Many people dream of being their own boss, having the flexibility to work whenever and wherever they want, without office politics or uniform and the potential to earn a good income.
In contrast, there are disadvantages associated with self employment, for example many miss the social aspect of working with other people. To fill in the social gap and potential isolation related to self-employment, some independent workers rent coworking spaces found in buildings within towns and cities around the world.
One such coworking space THEMANROOM can be found in the diverse suburb of Richmond, 3km from Melbourne's CBD.
Here we have an interview with Chrystal Psaltopoulos, Co-founder of THEMANROOM. Chrystal shares the philosophy behind her coworking community creation.
Describe your business and the products services you offer?
My husband and I run a co-working space in Richmond called THEMANROOM. It’s an intimate and collaborative coworking space located at 240 Burnley Street Richmond, Melbourne.
Coworking is also the social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but who share values and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with like-minded talented people in the same space.
We provide a communal workspace which is used by a whole range of people- from bloggers, designers, journalists to writers. We also hire out the space for events and classes. Our philosophy is that by working together we can achieve anything - collaboration is the key. We're passionate about coworking and we're committed to community creation.
How long have you been in business?
We’ve been running THEMANROOM for a little over 12 months.
What kind of online and offline marketing do you do which is working for you?
All the advertising we’ve done has been pretty much online through social media ie. Twitter and Instagram. Word of mouth has been very powerful and once we’ve established contacts- word spreads quickly. There’s been hardly any offline marketing.
What mistakes have you made in running your business and what lessons have you learnt from those?
I can’t say we’ve really made mistakes but we have learnt a lot as we’ve gone on. Our point of difference with our coworking spaces is that they’re small and intimate. They’re not large and corporate like where you feel lost amongst the masses. We want to foster a positive and cohesive working community where people are free to work independently or side by side if they want to. The closeness allows people to interact and network in a way that isn’t usually fostered or encouraged in other environments.
How was your website helped you run your business?
Our website is key to our business success as it provides a point of reference for people. There are images of the space, media write ups as well as general information and contacts for coworking.
How did you come up with your business name?
Our business name THEMANROOM- originated from a room we have at home. With 3 males in the house they wanted to have a space to go to and just hang. Over time this room became the focal point of the house. We would sit there as a family to talk, discuss plans for the day, watch tv, read or the kids would do their homework. It truly became a meeting place and a coworking space within our home. So when deciding on a name for our business THEMANROOM just seemed to fit. It is an unusual name and I think that gives it a point of difference.
THEMANROOM can be found online, and contacted by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chrystal also writes a lifestyle blog at chrystalovevintage and writes for Mum’s Lounge and StyleHunter.