2 steps forward, 1 step back.

Was NOT planning to find this posted at our new coworking space this week:

Apparently, in all my excitement to get started with the demo for our “up and coming sweet space”, I had failed to research the city of Loveland’s requirements for commercial space permits.  I was able to meet with the city this past Wednesday and I now have a clear direction of where we are headed and the requirements we need to meet.

I knew in the first place, pushing for a March 1st opening was pushing it a bit.  But now it is looking like our goal might be more the middle of March.  I’m lining up electricians and plumbers as we speak & the painting will begin tomorrow!

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Build Out Has Begun

I was able to start the build out of the space this weekend.  The work involved taking out plastic wall paneling and a couple walls as well as cleaning out a few items the former tenant left behind.  I was able to salvage the paneling and take it to Uncle Benny’s, a local resale shop, instead of taking them to the land fill.

The area shown in the picture will be a wet bar with a concrete countertop.  We will have our coffee pot and microwave in this area.  We also will have a raised bar at the end with a couple spots for members to work.

Keep checking back for updates.

It’s Official. Coworking is Coming to Loveland!!

I have signed a lease for a space at the depot in downtown Loveland. The space is located at 411 N. Railroad Ave. There is some work to be done on the interior so we are hoping to be open in early March. More updates to come including a new name, website, membership information, and pictures of the interior as the work progress.

The space is about 650 square feet with high ceilings.  It has a lot of character as it used to be the freight area for the train station.  The front of the space has a wall of windows that let natural light flood the space.  One wall is exposed brick that shows markings from where it was scraped and marked from cargo being loaded into the trains.

I am excited about the possibilities the space holds for starting a coworking office.  Looking forward to getting started!

***If you are interested in helping with the remodeling work please let me know (lovelandcoworking@gmail.com) or watch our Twitter feed for work times.

 

 

The Chicken or The Egg

The age old question of which came first.  In the coworking world, the question boils down to whether to get a space first or build a group of members.  Common wisdom from many sources is to get a community of at least ten people to commit to memberships before opening a coworking space.  I believe there almost always are exceptions to every rule.  Please do not get me wrong I agree wholeheartedly with the community first mindset of coworking.   There must be an ability to understand the needs of the city and those that will use the space.  There is a large difference in opening a coworking space in a city of several million people and Loveland, population 60,000.  What I have run into in my city is a number of people that are intrigued by coworking and would like to check it out if we had a space.  They are hesitant to join the community without a space to identify with.

In internet startups there is a movement of people advocating a “Lean Startup” model.  This model, simply put, attempts to put a product out to the public before it is perfected to test the founder’s hypothesis and gain valuable feedback from early adaptors.  From their testing and the feedback they gather the company makes adjustments for their future progress.  At this point in my catalyst journey and from the input of those interested in coworking, I am beginning to see the need for a Lean Coworking Office in Loveland.  I started looking at commercial real estate with the dream space in mind, but see that as something to grow towards not start with.  The space I am most interested in would be small (~650 sf) but would have all the basics a coworking community would need.  So with a nervousness in my stomach and an excitement as I look towards the future, I am working towards starting a Lean Coworking Office in Loveland.

Stay tuned for updates….

Downtown Coworking Survey

I have never seen coworking in Loveland as something that is mine.  I want to build a community, a collaborative space that benefits the city and its residents.  To ensure that others have a voice in the creation of an office I have written a short survey.  I would appreciate feedback from those interested.  Click on the link and let your voice be heard.

Loveland Coworking Survey 

 

Coworking Core Values – Accessibility

Coworking as a movement shares community, collaboration, openness, sustainability, and accessibility as core values.  The values are intentionally vague and open to interpretation. This is the final installment of a five part blog series exploring these core values and how they apply in Loveland.

The term accessibility is most often used in the context of ADA requirements.  The desire is to have a space be physically accessible to all.  If any person is limited from joining the community, the community is the one that suffers.

Location of a space also plays a part in this core value as well.  This is the main motive of finding a space downtown in Loveland.  It provides a central location that would allow the maximum number of people to use the office.

As I have stated in other parts of this series, my main motive is to create the environment that helps other entrepreneurs, freelancers, small business owners, and creatives to thrive.  The bottom line is not what drives my desire to create a space in Loveland.  Like-minded individuals need a place to connect, to collaborate, and to create.  Making that place financially affordable as well as physically accessible is the goal of Loveland coworking as a business.

Coworking Core Values – Sustainability

Coworking as a movement shares community, collaboration, openness, sustainability, and accessibility as core values.  The values are intentionally vague and open to interpretation. This is the fourth entry in a five part blog series exploring these core values and how they apply in Loveland.

Sustainability has become a buzz word in the world today.  There is much talk about businesses being committed to lowering their environmental impact.  As a coworking space in Loveland, we would be committed to this ideal.  The office would be centrally located in the downtown area which would help reduce gasoline usage.  Personally, I would be able to bike most of the year to a downtown location.  There also would be reduced energy usage through shared appliances (i.e. coffee maker) and a commitment to recycling.  With entrepreneurs ever concerned about reducing waste, the reduce/reuse mantra is only reinforced in a co-working environment. As Angel Kwiatkowski of Cohere says in her book Coworking: Building Community as a Space Catalyst, “Do good to do well and offset the environmental footprint of the space.”

This core value can also be applied to the economic side of business.  Businesses do not survive if their model is not financially sustainable.  Decisions about location, amenities, pricing, etc. must factor in the ability of the space to support itself.  I, as the catalyst, am not interested in creating a coworking space that created a huge profit for myself.  I am more interested in meeting a need for community among entrepreneurs, freelancers, small business owners, remote workers, and creatives.  The success of Loveland Coworking will be community based, not bottom line based.