December 20th, 2018 Release

2 min read

The holiday season is just around the corner and while we’re all looking forward to it, we are working hard to continue improving our platform. The main focus this week was on enabling multi-currency invoicing, improving how you manage desks and resources and fixing minor issues.

Multi-currency Invoicing

Often times you may have to issue an invoice to your international members in different from your main currency. With our latest update, you will be able to issue invoices in multiple currencies in your account.

In order to enable multi-currency billing, you can go to ‘Settings / Billing’ and check ‘Enable multi-currency mode’. Then you need to add the current conversion rates for your preferred currencies and save them. When you are done with setting up the rates, you can now go ahead and add an invoice in any of the newly added currencies.

Invoice issued in EUR in USD-based account.

Notes:

  • If you have accounting integration enabled (such as Xero or QuickBooks), the integration will take care to sync the invoices with their respective currency with your accounting solution.
  • You need to manually update the exchange rates when needed. Previously issued invoices will keep their rates from the time of issuing. 

This is the first version of our multi-currency support. In the next iterations, we will add an option for automated currency rates, as well as being able to set preferred currency per client.

NEW

  • Multi-currency invoicing

IMPROVEMENTS

  • Improve the desk/office assign dialog – allow assigning desks with status pending for the remaining available period.
  • Introduced Pending status filter in the members and companies lists. Now active status filters only the real active members and companies.

FIXES

  • The number of members and companies on some pages are calculated differently and in some cases can result in different numbers.
  • Occupancy report is wrong when an office desk membership is relocated.
  • SaltoKS integration can get disconnected in some API edge cases.
  • Could not view and edit invoices in Manual Bill run when using custom permission role.
  • Custom permission roles cannot add company/member when there is a company/member with the same email or name (duplicate).
  • Add overpayment button should not add the overpayment with tax.
  • Terminated memberships cannot be assigned in some cases.
  • Terminated membership filter by Assign does not work as expected.

We are already working on many new key features and improvements related to ‘Meeting Room tablet display improvements‘, ‘New members report’, ‘Credit/Coins management‘, and many more.

second coworking location

Opening a Second Coworking Location: What to Consider and How to Deal with the Main Challenges

9 min read

There’s something even more thrilling than running your first coworking space and this is the moment when you start thinking about opening your second location.

But besides the excitement, there are also lots of concerns when you come to this stage of your business. Are you ready to expand? Does it make sense? How will you split your efforts between the two locations and still keep up with both?

And most of all – is it worth it?

Why open a second location?

If you’re still wondering whether or not this is a good step, here are a few reasons on why it might make sense:

Demand is rising. More and more professionals and companies are switching from traditional offices to coworking spaces. To meet the rising demand, you’ll need to provide more space once your first location reaches its full (or almost full) capacity.

Competition is rising. The tremendous interest in coworking leads to a huge rise in the number of coworking spaces slowly but surely making coworking the new normal, hence more and more competitors will rise up and fight for the attention of your members. Expanding your capacity and building on top of your product will help you to stay competitive.

Your members scale and their needs change. Depending on how you’ve structured your product, your current space might be focused mainly on flex and dedicated desks, with a limited number of offices (or none whatsoever). If desks are suitable for most starting companies, when they grow they’ll start looking for a separate office. If you can’t offer them what they need, they’ll have to leave you.

Before you make the decision to expand

Opening a second location is not a piece of cake. It needs a lot of effort, time and resources. It’s good to be sure you’re ready and really willing to expand.

Answering the following question can help you figure out if you’re ready to scale:

How is your current coworking space performing?

Analyzing your current situation is key. Is your space full? Are your resources being used at their maximum (or close to maximum) capacity – e.g. desks, offices, meeting rooms? Are your revenue streams stable (e.g. having longer-term memberships)?

If the answer is yes, think about the successful practices that led to this success and if (and how) you can replicate them. Investigate the ones that need improvement or totally failed and try to find the reasons on why they didn’t perform well.

The ability to understand why certain things in your current space were successful and others were not is key to expanding.

second coworking location

Can your current coworking space operate without you?

Once you expand you’ll no longer be able to be “on-site” and as available as before if any issues arise. On top of that, your second location will require your time and attention much more than your first, especially in the beginning. It’ll be a full-time job added to your current duties.

Ask yourself:

  • Is there something in your current coworking space which constantly requires your presence? Can you somehow change that?
  • Are you willing and is it possible to delegate tasks? Here’s a good guide on how you can delegate task successfully.
  • Do you have a clear plan on who will handle the new tasks? Do you have the right people in your team? If not, can you hire them? We’ve listed some hiring tips below.

