smplr times 013 · The reality of competition

Hey there,

I think about this Michael Phelps image a lot. The one where Chad Le Clos looks left to see where Phelps is. People claim this is the moment he lost. He got distracted by the competition, took his eye off the prize, and that was the end of it.

I’m a very competitive person. I work really hard to know the ins and outs of the other coworking spaces in my city. What’s their marketing strategy? How are they interacting with members? Are they building big partnerships? I love knowing this kind of stuff, and you should too.

This information does not guide our marketing strategy or how we operate our space. I don’t believe in being reactionary, and if you’re reacting to your competitor’s movement (see Le Clos) you’ve already lost.

Knowing what your competitors are up to allows you to clearly define what makes you different. If a potential member asks what separates you from the flock, you need to have a good answer. If they are asking you, they are asking the competition. You need to stand out if you’re offering similar amenities.

If someone asked me what makes us different we’d talk small team, personal touch and staying intentionally a small team as we scale. People appreciate how responsive Brittany and I are. We’re also a good bit less event focused than most coworking spaces. We, as hygge, do not ask our members to participate in a ton of events to meet other members. I’d much rather rely on members to be human, and say hello to those they work beside. This is distinctly different from other Charlotte coworking spaces. That’s just two ways we differ.

Here’s a couple ways to stay up on what your competition is up to.

  • Subscribe to their newsletters
  • Follow their social media
  • Makes a friend that works out of their space 😬#covertops
  • Make friends with the competitor owners

Don’t get distracted, but know what they are doing. It’s important. More importantly, know what you’re doing and why you are different. What makes you special and why do your members stay? Let’s discuss it over in the Wash Your Mugs community.

And now, on to this weeks top articles.

🛍️ From AllWork On Coworking in Malls
Here’s What You Need To Know About Coworking in Malls
I’m fascinated by this model. Retail has typically come massive $ per sq ft. I’d be curious if there’s less expensive options in failing retail areas that coworking could capitalize on.

📚 From Optix on Novel (previously Level)
The Future of Work with Kayley Dicicco
Level recently rebranded as Novel, but from what I can tell outside of a name change it’s the same company. I’m still paying attention. You don’t spend a ton of money changing an established brand and then do nothing with it. Expect waves.

🐱 From Cat Johnson on Community
8 Tips for Unlocking The Power of Community
Cat is a treasure trove of awesome coworking information. Follow her everywhere because she’s smart, gets it, and genuinely wants you to succeed. She’s one of your biggest advocates and you didn’t even know it.


Now for a smpl update. We’re quick making updates to resource booking based on feedback. You can now see what’s booked as well as what’s only available to book if you’re a space manager. This transparency should hopefully alleviate some of the questions coming your way from members. 😅

And just like that, we’re done. It’s over. Hope you have a simple week ahead of ya.

Until next time,
Garrett