smplr times 30 · You Have a New Voicemail

Hey there,

For those that don’t know me. My name is Garrett. I’m one of the cofounders of smpl. I also own, and operate hygge coworking. If you ever have a question, or something I can help with just ask. I’m always around. Now let’s get to it.

How many ways to get in touch with us is too many? I used to believe that we should give potential members as many ways as possible to contact us.

✅ Website chat
✅ Phone
✅ Contact Form
✅ Email Address
✅ Schedule a Tour Directly

It’s killing me. It’s contact overload, and in some cases leads to a bad experience for a potential member. Let’s go through these one by one starting with the most valuable.

1. We use Calendly to schedule a tours directly through our website. It sends calendar invites to both parties, follows up with a reminder the day before the tour, and has the option of text message reminders. This takes a lot of the communication out of our hands, and streamlines our efforts. A+

2. General Contact Form. You can see the one we use for hygge here. Depending on what Interest the user pics dictates who on my team gets notified. We also ask deeper questions based on what Interest level they pick. I love this.

3. You have a new voicemail. The subject line that I dread. I get this all day. People always seem to call when I’m unavailable. Listen to the voicemail, return the call, and boom, I get to leave them a voicemail. Tag you’re it. This isn’t useful. I’d much rather get an email, reply there, and set a reminder to follow up with them if I don’t hear back in 3-4 days.

4. Email directly on the website. You’re going to get a bunch of SPAM if you do this. Bots, and solicitors will hunt this down, and start emailing you. As long as you don’t mind sorting through the mess there are people that 100% will never fill out a form.

5. Website Chat. We nixed it 6 months or so ago. We were using Front, and almost 100% of the time missed the person trying to chat with us. It wasn’t worth my having the team monitor this when in most cases all missed chats would result in a form inquiry. It felt pointless, and like we were giving a bad experience.

Let’s discuss over in the Please Wash Your Mugs community.

Coworking – Introverts Do It Better
I found that the moment that I realized it was ok to use hygge, and never speak with another member was the moment that I truly became successful. Introverts need a place to work. I get that community is in our DNA, but if you can figure out how to care for those that don’t thrive off human interaction you’ll double your audience.

🤷‍♂️ From TechCrunch
WeWork Rebranding Won’t Work
I’ll continue to say that it’s important to follow the saga of WeWork. No matter what whether you’re big or small you will be compared at some point. This is the first big sign of a crack in their foundation.

💰 From AllWork
15 Expert Tips on Building a Successful Coworking Events Strategy
TBH, events kill me. They are time consuming, and proving ROI can be really difficult. We’re working to do more, but through partnerships with groups already doing them. Win win.

Until next time,

smplr times 22 · How do you track leads?

Hey there,

We have tried all sorts of software, and spreadsheet solutions to track those who are interested in membership, meeting space, and the podcast studio at hygge. Still, I’m 100% sure that we’re leaving good people, and significant monthly revenue on the table. With a new 20,000 square foot location, with 48 offices coming online in the new year we can not miss a single opportunity.

We’re making some moves to get more organized. Before I get to the new system, here’s what we’re using now, and why it’s not working great.

Asana: It’s project management software. We use it as a CRM, and have to update it manually every step of the way. We pay $9.99 per user/month with for a total of $50/month.
Front: It’s email inbox software. It allows us to have shared inboxes within the team. All emails, and communication that come in for membership, or meeting space can be seen across the team. We’re paying about $200/month for our 5 person team. I love Front, but I believe Gmail, alongside a real CRM that pulls in emails will do basically the same thing.

The problem with the current system is everything is incredibly manual, nothing talks to each other particularly well, and if we forget to update one task, or note the whole process breaks down. It’s easy for something to fall by the wayside. There’s too many times where we’re going through the list of inquiries, come across a name, and realize we never sent them a follow up after the tour. That sucks.

I need to be able to look at a lead, see all correspondence, and quickly be able to act on the information I’m seeing in front of me. We’re consolidating to a single platform. We’re going with One of our hygge members works on the Close team, and I love it’s simplicity. It does only a few things, but it does each of them particularly well.

