To choose the right coworking management software, you need to consider several factors. The truth is there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. The best fit for your workspace depends on your business, your processes, and your objectives. And if you have the right approach, you will save you plenty of time, effort, and resources. Also, you will be able to make the most out of technology for your business.
Below you will find some useful tips for selecting coworking management software for your space.
Start with your business model
Software evaluation starts with identifying how your business is making money, and what your essential processes and needs are. This knowledge will help you understand the software functionality that’s crucial for your business. Coworking apps offer plenty of features and sometimes you might get lost, especially if you are new to this.
So take the time to understand (and maybe rethink) in detail your target customer, your revenue streams, and how you charge for your services. For example, do you offer hourly passes? How do you issue invoices? Are there any payment specifics in your country? All these will help you understand what you’d expect from the coworking software. Are your target customers tech geeks? If so, you might want to look for coworking member apps that help you provide great digital experience.
Evaluate your processes’ efficiency
Technology is used to increase both the efficiency and effectiveness of a business. So you’d really like to understand your current performance first. What are the tasks you spend most of your time on? Which are the processes that run smoothly, and which are the ones that make you struggle? How many of these processes rank with high business priority? Which of the tasks are repetitive and can be automated?
Take the time to reflect on these and similar questions. You can also write them down and assign points for current efficiency, effort, frequency, and priority, for example. This will help you get the big picture, and understand where you need to improve.
Define your objectives in the software search
Define your goals and what exactly you want to achieve with the software. The answer will help you identify the functionalities you should be looking for. If you want to manage multi-location, for example, look for a coworking management platform that supports managing several entities from one account.
If you want to improve your billing process, look for software that has seamless integration with the payment gateways and the accounting software you are using.
Also, don’t miss to consider the needs of your community. Have your members asked for anything in particular that you think you might be able to deliver with software? Do your members need a highly automated environment in the first place?
Research coworking software management vendors
Once you’ve set your objectives, get to know the solutions on the market. There is no doubt that there are plenty of options and booking a demo with all of them sounds tempting. However, talking to all vendors and seeing all the products in action will most likely be overwhelming and might create a huge mess in your head.
Try to make an initial research on your own by using the information on the vendors’ websites or product listing platforms like Capterra. Validate if the software solves your current problems and if it supports your long-term vision. Also, check what integration the software supports. You’d like to check the billing and accounting integrations, as well as any other coworking apps and systems you use such as door access, marketing systems, CRMs, etc.
Have in mind that it’s easy to get caught up in the variety of features that the solutions on the market offer. Taking the time to reflect on your goals will help you sort through the clutter. Based on that, shortlist your best choices and book a 1:1 with them only.
See the shortlisted vendors in action
Your aim here is to validate if and how the product solves your problems and if it’s worth the investment. Ask to be shown how the features described on the vendor’s website actually work. Also, try to see if your most unusual tasks, or the ones you make most exceptions with, can be solved.
Don’t forget to ask for the software implementation. How long does it take? Is there a dedicated onboarding specialist who will help you? What are the training opportunities for you and future members of your team?
Take advantage of the trial version of the management platform. If you’re not feeling confident in tech, it would be better to have some explanation first (book a demo call) and start a trial right after that (so you don’t forget the things that were shown to you during the demo). If you’re tech-savvy and/or you have specific tasks you want to check, you might consider starting a trial first, writing down particular questions and asking them on a Demo call later on.
If you want to learn more about software evaluation, check out our guide How To Select the Best Software for Your Coworking or Flex Space. Inside, you’ll find more about how to identify your business needs, how to set your operational priorities and how to evaluate software vendors. Also, you’ll get 3 worksheets, that will help you go through the process with ease:
- A checklist to help you keep track of the evaluation process
- A worksheet to help you define your operational priorities
- A worksheet for the responsive roles in the evaluation process
We hope that this article was useful!