June 16, A bunch of people who share a large workshop and meet on a regular basis to do projects and get some input. A place where kids can learn to build robots instead of becoming robots. A little community-driven factory, or just a lair for hackers. The world needs more of these spaces, and every hackerspace, makerspace or fab lab has its very own way of making it work.
These posts will appear on a more-or-less weekly basis, and will focus on mission-critical topics related to founding and running creative manufacturing spaces.
The first post in the series, discussing how to acquire insurance for makerspaces, can be found here. A couple of quick notes before we get started.
First of all, you probably want to keep a spreadsheet open as you read through this primer so that you can take notes and write down example figures. Lastly, please regard all your projected numbers from this exercise with a big grain of salt; you need to confirm your actual expenses before starting down the path of creating a sustainable business.
Characterizing Your Space 1. Type of Space Before we jump into the numbers, you need to know what kind of space you want to put together, and how big you want it to be. Are you looking to share a garage with your friends? Establish a small, close-knit community of makers with a couple of shared tools?
Create a sustainable, staffed business with a diverse income? Create a community center or hardware incubator for your entire institution or city?
This question will affect the rest of your decision making, so spend some time thinking about it. Size of Space How big is your space? How big do you want it to be eventually? What kinds of uses do you want out of your space?
Classrooms, workshops, storage, and rental studios all take up significant amounts of space. A couple of examples of spaces with staff include: Space Distribution How is your space divided up between workshops, classrooms, offices, rental areas, and the like?
Most of the population density figures you see below come from The Engineering Toolboxa handy reference for architects and engineers. This is dead space that you cannot use, and must keep clear in order to pass fire and building code inspections.
Your percentage will vary based on your architecture. Front desks, sign-in kiosks, and the like generally take square feet, if you need them.
Think about how many people you want gathered at any one time, and realize that seated people need a minimum of square feet per person. Do you want to dedicate space to tools? If so, you need to allow for enough space for people to work safely. Many groups have had success using the Grizzly Workshop Planner to lay out their space.
Our hometown is a very crowded city with relatively dense real estate, and our members valued studio space above all else. Make sure to include some space for shelving square feet per shelf unit if you can. Do you want to display member work, or advertise your services?
Keep in mind how much space that might take up. Are you selling material, goods, or services? Pay attention to how much your rent is, as that will drive the rest of your business plan.
Keep in mind that the larger you are, the less you pay per floor area, and the closer you are to a city center, the more you pay. You read those points right — two equally-sized makerspaces, one in Detroit and one in Boston, might have a difference in rent as high aspercent.
Your entire business plan will likely be driven by this expense, so make your choice wisely.The final plan shouldn’t be a static blueprint, but more of a living document that will guide your business decisions. Generally speaking, business plans have 6 main sections: an executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management, description of products and services, and a marketing plan.
Revenue Model: The initial plan will be for approximately half of expenses to be met by memberships and the other half from sales of services and supplies. 50 members, each at an average of $50/month provides $2,/month of lowoverhead revenue.
Hackerspace Initiative DRAFT: Do not copy:Xer 0 Dynamite Mission and Statement of Purpose: 1.
It seems to me you are thinking of starting a school, sort of a Dalton plan technical college or something similar.
However, every dream starts somewhere. The way to start is to find/build/inspire a community of people who want it to happen. Generally speaking, business plans have 6 main sections: an executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management, description of products and services, and a marketing plan.
The Small Business Administration has some great online tools and downloadable templates to help you navigate the process.
In order to generate a pro-forma and set pricing, the market analysis and . Today, we'll be discussing common types of expenses and income that makerspaces around the world experience on a regular basis in order to help you create a business model for a space of your own.
In the process of identifying these expenses and income, we'll review examples from several well-established spaces across the U.S. for reference.