Some of the highlights:

  • We can connect all the teams gmail accounts, and just by adding a lead email we can see all previous correspondence.
  • We can set up automatic sequences. That means if a potential member does not reply in a certain period of time we can automatically follow up with a canned email.
  • We can sort by tons of variables, including last correspondence. That means no more allowing things to slip alway.
  • We can attach $$$ values to leads. Showing the true revenue potential of a lead adds a sense of urgency to the whole process. I love this.
  • We can look at lost $$$ at the end of a month, do some analysis, and then act on the reasons we’re losing the sale.

We’re just about to roll this out, but I have to say I’m really freaking pumped to use it. I’ll keep you posted on our progress, and results.

What are you using? Let’s discuss it over in the Wash Your Mugs community. And now, on to this weeks top articles.

🤖 From AllWork
This Australian Coworking Space is Fully Automated
But what about the community? Yes, this article calls that out. I’m always looking for ways to streamline hygge but I don’t think I’d sacrifice a single bit of the human element.

🤔 From GDN Online
Regus Launches New Membership Scheme
Regus has a massive network of members throughout the world. It’s logical that they make moves to expand that audience towards traditional coworking, but dang this feels like they are really late to the game. Definitely something to watch here.

👨‍⚕️ From Propmodo
Coworking Drives Innovation in Medical Office Buildings
I love watching how our industry bleeds into others. It’s only a matter of timebefore the flexible coworking model bleeds into every single industry. It’s worth keeping note of these things. There’s lots to learn in how other industries interpret the model.

smplr times 018 · The work in cowork

Hey there,

We’ve been doing a good bit of tours lately, and something that I’ve noticed is many people are surprised by how heads down members are. “It’s way more quiet than I expected”, or “I was concerned it would be very distracting” is something we hear often.

Let me paint a quick picture of our space. I don’t find it to be “quiet”. The way our space is laid out provides a couple unique environments. We use light white noise throughout the space. Some areas have a little music playing. The area by the kitchen tends to be a bit more social, because people congregate around the coffee. There’s also a couple nooks, or smaller areas to escape the larger open coworking spaces. There’s a little bit of something for everyone.

So what’s the deal? Coworking has always made a big push for community.

Come to this!

Participate in that!

Meet people!

We may have gone a little too far in this direction. The one thing that unifies pretty much all people within a coworking space is that they have work to do. Our job is to ensure people have a comfortable place to work. A place where they can be way more productive than home, which is free. That  should be our first focus as operators. Right?

So what can we do to ensure people are getting the right message about coworking? We’ve been moving hygge’s weekly member spotlight to be a week long affair that focuses more on how people are building something. Showcasing productive people working from your space is a great place to start. I’m not talking the fluffy stuff either. We’re telling more real life stories of how people in Charlotte get shit done, and it happens at hygge.

This is just one place we’re starting. We’ll be changing some of the messaging on our site, and facebook ads to be more focused on getting work done.

What are you doing to make sure your space is properly represented digitally? Are you worried that you might be putting the wrong things in the world?

Let’s discuss it over in the Wash Your Mugs community. And now, on to this weeks top articles.

🧠 From AllWork
Wellness Takes Centre Stage at GCUC UK
I’m on a pretty huge wellness kick this year. I’ve found a direct correlation between my improved wellness, and the quality of the work I’m doing. We’re currently working to pass these benefits to hygge members through hygge cares.

🙏 From Bisnow
Coworking Execs Foresee Industry Consolidation
Yup, It’s already happening. I can’t say much more than we were almost recently acquired by a large player looking to scale in the market. We declined the offer, and are pushing forward on our own. Keep an eye on this friends.

🛋️ From Quartz at Work
The Downside of Generous Company Perks
As we think about creating a space to get “work” done I thought this article was kinda relevant. A neat look at the culture around company perks, and how it’s negatively effected peoples work environment.

☕ From
Flow State Coffee Bar & Coworking Space
I’m always excited to come across spaces that are trying new things. This one is a smaller coffee shop looking to attract mobile workers with monthly memberships, and other amenities.

Now for a smpl update.
This week we released a number of performance improvements and bug fixes for smpl.  We also spent some time in the early stages of planning for upcoming feature work.   One sweet new enhancement we added this week: when someone purchases a day pass, their confirmation email will also contain an attachment with an all-day event reminder, compatible with Google and Apple calendars.Garrett

smplr times 017 · When’s the last time you vacationed?