*You’re not limited to these questions alone, but answering them will give you a better understanding of your ability to expand at the current moment.

Do you want to focus on providing the same coworking space as a product?

If your current space is focused mainly on desks and open spaces, do you want to replicate that in your second location? Or do you want to change your model and target a different kind of audience? Do you want it to be in the same town or not?

Here are 3 success stories of coworking spaces opening their second location providing food for thought in terms of location and business model.

Besides exploring real-life examples, examine the market, do research on what the other spaces close to your next location provide and try to find information on what the coworking audience needs. Is there a demand for a coworking space with more offices? Or your town is a crossing point of coworking nomads who prefer quick access to a hot desk and meeting rooms?

This will give you valuable insights on what location you should search for, how to fit it out, how to plan and distribute the space between open space and offices, how to plan meeting rooms, what services to provide, etc.


📍Extra note: How do you assure your first location’s members won’t abandon it because of your second one?

That’s something you cannot fully control. The main factor for members in choosing a coworking space is the location and the amenities. So if your new coworking space fits your members’ needs better and reduces their commute time, they’ll most probably move. There’s not much you can do about this.

What you can do here to ensure your first space stays intact is to gradually improve and renovate where possible – from the fit-out to the amenities, the service management, etc.

second coworking location

Let’s consider you’ve already found the location, signed the lease, finished with the fit-out and you’re ready for the next step.

Here are some important aspects to consider, that should help you expand in the most efficient way possible.

Multilocation operations management

One of the main challenges is to replicate all the things you’re doing – the processes, the routines, etc.

Up until now, you’ve probably had all this in your head. Now you have to structure it somehow and make it accessible to the rest of your team. Sad but true – you can’t be in both locations at the same time so you’ll need someone to help you.

Getting all the operational procedures down on paper is a good first step. This will allow other people to take ownership of some of the countless responsibilities you have.

You’ll have your 2 locations operating separately, but having the same procedures and rules in both will allow you to operate more efficiently.


📍Bonus tip: Once you start writing down all the procedures, there’ll be a lot of information to be structured. It’ll be essential to stay organized and keep everything in order. Here’s a useful app: Notion, recommended by SharedSpace, a client of ours, who used it to manage tasks when they were opening up their second location.


Once you have all your processes written down, it’s important to have the right people to relay them to. Let’s look at the important things to consider when staffing your second location:

Staffing your second coworking location

Your team is incredibly important as it’s the core of a coworking space. It’s what enables you to offer the services you offer, to meet your members, to issue their invoices, to manage cash flows…in other words: to operate.

Your team is the voice of your coworking space, brand, and its reputation.

Here’s an inside look of HR best practices for hiring for coworking spaces.

staffing second coworking location

Hiring an Operations/General Manager (or giving this role to someone of your existing team) would be your best first step. You’ll need someone to help you with all day-to-day tasks, answer calls, meet suppliers 

and help you with managing subcontractors, visitors, etc.

Eventually, when you already have your first members, you might think of expanding your team with a Community Manager.

If you’re wondering if you should hire new people or relocate part of your team to the new location, there’s no rule of thumb. Still, consider the following 3 most used practices and evaluate which one will fit your situation:

1/ You relocate team members from your first location to your second

The main benefit here is that you’ll have someone who’s already familiar with your processes and will manage to deal with tasks quite easy and fast. Also, it will be someone trusted and experienced, knowing your space, operations, and community.

In addition, you can provide some of your employees from the first location with the opportunity to grow professionally by taking ownership of additional responsibilities.

second coworking location

2/ You hire new staff for your second location

This will bring people with new ideas and will give a fresh start of your second location. Of course, they’ll need time to get familiar with the processes in your coworking space, to adapt and learn, but if you and the rest of your team spend enough time and dedication in training them, things will fall in place eventually.

Of course, it’s good to find people who have experience in the coworking industry, but it’s not mandatory. Someone who simply has the passion for coworking and is highly motivated and eager to learn can be a great fit for your team!

Also, it’s good to consider not only the professional expertise of the people you hire but if they are a good cultural fit for your coworking space as well. Do they resonate with the company vision and mission? Do you share the same values?

Hiring people who correspond to your mindset will build a strong and well-performing team.

3/ You hire new staff and rotate your team members between the two locations

This well-established among coworking spaces practice applies mainly for operations/community staff.

New and old employees rotate on a regular basis between spaces, so they can learn from one another and be familiar with the processes, the members, and the challenges of both locations.

