Our friends over at Office Nomads published this blog post and it was too good not to share.
A Love Letter to Indie Coworking Community Cultivators:
Dear indie coworking community cultivators,
I see you. I know what your days look like:
8:00 Arrive. Pour a warm drink into your favorite mug. Show newest member James how to make coffee. Hello. Hello. Oh, it’s Simone’s birthday! Make a note – go get cookies later. How is Darrell? He’s been going through a divorce and you’ve been making sure to check in with him each day to be sure he’s ok. Help Dylan connect to the printer. Catch up on billing for a little bit in between conversations. See a group of members looking at Amy’s new product demo. Snap a photo for the Instagram account. When was the last time you sent out a newsletter? Add it to your list for the day. It’s 11:00 already? Walk around and remind people that member lunch is at Noon. Respond to emails. Give a visitor a tour. Run Jamie through her new member orientation. OMG we need more forks again.
12:00 Lunch. Catching up on all the things. Kids have colds. In-laws in town for a long weekend. Holiday travel plans. Has Jim met Carolyn yet? They’re both science writers. Marketing struggles. New job offers. Sean got engaged! We should really get together for happy hour again soon. Plans begin.
1:00 That blog post you’ve been trying to write for three weeks. Mail delivery arrives. Sign for the packages. Bring that envelope that definitely looks like a check back to Amanda – you know she’s been waiting for it for weeks. High-fives. That was it! While you’re walking around, push in chairs. Pick up a stray cup. Pull non-recyclables out of the recycling can and make a mental note that you need to keep reminding the members that those things should go in the garbage.
3:00 Grocery store for cookies. Remember we’re low on half and half and could use a fresh set of whiteboard markers. Back to the space. Cookies and singing. Hugs. Blog post again, slow progress. Get lost on Facebook for a while – great discussion on the Coworking Content Alliance today. While you’re at it, when was the last time you checked to be sure you were following all the members on Twitter? Update list and get lost more when you start seeing all the cool things your members are sharing.
4:30 Critical conversation with members about Grape Nuts. It is a fine cereal. It is a terrible cereal. Is it cereal if you only eat it on yogurt? How has it been around for so long? Who still eats it? You still eat it?! Doesn’t it break your teeth?
5:00 Time to close up for the day. Say goodbye as members leave. Tidy up the space for the next day. Lock the front door. Bid those who are staying later than you a good evening. Remind them to turn off the lights if they’re the last to leave.
As you ride the bus home, you think “Did I actually do anything today?” It feels like the list of things to do only got longer. It’s like everything happened and nothing happened all at once. But there was coffee. And cookies. Laughs. Learning. Printer troubles. And we’ll do it all again – or something altogether different – tomorrow.
Here’s the thing, indie coworking friends from near and far. I know as coworking grows and gets commoditized in ways you couldn’t even fathom that you are worried about your future. You wonder if your one space with your very narrow budget can last. Let me let you in on a secret that you should hold close to your heart on the days that are hard:
The most important work you do is the work you do every day to foster a safe, comfortable, and supportive community. The members in front of you (not the potential ones “out there” waiting for you) and the community they help create are what makes your coworking community stand out from the rest. The connections you have with one another are your north star. Those days where you felt like you got nothing done because you were talking with members all day? Those are probably the days you are doing the most work to keep your business strong and healthy. And when new members come to your doors they’ll see the love and energy that is created in your space and they’ll want to stay.
P.S. Don’t worry what the big coworking giants are doing.
P.P.S. Don’t worry what the big coworking giants are doing.
P.P.P.S. One more time: don’t worry what the big coworking giants are doing. Because you know what they want more than anything else (other than $$$)? They want people to think they’re like you. That’s why they’re using the word coworking. But their size and business model keeps them from being able to do the community building work that coworking is known for. They simply have too many moving parts to stay focused on that secret I just told you. They’ll tell you that they do it, but I assure you they can’t do it. So you do it. You’re awesome at it. And don’t worry about them. I know who will still be standing 10 years from now. <3
Big thank you to Susan at Office Nomads for sharing this with the co-working community.
Stevena House finds inspiration walking in nature, science fiction and high fantasy stories, and surreal and activist art like the works of Georgia O’Keeffe, Frida Kahlo, and Francisco Goya. Since 1997, she has explored multiple artistic genres and has used multiple mediums for expression, but primarily works with painting, wearable art, and 3D found object collage. Her work evokes some difficult feelings like fear, wonder, loss, mystery, and mortality, while still being aesthetically enjoyable.
