Over the past few years, there’s been a lot of talk about whether or not to niche your coworking space.
Niching your space means outwardly positioning yourself for a specific customer demographic or segment. For example, mothers, parents, or corporate teams.
In my view, fully niching your space can be a tough proposition. It can be hard to get enough people in a geographical area who also belong to a specific niche to commit to a space.
Heck, it’s hard enough to fill your space even when you don’t exclude people!
Instead, have an ideal target market—and serve them relentlessly.
To give you a distinction, an ideal target market is a clearly-defined type of member for whom you can build all of your features and amenities around.
You don’t have to position your space outwardly for this segment. You simply use it as an internal guide for how you design and market your space.
Your goal isn’t to serve everyone
When you serve a specific type of member better than anyone else, you’ll also attract a wide range of people with overlapping needs to them.
Even the word “serve” is a funny term. It doesn’t necessarily mean providing “better service”.
It means empathizing and understanding their needs so well that you offer highly nuanced benefits and solutions to their needs.
Let’s look at some examples…
To give you some examples, you might find that your best clients are:
- Corporate teams who want to be in a high-end space that lets them ‘wow’ prospective clients, attract top talent, and be seen as a premium brand by their peers and clients.
- Professional service providers who need an office that reflects their prestige and is located in the business district of your city.
- Solo professionals who like to network and meet people within a buzzing and interactive environment—and want a small private office to retreat to.
- Self-employed individuals who want to get out of the house to work and frankly, don’t care about much aside from having a good price, quiet setting, and convenient commute.
Depending on which example you choose, you can imagine vastly different spaces, locations, programming—and even marketing approaches.
Talking to your ideal members
When you have an ideal member in mind, you can talk to them 1:1. You find out why they choose your space. You find out what they care about most.
You find out their sub-specific needs and goals. Things you wouldn’t have even noticed had you not spoken to them.
It then becomes obvious what can do to serve them better than anyone else. You begin to do the little things. The unexpected stuff that sets you apart from the rest.
You don’t need a niche to be successful
You don’t need to pick a niche.
But you’ll definitely benefit from determining who your best members are, talking to them (and really listening to their answers), and then building your business around their sub-specific needs.
And remember: the target is not the market. You’ll always serve people vastly different than your core target market. You’re not actually excluding anyone with this approach.
If you don’t have a target, how can you make decisions about what to invest in or not? How do you know where to spend your time marketing?
It’s overwhelming to think about—and a reason why so many spaces have difficulty knowing what to do to attract more members.
If you need help attracting more members, I might be able to assist.