Hey there,

This past weekend I unknowingly stepped into a 3-day, fully unplugged vacation. The venue for the wedding I attended doubles as a kids sleepaway camp. A camp that is technology free. That means no cell service and no WiFi, except for the owner’s cabin which was quite the walk from where we were staying.

👆This was unintended. Turns out, it was single handedly the most anxiety inducing thing and the best thing for me ever.

Since hygge opened about 3 years ago I’ve taken several trips outside of Charlotte, but I’ve always been in a place where I had access. I could take calls, respond to emails, and generally handle most business. This is by design. I’m not the type of person that likes to unplug. I work to live, and live to work. I absolutely love what I get to do at hygge, so in the moment when I realized I had zero connectivity my anxiety shot through the roof. How would hygge run without me?

I’m home now, and have spent the afternoon sorting through emails, and catching up on conversations. Hygge ran, and I’d almost say perfectly. Here’s why.

Brittany, my second in command, has been given a 100% transparent view of how hygge runs, from the financials through all systems we have in place. Rather than implementing things, and telling Brittany to use them I have included her in the entire process of building hygge. Why is this beneficial? Brittany has all the information, and know how to handle any situation no matter the size and scope. There’s no “what would Garrett do?”. It’s just this is how we do it.

A lot of spaces have community managers that are shielded from how the business truly operates, and major decision making. I’d encourage you to bring on people that you’re willing to show everything. It increases buy in. It empowers them. They’ll appreciate you more for it.

Lastly, I don’t recommend just disappearing. 😅This was not an ideal situation, and a debrief with the team before heading out of town would have been ideal. This would not only have given me a little peace of mind, but would have given me an opportunity to address anything pressing the team may have had.

Still unsure on how to take a vacation, and still operate your space? My coworking friend Angel wrote an article over on her blog DIY Coworking. Read it here.

Let’s discuss it over in the Wash Your Mugs community. And now, on to this weeks top articles.

🐘 From Bham Now
Meet Kim Lee – Founder of Forge
I met Kim a while back at GCUC, and have stayed in touch via email. She runs a space in Birmingham, Alabama and is crushing it. Learn about Kim, Forge, and how she’s taking Birmingham by storm.

Dan Graham – From Changing an Industry to Reimagining Philanthropy and Coworking
I think all the time about being more socially conscious as a coworking space. I keep coming back to needing to embrace it 100% like Dan Graham has done. Building something intentional seems to be the only way. No 1/2 steps.

🌱 From AllWork
The 7 Best Low Maintenance Plants for the Workplace
We are just about the worst at keeping plans alive at hygge. If you’re lacking a green thumb too, here’s an article on low maintenance plants. 😅

Now for a smpl update. We spent a few days last week in Asheville, NC visiting coworking spaces, and really focusing on crushing all the smallest bugs. smpl is running smoother than ever. 🚫🐛

On top of that, quarterly billing is now an option when setting up your plans. We’re still hard at work on a calendar view, pay in person features, and more controls for your invoices. Stay tuned.

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

Until next time,

smplr times 015 · How We Beat WeWork

Hey there,

I want to introduce you to hygge member Hannah. She moved to Charlotte, and within a week was standing inside hygge for a complimentary trial day. Her company stated they’d pay for any space she wanted. She does the research. They pay the bill.

We were the first stop on her coworking space tour. She spent the day with us, and on the way out, let me know she was doing the same with Novel, followed by WeWork. She circled back a few days later after finishing her other trials, and scheduled another time to come by. She was in. 🙌

It’s not often that we get details into what happened at the other spaces, but in this case we got the full story of her WeWork experience. For those of you that don’t know, WeWork has a ton of systems in place along with on-site employees that are supposed to streamline your experience with them. It’s quite the operation.

You can book on-site tours directly through their site. You’ll receive confirmation upon confirmation, with the later ones including instructions on where to go once you arrive and who you’ll meet.

For Hannah, nothing went as planned. She arrived for her 8:30am tour as scheduled to find no staff on hand. 9:00am rolls around. Nothing. Finally, right before 9:30am the first staff member arrives. Hannah, as relaxed as can be asked for her tour. The WeWork employee said she can do it in a couple hours. 😑 Hannah then asked if she could get set up to get some work done. She was continually asked to just hold on. This sucks.

