8: Lessons from Scaling - With Tajinder Lachhar from Bathtub 2 Boardroom

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In this episode on the theme of scaling your coworking business, we catch Tajinder from the Lonon based charity Bathtub 2 Boardroom. She tells us about a journey which began with “falling into coworking” in 2012 and now involves running three spaces — with further expansion plans.

Give it a listen to hear about serendipity that made market research redundant, the unexpected idiosyncrasies of basing your coworking space in a college, and how to build a good reputation to help you as you grow.

We also hear about

  • the way in which scaling aids adaptability

  • the risks and negatives of scaling

  • maintaining a culture across multiple floors and spaces

  • how to manage a growing community when things go wrong

  • what to consider when looking at a new location

  • a potentially positive outcome of Brexit…

  • … and Tajinder’s top tip if you’re wanting to open another coworking space!

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7: Challenges of Scaling - With Tori Bravery from Mainyard Studios

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Claire sat down to chat to Tori from Mainyard Studios about the challenges of taking over the world — or maybe just a small bit of London… Starting in 2012 and now with no fewer than seven work spaces across the city ranging from music studios to coworking offices, Tori looks back on the journey of scaling the business and tells us what got her started, what kept her going and what she and her partner(s) have learned along the way.

Listen in to this podcast to hear Tori’s story about windowless warehouses come designer work spaces, what it is like to set up a business with your life partner, and how doing much of the work yourself helps you find out what you’re really made of.

We also hear about

  • the skill sets and attitude required to scale

  • finding and investing in the right people for your team

  • project and team management

  • managing the budget and capacity

  • balancing the needs of your community with those of the business

  • culture shifts that may come with scaling

  • Tori’s top tip when scaling a coworking business

  • … and of course, about the importance of community as you grow!

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6: Growing a Coworking Space in a Small City - with David and Joy Taylor

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We hear from David and Joy Taylor who set up “Canvas Coworking” in a small city in Australia. Their journey began in 2012, when they started by talking to lots of people and hosting coffee-mornings to engage their local community and find out what was needed.

After starting with a popup space in a café, they looked for a larger “dual purpose” space which they could set up how they liked, and were able to run workshops and events to test and “prove” the business model.

The next step was to find a permanent space they could lease. With volunteer support (including David and Joy volunteering their own time) they managed to set up their full-time home which is now owned and run by the community. 

David speaks about some of the challenges they’ve faced, including educating people on the difference between coworking and serviced office space, and getting their local council to understand what they were trying to achieve, which didn’t quite match what the council themselves wanted to deliver in the early stages.

We also hear about 

  • how their coworking space has been able to deliver what the community has needed

  • the opportunities it’s created for coworkers to give back

  • the challenge of coworkers driving to the coworking space and needing parking, versus using public transport

  • attracting coworkers from outside the city

  • the successes they’ve had in supporting members to get funding to develop what they’re passionate about

Finally, we also hear from one of their members, Jinhee, about the journey he’s embarked on as a result of finding David and Joy’s coworking space.

Links for this episode

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