Locally Known Cowork is a community-driven coworking space located in the heart of downtown Sequim, Washington.
This beautifully designed space sparks creativity and serves as a home away from home, complete with vibrant plants, burning candles, and a friendly face to grab a drink with at the coffee shop next door.
Megan Cyphers is the trailblazer behind Locally Known. As the CEO and Founder of a creative marketing agency by the same name, she was growing tired of the monotony of remote work and was looking for an office space to work out of.
She decided to take the opportunity to transform her rural community of 8,000 people by opening the first and only coworking space in Sequim.
Opening a coworking space in a small community comes with its own set of unique challenges, from educating the market to maintaining profitability. Megan has braved the storms and successfully paved the way for other coworking spaces to find success in cities outside of major coworking hubs.
Here’s how Megan has brought a new concept to her community, automated all of her major day-to-day processes, and drove over 50% of new sign-ups through her website with the help of Optix.
“Our tagline is, hit refresh on your work from home culture. It's a great place for people to be more efficient with their time and more efficient with their work. It's like being home without having to be in your own space.”
Selecting the ideal software partner
Given that Megan has a successful marketing agency to run, she wanted to make managing a coworking space as easy as possible.
She didn’t want to be manually signing people up or managing bookings every day. From the start, she knew she wanted to automate as many aspects of the day-to-day space management as possible.
Megan evaluated a number of tools on the market to find the one to fit the needs of her small but mighty community.
What initially attracted her to Optix was the custom built White-labeled App. Given her background in marketing and branding, having a consistent brand and delivering a unified customer experience was extremely important to Megan.
The beautifully designed user interface and ease of use was also an important element in the decision making process. Because Optix was so easy to learn and start using, Megan could get up and running with it right away.
The opportunity to elevate her brand, along with the potential to easily automate the day-to-day operations of her space is what ultimately drove Megan to choose Optix as her coworking software of choice.
Streamlining day-to-day operations
With the right technology in place, Megan could begin to create a hands-off management experience for her small team. Here’s how Megan is using Optix to power Locally Known.
Driving revenue with Web Widgets
Web Widgets are fully customizable tools that extend Optix capabilities to your website. Megan has a number of widgets set up on her site, including the Sign-Up widget to drive members to sign-up for her space, and the Drop-in Booking widget to prompt prospective members to make a booking.
Widgets make it easy for any individual to land on the Locally Known website and perform an action. Because widgets are fully customizable, they match the Locally Known branding perfectly and integrate seamlessly into the website.
By making this process simple and streamlined, Megan has been able to drive over 50% of new sign-ups through her website.
“The sign up form that pops up right into my website has been really nice. All of the widgets that I have live, I utilize almost every day.”
Automating bookings with a White-labeled App
Automation is huge for Megan who is managing two businesses and a number of competing tasks. With a White-labeled app, not only is she delivering a consistent brand experience, but she is also empowering her members to do everything they need to do independently on their mobile device.
From checking into the space to making a booking, members are able to use the app as their primary point of interaction with the space. With QR codes posted around the room, it’s easy for members to find exactly what they need in the app.
Over the last year, members have made over 500 bookings through the Locally Known app and her widgets, saving Megan and her small team countless hours in manual management.
Streamlining payments with Stripe
Another big automation win for Megan is automating billing and invoicing processes through the Optix and Stripe integration. Thanks to this powerful integration, Megan has automated over 200 invoice payments since opening.
Megan has taken the integration one step further by extending it to a physical card reader. That way members can also simply tap their card to the reader to make a payment.
Communicating with members via Messaging
Being a new concept in a small town, questions from members are often popping up. The Locally Known community is using Optix messaging as their primary way of communicating, both with one another and with Megan.
When there’s a question about how something works, or if Megan needs to make an announcement, it can be done in Optix. In the last year, there have been over 600 messages sent in and around the community!
Bringing a new concept to life in Sequim
Establishing a new business with an unfamiliar concept in a small town isn’t always easy. Megan has had to educate others on what coworking is (and isn’t) while exploring new ways of maximizing the space, like opening it up to after-hour events.
What’s really helped Megan find success is taking her marketing background and applying it to her members to design products and offers that fit their needs. Whether that’s flexible membership options or event rental opportunities, her commitment to her members is what’s pushing Locally Known to stand out in a small community.
Her unwavering belief in the coworking concept is also what makes her a trailblazer, both in her community and in the coworking sector at large. “I think trailblazing new industries in small cities is so cool. I feel like small cities are so quick to get overlooked with stuff like this. Being a hub in a small city is a very hidden gem,” says Megan.
As Megan continues her journey into the world of coworking, we’re happy to support her in paving the way for other aspiring coworking owners!