Currently Stevena House lives in Ellensburg, Washington and enjoys using her recreational time to collect items and inspiration for future art projects. She is excited to join the local artistic community and hopes to display her art in a local venues. Please follow her social media for up-to-date information.
Stop by Catalyst during First Friday Art Walk from 5pm-7pm on October 5th to see her installation "Fatal Femmes and Gothic Art"
Stop by Catalyst Co-Working on Friday August 3rd and Friday September 7th from 5pm-7pm during Ellensburg's First Friday Art Walk to see work done by local artist Kenneth Johnson. Can't make it? No problem! Come by during office hours from 9AM-5PM Monday through Friday during the months of August and September.
About the artist:
Kenneth has lived and worked in Ellensburg since moving here fourteen years ago. He is self taught and has worked in various media throughout the years currently focusing on photography. Eschewing digital, Kenneth works exclusively with analog photography methods. The group of images represented in this exhibition focus on alternative processes, polaroids, film and gelatin silver printing.
Quick Start Guide To Starting Your Business
By: Sarah Truglio
So, you have an idea and you want to start your own business, where do you start?
Your local Small Business Development Center is a great resource to help get you started. Below are some basic guidelines to prepare yourself for starting your own business.
1. Identify & examine your motivation for business ownership
The first and often most overlooked step is, ask yourself why you want to own your own business? Perform a self-analysis. Identify your reasons, is it freedom from 9-5 daily work routine? or improving your standard of living? List all the reasons that apply to you.
2. Choose a business suitable for you
Going into business requires certain personal characteristics, decide what role you will have in the business. Are you a leader and enjoy making decisions or do you prefer to be the planner and people person? What personal skills and experience will you bring to the business? Summarize the strengths, skills and experience you have and what skills and experience you think are needed to make your business successful. Understanding your personal characteristics, the required skills and demands of business ownership are critical in helping you determine the business that is best suited for you.
3. Finding a niche
Small businesses will range in size and function, the knowledge and skills required will vary. Every successful business has one thing in common, they have found a niche in the market to fill. A crucial problem most businesses will face in the early planning stage is to find YOUR niche and determine the feasibility of your idea/product or service. Many entrepreneurs plunge into a business without thoroughly evaluating the businesses potential. A good feasibility evaluation will include a detailed examination of financial, personal and market realities.
4. Startup requirements
5. Write a business plan
A business plan is the best tool you can have to start, run & grow your business. Business planning is the process through which you research, analyze and understand your business and goals. A successful plan will consist of the following;
6. Startup costs & financing
Once you have completed your research & have written your business plan, determine what the startup costs for your business will be, such as licensing, insurance, rent, equipment, advertising etc. How will you pay for these startup costs? Most small businesses are started with money from personal savings, borrowing from friends & family, and microloans. Obtaining a business loan from a commercial lender will require a strong business plan with good financial projections. Generally business loans will require a certain percentage of owner’s contribution or personal investment, a good rule of thumb is 20% or more of the startup costs depending on the amount you are borrowing and the terms of the loan.
7. Finalize all startup requirements
Congratulations! You have completed your business planning and acquired the funding you need to start your business. Now it is time to hire your employees, open a business bank account, sign lease agreements, apply for permits, licenses and hang your OPEN sign in the window.
To get a step by step New Business Checklist – Starting a Business in Washington State, contact your local Small Business Development Center at 509-575-1140.
Stop by Catalyst during First Friday Art Walk on June 1st from 5pm-7pm for our opening reception of Transitions by artist Tarra Hall-Ward.
Can't make it? No problem! You can stop by during the week from 9AM-5PM anytime from June 1st- July 20th!
Tarra’s often abstract artwork is based on concepts and patterns found in chemistry, and combines elements of both painting and drawing. She grew up in Washington State, receiving her Associate Degree in Art and Science from Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Washington. She recently graduated from Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Fine Art and a Bachelor of Science. Tarra’s first solo exhibit was with the support of the Ronald E. McNair scholars program. She received funding for the research and development of a body of artwork that helped shape her art today. She currently supports her artistic endeavors working at Swiftwater Cellars in Cle Elum, Washington, where she enjoys learning subtle ways chemistry affects every day cooking as well as skills to implement in her own life.