We launched URBN Cowork in 2017. Now we are exactly 1 year, 4 months, and 17 days in, with 2 locations in the Edmonton area.
Since then, Dylan and I have experienced many learning curves.
We knew coworking would be a beneficial place for entrepreneurs in our community, but we didn’t know where to start.
While coworking spaces are popping up all over the world, it is still an unfamiliar concept for many people.
If someone asked me where I saw URBN Cowork going in 5 years last year I would’ve told them hopefully opening a new location, but we opened our second location before our 1 year anniversary.
Growing fast was not in our original plans, but that doesn’t mean we plan to slow down.
We’re sharing the 5 biggest lessons we have learned since launching URBN Cowork.
Lesson Number ONE - Coworking can’t be taught
One of the biggest things that we have learned along the way, is that coworking is very difficult to explain to someone who has never been to a coworking space.
It is something that has to be experienced in order to be fully understood, and for the many benefits to be appreciated. It is so much more than just a workspace, it is a community, cultivated and promoted by the people that are a part of it.
Lesson Number TWO - CHANGE is inevitable
URBN Cowork has brought us challenges and with them change.
Launching URBN 6 months after our first child was born was one thing. Growing a community of entrepreneurs who don’t exactly know what coworking is or how it can benefit them is another.
Change can be scary but it can also be great!
We have gotten busier, which has really tested us (with the addition of our second child this June).
We’ve had to accept that we can’t do it all and that it is OKAY.
Everyone has different NEEDS. We’ve learned to accept that we can’t always provide exactly what each individual person wants in our space and that’s also OKAY.
We can’t cater to individual needs but we can focus on the CHANGE, positive changes to help improve the experiences of our community members and help them be as productive as possible in our space.
Lesson Number THREE - COMMUNITY over competition
We don’t see these spaces as competition.
We view them more so as community supporters, also providing affordable workspace in our Edmonton and surrounding areas.
We are all working together to bring more exposure to coworking and how it can benefit a multitude of businesses and entrepreneurs.
Lesson Number FOUR - Coworking isn’t one-size-fits-all
There has been a much broader range of businesses interested in URBN Cowork, in many different industries, than we could have ever anticipated.
We were expecting small businesses, just starting out. Instead, we found more established companies were interested.
Coworking offers collaboration and social opportunities with people in other industries that they normally wouldn’t be interacting with.
We now have solopreneurs, mompreneurs, small businesses, and a few larger companies. We love the diversity of our members and how in spite our their differences they’re all part of a common coworking community.
Did we mention we LOVE our members.?!
Lesson Number FIVE - Location, location, location
Now that we have opened our second location, we have seen the difference in popularity of coworking between the two spaces geographically.
Each location has its own feel and vibe, which is a product of the area where it is located.
Another factor we didn’t think would be as important to our members was the free onsite parking.
This journey of opening a coworking space has been busy and extremely rewarding.
Opening our South Edmonton location in January 2018, expanding that same location by 3,500 sqft in September 2018 has been our proudest moment to date.
Adding additional space for our ever growing community is and will continue to be a priority for us moving forward.
Wherever our future spaces may take us, we will continue to encourage community involvement, collaboration and congratulate those who outgrow our spaces.
Keep an eye out for us -- URBN Cowork is more than just a workspace.