Rotation can be done on a weekly or even a daily basis – it depends on you.

Scaling your community when expanding

You know how to reinforce the consistency of your brand in both locations with the design, the concept, the customer service of your space – you replicate them and implement the same procedures and practices.

But when it comes to community, how do you replicate that?

The truth is community emerges naturally. It can be neither replicated or forced, but you can try and imbue each “new community” with your vision and the same values that are driving you as a business.

second coworking location

For example, if one of your core differentiators is to be helpful with the service you offer and encourage your community members to grow, support that in your second location as well.

Probably you’ll end up with 2 separate communities which will be slightly different, but what’s important here is that they’ll share the same values. And that’s what gives the consistency of your brand.

Of course, it’s good to follow some essential best practices when fostering your community but have in mind a lot of it comes from you as a founder and your team. If everybody is on the same page about your vision and values, things should start developing on their own.

In the beginning, with a single coworking space, it’s quite easy to maintain this – your team spends almost all their time together – you communicate constantly with each other, you share tasks and activities, you gather for a beer after work, and everyone is involved in almost everything.

To keep that when expanding, hire the people who resonate with your values. Try to encourage the connection between team members. Think about how to have them involved in the processes that run in both spaces. Meet regularly – for sharing company updates and discussing important stuff, but for informal team gatherings as well.

Conclusion

Opening a second coworking location is a huge step. It’s a full-time job requiring a lot of dedication. During this journey, you’ll need focus on evaluating your first location’s performance, defining procedures, hiring the right people and ensuring your community stays authentic.

As long as you and your team have the right focus and well-established processes, and you share and spread the same values, things will start developing smoothly and allow you to grow successfully.

P.S.If you’ve enjoyed reading through this post content, don’t miss to sign up for our newsletter (subscribe button at the bottom of this page), so you can stay up to date with our coworking tips and insights! 

December 13th, 2018 Release

3 min read

The holiday season is just around the corner and while we’re all looking forward to it, OfficeRnD releases must go on! The main focus this month is on improving our reports, data quality, bug improvements and enabling some new use cases, of course.

Main Dashboard additions

We updated the main dashboard of OfficeRnD, adding 3 new important KPIs, as well as we improved some of the existing cards.

  • New ‘Revenue Occupancy‘ card – showing ‘Revenue Occupancy’ and your targets compared to your recurring revenue
  • New ‘Revenue‘ card – showing your monthly revenue split by one-offs and recurring
  • New ‘Todays Bookings‘ card – showing ‘Tentative’, ‘Paid’ and ‘Total bookings’ for the day
  • New ‘Users‘ – showing ‘Total users’, ‘Active Member users’ and ‘Monthly active users’

We’d love to hear your thoughts on these, as well, as what else you’d like to see on the main dashboard.

Note: We’re also working on the ability to configure the dashboard – rearrange and chose which cards you’d like to keep. Stay tuned for more.

Half-day passes

As part of the Checkins and Passes story, we’re adding the ability to ‘cut’ your day passes in halves. In order to do so, you can go to Settings / Resource Types and open the ‘Hotdesk’ type. Then you need to set the option ‘Checkin in Mode’ to ‘Half day’. Once the option is set, when you or your members’ checkin / checkout, at the end of their presence the system will automatically account for either Half or full day based on the following formula: ‘If the duration of their stay is below 1/2 the business day, it’s a half day, if more than that, it will use an entire day pass’.

Note: This will change the previous logic of accounting the day passes at the time of checkin and now, the accounting happens at the time of checkout.

Following is the list with all changes and updates.

NEW

  • Main dashboard additions
  • Ability to manage half-day passes
  • Ability to set different business hours per location

IMPROVEMENTS

  • Improved payment integrations sync contact and payment details sync
  • Mobile Keys story for Salto PRO Access – set the phone property when syncing
  • Ability to download all required information for when members accept the T&Cs
  • Back-to-back bookings user experience improvements
  • Link Memberships report to the Memberships list
  • Expose payments APIs

FIXES

  • The status of the office is not correct if the children desks are reserved or available soon
  • Occupancy discrepancy in Private offices when you have partially occupied offices
  • Marking a private desk unavailable does not update the private office children count
  • You can assign a single membership to multiple desks for the same period in some cases
  • Custom roles do not see the ‘check in’ button and check in history button on member pages
  • The ‘teamName’ property is not available within the Admin ‘Member Booking’ email templates
  • Custom permission without dashboard view cannot check-in members
  • Members portal signing up as a non-member does not work in some cases
  • When changing the selected Contract from the ‘Add Invoice’ dialog, the Reference field is not updated
  • Opportunities from capsule are not synced when added for an existing company and setting for untagged companies is disabled
  • Capsule sync creates companies without location which could be a major issue after that
  • Capsule CRM sync doesn’t track activity properly in some cases
  • GoCardless payment stay pending until the expected payment date, even if they fail earlier
  • Preparation slot input is always visible when editing, no matter if the policy is enabled or not or if there is a non zero value
  • Weekly reports fail to send in some cases

We are already working on many new key features and improvements related to ‘Meeting Room tablet display improvements‘, ‘New members report’, ‘Multi-currency support‘, ‘Credit/Coins management‘, and many more.

