Networking events
For example, suppose you realise that the majority of people who use your co-working space are employed by a food delivery IT company. In this case, it would be an excellent idea to host a city-wide seminar or networking event at which restaurant personnel and workers from these types of tech companies could come together and meet at your hotel.
Since hotels are usually already great for events, you could even aim high and arrange a large-scale gathering. In addition to helping your customers, this would demonstrate to other businesses that you’re invested in the people who use your co-working space. Consequently, more people would be likely to utilise your space for their professional needs.
2. Special deals with local businesses
You can encourage locals to use your co-working space by introducing a subscription system where the more someone uses the space, the cheaper it is for them. This can be done through partnerships with local businesses, where a discount is offered to members who use the space on a regular basis. For example, you might strike up a deal with a nearby fitness centre or beauty salon and offer discounted access as an added perk for co-working space customers.
3. Workshops and training sessions
Another idea is to host regular workshops or seminars on a variety of topics that are relevant to your co-working members. This can help them build their skills and expertise, while also giving them a chance to connect with each other in an informal setting. Some possible workshop topics might include leadership development, time management, or even creative brainstorming techniques.
The key to creating a successful and profitable co-working space is to offer something that is unique and valuable for the people who choose to use it. By leveraging your existing resources as a hotel, you can create an environment where both business owners and employees alike can come together to network and learn from each other. With the right marketing and promotion strategy, your co-working space could quickly become a popular destination for business professionals in your area.