The people at WeWork were missing something we do really well – investment in a relationship. If that employee’s real goal was bringing awesome people in, she would have/could have dropped everything to tour Hannah. She chose not to.

Their funding gives WeWork the potential to be in the upper tier of all coworking experiences.. They are gorgeous, and chock full of amenities. If price and location aren’t barriers, then they should win. In this case, the human experience brought them down.

We have a distinct advantage as independent coworking operators. We have systems in place that are built around taking care of people just like Hannah. As WeWork switches to focus heavily on larger and more corporate teams, we should continue to push even harder on each individual person.

Make them feel at home, and invest time talking with them. Every tour doesn’t have to be cookie cutter. We can bob and weave depending on who walks through that door. WeWork and the other big players can not.

This is our biggest advantage. Take advantage of it.

Let’s discuss it over in the Wash Your Mugs community.

And now, on to this weeks top articles.

🏗️ From AllWork
Cushman & Wakefield on the Coworking Industry Withstanding a Downturn
The coworking boom continues, and top leaders in real estate seem to think it could survive a major real estate downturn. These bigger players are super well backed and often have cash reserves. For us, it’s all about smart structured leases and making sure we didn’t bite off more than we can chew. Make friends with some real estate folk, and protect what you’ve built.

🍾 From Coworking Resources
Are Coworking Pop-ups The Future
No, definitely not, but it’s definitely a way to build community prior to opening. Build demand, and community and then once you find that physical space you have guaranteed membership.

🤔 From The Internet
The Global Workspace Association
Anyone in this association? I can’t vouch for it just yet. Jamie Russo of the Everything Coworking podcast is involved. She’s pretty awesome so I have a little faith. I signed up today, and will report back with all my findings.

Now for a smpl update. Resource restrictions, confirmation emails for resources booked and day pass confetti have all been implemented. We’re working hard on a pretty awesome performance upgrade. Stay tuned for details but smpl is about to get ⚡fast.

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

Until next time,

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,

smplr times 012 · Hiring sucks

Hey there,

I’m spreading myself pretty thin these days. At times, I feel like I’m starting to crack.

This was the first week I really felt it. With location 4 just coming online, and location 5, possibly 6 in the near future I starting to feel like the core team needs to grow. Most people’s response is just to hire people. Yes, I get that, but it’s easier said than done. I’m incredibly hands on at my coworking space. 3 years in I still love being the first one in, doing the tours and handling most things. How can I let go?

My one full-time team member was someone I knew previously. She was a friend. I trust her implicitly. She’s the perfect fit for what we’re building. This feels a bit like an anomaly as I start the hunt for my next hire. The candidate pool already feels small, if not non-existent.

Where did y’all start when you hired? Do I really have to create a generic job listing and post it all over the web? We aren’t looking for the typical skillset. I don’t need writing skills, design skills or any of that. Sure, that would be sweet but I want the person that doesn’t get exhausted during an hour long tour. I want the person that gets more and more energized with every passing minute in a good conversation. How do I communicate that?

What I don’t want? I get enough “coworking seems cool can I join your team” emails every other week. It’s frustrating how little people understand what the job takes. Yes, we have fun, but it’s a crap ton of work. We have extremely high highs and some epic lows. Our brand is built to look bright and happy so the assumption is that’s the life we live day in and day out.

With all that said, I’m curious, when did y’all hire someone last? What was your job description? If you don’t mind sharing reply to this email or discuss it over in the Wash Your Mugs community.

And now, on to this weeks top articles.

✈️ From AND CO on remote working
Anywhere Workers: A study on remote working
The future of work is anywhere. That’s what we’re betting on at least, right? Knowing your audience is essential and the remote worker should be top of your list. This study is beautifully designed, and worth checking out.

🏠 From WorkFrom on a Hiven Coworking
Remote Company Spotlight: Hiven Coworking
This is a cool concept. In the Bay Area, where housing can be nearly impossible to afford entrepreneurs have created a network of houses where you can coworking. Check out Hiven. So cool.

👍 From AllWork by Cat Johnson
Indigenous Coworking in Manitoba: A Q&A with Tara Everett
I met Tara digitally a while back through a LinkedIn post she had wrote. Throughout getting her space running she’s provided an uber transparent look every step of the way. She’s going to make something awesome happen. I’m confident in that. Read her Q&A with Cat.

