Michael Daugherty lives in Beijing, where he recently started a coworking community. In five tips, he shares his experience of how to begin small and, then, building up :
1. First, you have to find out who in your area is interested in coworking and what they are looking for. […] One mistake I made on this survey is that I asked about price in a multiple choice question – everyone chose the least expensive option.
2. In order to get answers, you need to start distributing your survey. Twitter can work if you get someone with a lot of followers to retweet, but coworking is very local, so other techniques might work best for you. If you just start talking to people at coffee shops and events, you’ll probably find a lot of people.
3. You can’t have too much context on a survey, so put up some blog posts as well. This is much cheaper than an advertising campaign if it works.
4. As soon as you have some responses, you should start an email list. Another is that you can keep track of how many people are reading your newsletter and manage your users easily.
5. Once you’ve done all these easy steps and have found a few interested people, think about the minimum, most valuable part of what you are offering – generally, that is the community that you want to build. You should see if there’s a way to get people hooked on that without needing to invest in real estate immediately. […] There are lots of coffee shops in Beijing, so every week I decide where I’ll work each day and send out an email on Sunday evening.
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