Admittedly, the wiki sux0r, but I think if you do a search for your questions in the Google group, many of your questions have been answered many times. Just an FYI...nobody is paid to work on coworking.info. It is what you make it, so, if you find answers to your questions, please feel free to improve the wiki!
That being said, I will address what you've asked to the best of my experience:
- starting out small is great. Citizen Space started out small and in March, we are expanding after about 2.5 years of operations. We could have grown earlier, but we wanted to be careful. Phases FTW!
- I think by 'renting a chair', most spaces allow members to pay a monthly fee to keep a desk free for them. This way they can bring in a monitor, filing cabinet and other desk necessities. That's what we do. So, unless the chair/desk renter gives permission to a particular person, that desk is off limits for others.
- For the drop in spaces that don't have assigned desks/chairs, I believe it's a first-come, first-served basis. We've batted around the idea of a desk reservation system for years, but, in actuality, very few spaces require it. I know that we've never and we are a consistently 'full' space. Then again, your space is teeny. You may want to have a book-ahead system.
- We've asked two people to leave in the course of 2.5 years. One was a guy renting the space for events who kept abusing his privileges (leaving a mess, making demands, having drunk guests throwing up in our garbage cans) and one was a tale told on this Google Group about a guy who turned from casual drop-in to squatter. Otherwise, it's been a cool atmosphere.
- Do a search on this group (through the groups interface: http://groups.google.com/group/coworking) to find TOS or member agreements or the like. Loads of people have shared them as well as business plans and other crucial documents. Currently, Citizen Space doesn't use them at all, but that may change with the expansion.
- RE: in/out scheduling Like I said before, we've batted around the scheduling software, but nobody really ended up needing it once we got rolling. The more important pieces are how to manage members payments and budgets and alert people when you are there and leaving. We use Blinksale for managing payments - but I know there are a few people working on a better system for coworking spaces - and we use a http://grouptweet.com/ and ask members to dm citizenspace when they arrive and when they are leaving to get a public sense of whether someone is in the space. This is a terribly imperfect system and people always forget, but Station-C did something cool with a sign in system that you can also search for in the google group.
Hope I answered everything for you. Bottom line: search the google group. The wiki sux cause, well, we do all of our talking and sharing here.
On Sun, Feb 1, 2009 at 10:39 AM, turbo2ltr <turbo2ltr <at> gmail.com>
I am a bit disappointed at how many wiki pages are not complete. I
somehow found the page http://wiki.coworking.info/Knowledge+Base (cant
seem to duplicate how I got there though) but all the links are to
pages that haven't even been started yet. It would have been a great
source of info, if there was anything there.
In any case, I am starting a small coworking space in Phoenix. I am
starting small because I already have the office space and most of the
furniture so its nearly zero startup costs (ok, maybe a couple hundred
dollars), with the hopes to ramp up membership to fund expansion and
eventually expand into a large combo coworking/techshop type space.
The plan for the current space is two rooms with about 350 sq feet
total which is half the current 4 room office. If things go well, I
hope to expand into a full 4 room 750sq ft suite as phase 2.
I've been reading here and doing lots of research, visiting other
spaces' websites and have come up with a few questions..
A lot of spaces have memberships levels that offer a reserved chair.
Does that mean you count how many people you have in the space at any
particular moment and always have one free chair per full member? So
if every full member happened to show up at the same time, they would
all have a chair available? Or do you just average it out and assume
all full members won't show up at once? Have you ever had to ask
someone to leave? I ask this because since I am starting small there
is very limited space so I have to be mindful of occupancy. Of course
I could only hope I actually have this problem!
Are there any "open source" membership TOS verbage I can use? IANAL
nor do I play one on TV, so I'd like to CMA instead of just making up
something that sounds good.
Any preferred software to manage user in/out and scheduling? I
searched here a bit and it sounds like there isn't much out there.
Should I even be concerned with it at this point due to the small
tara 'missrogue' hunt
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