When we speak about business metrics or KPIs, we tend to think of graphs and many, many pieces of collected data. In a coworking space, the most common metrics include onboarding rate, member numbers, and member satisfaction for example.
In DeKamer, we take a different approach to coworking space metrics. To us, knowing these traditional things is important to keep the business healthy. But, knowing how many successful people have come and left through our doors is just as important.
Full disclaimer, we are not saying that this is the be-all and end-all way to measure your coworking space. We suggest that an exploration of what metrics are for, and how they are measured, makes a difference in how your company thrives in the new economy. What gets measured gets noticed and improved, and if your metrics are based on traditional rental arbitrage then your company will inevitably develop in that direction and along those axes. Because you set them up in the first place. We suggest that other choices can be made, and a mindful choice is a better choice.
Why are metrics useful
First of all, what are metrics? This is when you collect data to measure specific events and transactions in your business. Let’s say you want to measure how many people make use of your space on weekends, you can do that either through quizzes or by manually making a tally each weekend.
There are many things that you can measure in your coworking space:
- How many people onboard with you each month
- How many people cancel their contract before 45 days have passed
- How many startups make use of your space
- How often do your coworkers make use of your space
- How comfortable are your coworkers in your space
- How close do your coworkers live to your space
These metrics give you a clear picture of who your coworkers are and what they expect from your space. This data can be used in many ways as you develop your business and communicate about it to the public and to your coworkers.
Metrics can also give you the information you need to help you to sign and retain more coworkers. Also having metrics can highlight for you any problem areas in your coworking space so that you can see where you need to up your game. When you know where your coworking space needs work, it gets easier to fix it.
Which metrics make sense?
Customer Satisfaction Score
Measuring your coworker’s satisfaction at different intervals of their relationship with you can give you a clear idea of where improvements need to be made in your processes or in the space itself. It is a good idea to keep these surveys anonymous as some people feel uncomfortable giving a truthful review if they know that their name will be attached to it.
Let’s say you want to check if your coworkers are satisfied with the onboarding process, you can ask them to fill out a survey to measure their satisfaction a few days after they have onboarded. Keeping a clear score of their satisfaction, can help your space greatly improve the way it deals with coworkers and how you retain coworkers.
Customer Churn Rate
A coworking space can keep a close eye on customer churn rates, which reflect the number of customers a business is retaining. But, it is also important to keep an eye out for when and why your coworkers end their contract with you.
For example if the contract ends within the first 45 days, it might be that they felt they did not fit into your space. It can also can mean that they are having financial difficulties, or found a coworking space that better suits their needs. It is a good idea to have a survey on hand to ask your coworkers why they are cancelling their contract.
Calculating your churn rate is a simple calculation: Amount of customers terminating within a timeframe, divided by the number of customers at the start of the timeframe. Be sure not to exclude the number of new coworkers that joined within that timeframe.
Customer Growth Rate
There is no traditional way to measure this, and quite frankly this is one we made up. But, it is a measurement that we use often at DeKamer. We look at how many teams have outgrown our space – or, as we like to call them, graduates.
Outgrowing our space means that they have a successful business that is progressively growing larger and can no longer fit in our coworking spaces. Ours is a shared office model and a company that takes up too much of the resources of the space, takes all the air out of the room for the other coworkers. Still, for the growing coworker, this is often a desirable outcome to have. After all, coworking spaces should cultivate growth and help businesses grow and be successful.
At DeKamer, we call it “the talk”. We have a “sit down” with these coworkers and tell them that they are now too big for our space. It is a little like a parent telling their adult child that it is time to find their own place. But, just like in a parent-child relationship, we keep close contact with our graduates who grow up to be large. And just as a parent would phone or hang out with their children, we keep a similar relationship with our graduates.
Metrics at DeKamer
At DeKamer we are a close knit community. We already told you about our graduates! We don’t always believe in measuring metrics that the internet says we must, we are a little willful like that.
We like to measure the relationships we have with our graduates through how often they still make use of our services.
Another metric we are curious about are the business relationships that are built in our coworking spaces. We love to see collaboration, after all, that is exactly what a coworking space is for.
These metrics give us a clear picture of who our people are, where we stand with them, and if we are creating a community that fosters relationships, collaboration and growth. When our coworkers are happy, so are we.