Now for a smpl update. Remember when I said don’t tell Mike & Sean I said resource restrictions would release in a week because they’d be mad that I gave a timeframe? Shot myself in the foot! We still have a couple more tweaks to make before that gets into the world. It’s coming.

In the meantime, we’re adding more confetti to welcome your new members to your community. 🎉

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

Until next time,

smplr times 011 · There’s strength in diversity

>Hey there,

There’s a satisfying moment at the end of the hygge tour, when a potential member asks how they need to sign up. Is there an application? What about fees? Do I need to sign something? To which I reply…

You’re in. No application. No fees. You’ll agree to our membership guidelines (which we call a pinky promise) when you sign up online. That’s it. You made it!

The surprised look on people’s faces used to catch me off guard. Was it because we made this too easy? It’s actually because so many places have made it so damn hard. As it turns out, quite a few space operators are fearful that they are going to end up with the wrong people in their spaces. I understand that fear but there’s a good chance it stunts the growth of their community. People want to be accepted. They are looking for community. Don’t make that bar too high.

Some of the people I was absolutely unsure of during a tour have turned out to be some of my most dedicated members. I was particularly unsure about one of my first five members.  During their tour, they gave me some weird vibes – they’re still with me three years later. Was I having an off-day that day or was she? Who knows, but I could’ve judged her, put a long application in front of her, or scared her with fees and lost one of hygge’s best.

Inclusivity is incredibly important to us. hygge’s strength is in its diversity. Being surrounded by people that think and work differently from us only seeks to make our community more impactful. This is a good thing to remind yourself, and your community managers during tours.

Tell me what you think over in the Please Wash Your Mugs community. I’d love to hear how you handle new incoming tours

Now, on to this week’s must-read articles.

👶 From AllWork on rebranding your space
The Growing Trend of Rebranding 
I have pour endless time, energy and money into hygge’s brand since day one. I’m so freaking proud of it I could not imagine ever switching it. Would you change your brand if someone said it would take you to the next level? For me, nope.

☕ From Please Wash Your Mugs on last months rent by me.
Stop Asking For Last Month’s Rent, Please
I’m not sure why coworking space’s continue to talk about a member’s last day the moment that they are interested in signing up. We make the rules, and this is one that you should eliminate from your world, please.

🔨 From the Internet
DIY Coworking
Just found this resource and will start digging through it for gold nuggets here soon. Just wanted to pass it along for those that love reading about coworking.

Now for a smpl update. We’re always jamming on new additions to smpl, we promise. Resource restrictions by plan should release in the next week. Shhh, don’t tell Mike & Sean I said that.

It’s not all new features though. We spend a ton of time handling bugs that are submitted or found by you. Here’s a couple examples of what we found this week.

  1. You could double book a resource at the same time. What?! how? It happened.
  2. If you uploaded a massive logo when signing up a customer it broke the internet.
  3. Somewhere along the line we removed the ability to update your profile pic. That’s fixed.
  4. We now hide sign up links for spaces that don’t have available plans.
  5. If Intercom (that’s our chat bubble), crashes it doesn’t crash all of smpl 😅

This is just a small sampling of the things we deal with week in and week out. We’re committed to squashing every single one.

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

Until next time,

smplr times 010 · Protect your brand

Hey there,

How connected do you feel to your space and brand?

I embody my brand in an unapologetic way. hygge is Garrett. Garrett is hygge. Because of this i’m incredibly protective of it. This week this idea was challenged like never before.

A member who has been with me for a long time did something that not only made us look bad as hygge, but by extreme personal association made me look bad. This hit me like a ton of bricks. I was viscerally angry about it. Because of how protective I am of hygge I felt personally slighted. My gut feeling was this person no longer had a place at hygge.

I slept on it, hoping that with a little rest would come some clarity. I woke the next day feeling just as shitty about what had transpired. After speaking with a few trusted colleagues, and running through my termination policy for the space felt justified in remove this member. It was time.

I sat down with this member, alongside my second in command, to make sure there was a third person in the room and discussed how I was feeling and how things would be moving forward. Long story short, it did not go well. This member was mad, and that might be the understatement of the century. They left and that was the end of it.

