> Your point that every market is different is exactly the point I'm making:
> not that you should go in unplanned, but a traditional business plan
> template isn't going to properly serve a venture like this in my opinion.
> The plan you described: *bullet points & flexible goals*, and I'll even go
> so far as to define a *mantra* or set of *core values,* is going to help you
> have the check points for making decisions along the way.
> Planning is extremely important, and running your coworking space like a
> business is important for your sustainability.
> Just be ready for that plan to change once new people enter the mix :)
> Alex Hillman
> im always developing something
> digital: a...@weknowhtml.com
> On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 10:46 AM, Susan Potter <
> su...@acropolisproperties.com> wrote:
> > While I completely agree with Alex that walking in to a bank with financial
> > statements that show revenue already coming in is far better than going into
> > a bank with an idea, a business plan should be used a tool by business
> > owners. I am not sure about Alex's business/startup experiences, but as
> > someone who has started a number of ventures from scratch I have found
> > having a basic business plan (just in bullet point format for my own and
> > partner reference) to be very beneficial, especially when you have partners.
> > You might be able to "wing it" by chance or because you have the right
> > connections, but if you don't have connections on your side, basic
> > preparation is key no matter what business you want to start.
> > There isn't just one exact model for a coworking space or any business idea
> > out there, there are multiple and every situation will likely be different.
> > I am not suggestion you violate the notion that a coworking space is about
> > the people - not at all.
> > Each market (in this case physical location and target audience) has
> > slightly different needs (i.e. in larger cities people might be
> > willing to travel 20 miles to a coworking space - in a small college town
> > that would NEVER fly without anything *very* different about the offering, I
> > don't know what though?). Also while the target markets for all coworking
> > spaces might seem to be the exact same in every location, I don't think that
> > is true. For example, I know in some areas there are large numbers of tech
> > freelancers (e.g. SF bay area and Raleigh-Durham both places I have lived
> > and worked in before - not to mention Boston, DC metro, etc), whereas in
> > other areas the types of freelancers will be less tech more professionally
> > oriented (e.g. architects, lawyers, designers, etc.). Having a plan to
> > target the specific target audiences that are relevant to your area is
> > definitely a good idea. It helps you think through things like "who do I
> > really want to attract to my space to make it a better experience for all
> > involved", which creates a better overall ambiance and will be the backbone
> > of your longer-term success.
> > Home grown spaces can work, in fact, many on this list have proved it can
> > work. However, that does not mean planning and preparation don't go a long
> > way too. I use business plans as a tool for organizing my thoughts and
> > addressing potential pitfalls before they show up. Since leaving the bay
> > area I have steered away from VCs and only occasionally sought loans from
> > banks or private investors, but I now always "write" a business plan if for
> > no one else than for myself. If you are using a business plan this way it
> > doesn't need to suck the soul out of a venture.
> > Best,
> > Susan
> > --
> > Susan Potter
> > Collective Turf Coworking
> > Urbana, IL USA
> > On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 9:19 AM, Alex Hillman <
> > dangerouslyawes...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> Trevor,
> >> Stop right there:
> >> You don't need a business plan just yet, you need some people. Those
> >> people will be your business plan.
> >> Yes, you could walk into a bank with a 10 page document explaining how and
> >> what you are going to do with their money...or you could walk in with signed
> >> checks from 10 paying members and say "see, they're already willing to pay
> >> for it".
> >> Developing the community before you think "business plan" is critical,
> >> because your business plan is likely to NOT jive with the people you're
> >> ultimately trying to reach.
> >> There are some great recent posts about community development roadmaps,
> >> and I have one that's a little more abstract that I crafted after seeing
> >> MILK at the end of last year:
> >> Good luck!
> >> -Alex
> >> --
> >> -----
> >> --
> >> -----
> >> Alex Hillman
> >> im always developing something
> >> digital: a...@weknowhtml.com
> >> helpful:www.unstick.me
> >> visual:www.dangerouslyawesome.com
> >> local:www.indyhall.org
> >> On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 4:58 PM, Trevor <trevord...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>> Hi everyone,
> >>> My name is Trevor I live in Mississauga, Ontario which is very close
> >>> to Toronto for those of you who aren't familiar with the area. I'm
> >>> relatively new to the concept of coworking but I'm so excited that
> >>> this exists. I have been thinking about creating my own space and I
> >>> would like to start preparing a business plan. I don't really know how
> >>> to get started writing a business plan are there any good templates to
> >>> use? Can anyone suggest a good starting place?