November 22nd, 2018 Release

4 min read

We did another 3 big releases of the OfficeRnD Platform in November. The main focus this month was on bringing more depth to our billing and reporting. We’re introducing new memberships report, overpayments, and improved multilocation billing with Xero.

Memberships Report

Memberships Report

The new memberships report provides vital information about your performance in regards to Memberships, broken down by month. You can filter the report by location, by a plan type, by a group of plans or by accounts.

The report shows detailed information about New vs. Active vs. Terminated Memberships, Net New/Churned Memberships, New vs. Lost vs. Total Revenue, Net New/Lost Revenue, % New/Active vs Previous Month, and Discounted Memberships.

Memberships Dashboard

We also improved the Memberships dashboard by adding date filters to it as well adding more data. You can check it out at Dashboard / Memberships

You can check the new Memberships report at Reports / Memberships Report or read more about it here.

Overpayments

An overpayment is a normal payment that is in excess of what was originally due to an invoice for a member. When a member pays more to an invoice, you may now record the excessive amount in OfficeRnD as an Overpayment. The overpayment can then be used as a credit and applied to the member’s next invoice or eventually refunded to the member.

The overpayment will be synced automatically with Xero if you have the integration enabled.

You can read more about how to start using Overpayments here.

Multilocation Billing with Xero

Multilocation management is complicated enough by itself. Multilocation billing shouldn’t be though.

We’ve continued our effort to improve our multilocation billing story in combination with Xero by:

  • Adding ‘location‘ tag on invoice line item, and;
  • Exposing more tracking options, such as branch and profit & cost center.

Adding the location tag on invoice line item level is a major milestone for us in order to allow you to bill and account separately a company or member that has memberships and one-off fees in different locations.

Following is the list with all changes and updates.

NEW

  • Memberships report
  • Overpayments
  • Deduplication – warning when adding new members or companies with same name/email.

IMPROVEMENTS

  • Improved phone fields validation
  • Improved manual bill run performance
  • Improved multilocation billing
    • Expose more tracking options for Xero
    • Map invoice line item location from OfficeR&D to Xero
  • Base the resource rate half-day and daily rates on the length of the business hours
  • Add filter by contract in the add invoice dialog
  • Improvement Permissions
    • Manual Payments permission
    • Contract approvers list allows to chose from the list of admins with approval permission
  • Implement user login locking upon many invalid logins in the member portal
  • Improved eZeep integration – unlinking removed users from OfficeRnD

FIXES

  • Draft resources should not affect the ‘total capacity (KPI)’ on the Space Growth dashboard
  • The bookings list in the Members portal does not load past the first 30 bookings in some cases
  • When you have a payment method set to ‘auto’ and have direct debit/ACH and credit card, incorrect Processing fee might be applied
  • Processing fees cannot be credit noted from the invoice
  • Fix the learn more link under Settings/Import/Resources to the correct page
  • Custom permissions do not allow users to manually add a payment to an invoice in some cases
  • Unavailable private office desks make private office partially occupied
  • Fixes in the SaltoRnD scheduler
  • Edit custom properties type creates two custom properties in some cases
  • Double booking through the API results in possible duplicated bookings in Google
  • Meeting room tablet displays masks booking information in some cases
  • Invoices with 1 decimal digit cannot be paid with PayPal
  • If there is validation error on manual bill run, processing fees are created and not invoiced which may lead to duplication
  • You can not edit a custom property in some cases
  • Admins are not receiving the membership cancellation notification email in some cases
  • Checkout/ signup summary doesn’t show correct billing period (dates) if proration setting is the first invoice
  • Prevent setting an invoice number manually to already existing number
  • Updating a booking created from the public calendar does not send ‘updated’ notifications in some cases
  • Importing resources does not show the imported file

We are already working on many new key features and improvements related to ‘Meeting Room tablet display improvements‘, ‘New members report’, ‘New member portal design‘, and many more.