When community is such a integral part of what you’re building, how much or how little should we feel responsible for how our members act? How hard is this going to be at scale? We’re going to be 500+ people by early 2019. Is this unreasonable? Should I be more detached from what we’re building? I have so many questions. One thing I’m 100% sure of  is being there for each other is rule #1. We’re #hyggefam.

Tell me what you think over in the Please Wash Your Mugs community. I’d love to hear how you have handled tough situations like this.

Now, on to this week’s must-read articles.

🏗️ From The Real Deal Chicago
Could Coworking Offices Save Malls
Well, no. I don’t think so, but I bet there’s a whole bunch of retail strip mall space floating around at ridiculously low rents that we should be going after. Don’t be afraid on non-traditional space. Create something compelling and people will come to you.

🌕 From The Internet
Everything Coworking Podcast
Jamie Russo does a pretty damn good job with The Everything Coworking Podcast. I’m not going to point to one particular episode. Just dig in and enjoy. She’s great.

🧠 From AllWork
Promoting Mental Health in the Workplace
I’m on a wellness kick lately. We just launched hygge cares, a program to lower the bar for physical and mental wellness for our members. It’s important and we should be doing everything we can to look out for our coworkers.

Now for a smpl update. We made it super clear who is a manager and owner of your space. When your members visit the community page the managers of your space will rise to the top. Members can also see owner/manager contact info so they can get in touch. Bonus: They’ll also have a sweet color circle around them.

That’s it. Hope you have a simple week ahead of ya.

Until next time,
– Garrett

smplr times 009 · Can we create better coworking websites, please?

Hey there,

Taking a slightly different approach this week. I’m wrapping the regular smpl update into my regular forward.

Late last week while looking for coworking spaces to visit on an upcoming trip I came across what I would consider some pretty bad websites. Bad photography, very wordy and just generally lacking in any sort of direction.

I’m concerned. Your website is likely the first thing a potential member is going to interact with associated with your brand. Before they ever pick up the phone or show up for a tour they are going to do some pretty extensive research. The same way you probably shopped for coworking software is exactly the way people are researching coworking spaces.

They Google Coworking in [insert city], and open the top 5-7 search results. As coworking gets more popular and the market gets competitive you’re going to have to stand out.

Here’s where your website comes in. It has to look good. It has to be a proper representation of not only your space, but the personality of the people within it. If you’re concerned with your site, or just don’t know give me a shout. I’d love to help. This weekend I worked to put together what I consider a beautiful one-page marketing website for a coworking space. You can view it here.

Simple, clean and optimized for conversion. For $35/month we will build, host and maintain your site. Our template. Your domain, photos and personality. Simple.

If you have the means and/or skills to do this work yourself, here’s a couple quick thoughts/action items for this.

  1. Photos. High quality photos of not only your space but people in your space, working. People are looking for themselves in the space. Show diversity.
  2. Personality. We’re pretty clear about who hygge is from our website. We’re a little weird. We love our #hyggefam. We’re not a niche space and want everyone.
  3. Clear navigation. Get people to the end point as fast as possible. For us, we offer membership, a podcast studio and meeting space. Get people to the info they want and then the contact form as fast as possible.
  4. Bonus: Centered text for large paragraphs are the worst thing in the world and are very hard to read. Stop doing it. They also make smpl’s cofounder Mike die a little inside.

These are just some quick thoughts but it’ll help. Get on that. If you haven’t the slightest clue where to start then let us build/host the site for you. Let’s talk.

Now, on to this week’s must-read articles.

👪 From AllWork on Community
Is Community Enough When Marketing Your Coworking Space
Since that Fast Company article on the big players all saying the same about community slightly different everyone has an opinion. I like this approach. There’s likely a couple amenities that should be leveraged to market your space. Start there. Community will come later.

🤔 From AllWork on Bond Collective
How Bond Collective Pivoted to Success
We’re talking a lot about marketing yourselves and standing out lately. Bond has done a pretty darn good job of standing out in an ever increasingly crowded market. A worthwhile read.

💬 From Cat Johnsons Blog
Coworking vs Workspace: What’s the difference?
A video made from the latest GCUC UK asking several operators about space. What do you think?

That’s it. Hope you have a simple week ahead of ya.

Until next time,
– Garrett