The coworking industry is in for some rough times in the coming weeks and months.
All industries are.
And while there’s no one-size-fits-all advice I can offer you, I do have three thoughts that are generally applicable.
- Preserve cash to stay in business
- Keep building your marketing for when things get back to normal
- Be the most member-centric business in your market
Let me explain…
1. Cash preservation
As demand begins to shore up, your marketing costs will naturally also be reduced.
Google Ads spend will naturally decrease as nobody is around to click them.
If you’re not seeing tours, it’s wise to consider shutting them down or significantly reduce spending for a while.
If you’re running Facebook or Instagram display ads, those can definitely go, too.
Depending on your goals and cash on hand, you may or may not wish to keep doing search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is like exercise – you don’t see the results overnight, but if you stick with it, and you’ll see the results. Keep investing in it if you can, but pause it if you need to preserve cash.
Content is the one thing you should keep creating. Be active on social media. Create thought leadership on your blog. Be a leader for your community.
Keep the lines of communication open with your members. Foster your community in a group like Slack while they work from home.
These things are what build a connection with your current members and creates marketing gravity with future prospects. It costs nothing but your time and effort.
The worst thing you can do is remain quiet.
Onto the next point.
2. Keep building in the background
During all of this, it’s important to remember that things will get back to normal eventually.
Smart companies aren’t pausing their marketing efforts, they’re shifting them.
They’re in build mode instead of lead generation mode. They’re planting seeds for the future.
Now is a good time to tighten up your marketing strategy, improve your website design, invest time and effort into your email marketing campaigns, develop your sales processes, organize your folders, document your processes, and do whatever else you can do.
The day will come (hopefully soon) when the markets return to normal. You want to be in the best position possible to capitalize on the resurgence of demand when it comes back.
And it will come back.
Traditional office tenants will be looking at coworking as the solution they wish they always had (flexibility, remember?).
Companies will return to work with new team sizes and require new space. They’ll be reevaluating all their options.
Be the most prepared for when that happens. Use this time to become better.
3. Be the most member-centric business in your market
You’re not the only one struggling during these times. Your members are, too.
They’ll lay people off, lose clients, have hits to their bottom line. We’ll all be affected.
If you can, work with people who need financial flexibility. Just make sure it doesn’t put you out of business in the process.
I hope to cover this topic in more detail later on, as there’s no straightforward way to handle a members’ desire to cancel early or pause their memberships.
You will continue having fixed overhead, so there’s no easy path. For some, there will be no exceptions to your agreement. For others, there will be grace periods or price reductions.
But for now, keep using your judgment and have empathy. It’s just good business.