Fueled Collective member survey shows economic power of coworking

Each year we survey our members to find out how we’re doing – and how they’re doing. This year’s survey came back with a clear message about the health of the our community. In short, the Fueled Collective community is an economic engine that produces prosperity for owners, employees and service providers alike.

Quick background: this year’s survey was given to all members of Fueled Collective, across our 5 locations. Amongst the 32% of members who completed the survey, they self-identified as:

  • Individuals (consultants, freelancers or telecommuters) – approx. 50% of respondents
  • Employers (business owners or business unit managers who had employees working at Fueled Collective) – approx. 10% of respondents
  • Employees (people who work for an employer at Fueled Collective) – approx. 40%

Finding #1: our members are thriving and hiring

Our survey showed that 1,077 new employees were hired in 2017 among members responding to the survey. Roughly 3/4 of employers and 1/3 of individuals expect to add new employees in 2018 that would be based out of Fueled Collective (including part- or full-time positions).

Finding #2: our members are big spenders

As in the previous year, the survey told us that Fueled Collective members contribute significantly to the local and regional economies by spending on business services internally with other members and with local restaurants and other businesses.

Nearly 40% of our employer members reported spending money (cash or barter) in 2017 with other Fueled Collective members for services, with a median transaction amount of between $5,000 and $9,999. Employers spent more money with companies outside of Fueled Collective, with a median spend amount of between $50,000 and $99,999. More than one-third spending over $100,000.

Our individual members also have an economic impact. More than one-quarter (29%) of them reported spending money (cash or barter) in 2017 with other Fueled Collective members for services, with a median transaction amount of between $1,000 and $4,999.

 

Other interesting findings

Survey results show that the Fueled Collective membership includes a variety of employers and individuals of different sizes, types and industries.

Industry representation

Some of the more common industries represented at Fueled Collective include advertising, marketing, or public relations, consulting, non-profit or non-governmental organizations, software development and technology.

Age of business

The survey shows that Fueled Collective are not just fresh-faced startups. Our membership includes a considerable portion of experienced business owners.

  • Amongst employer respondents, the largest percentage (38%) reported being in business for 3 to 5 years.
  • Nearly one quarter of employer respondents and 28% of individual respondents reported being in business for more than 10 years.
  • Only 12% of employer and individual respondents report being in business for 1 year or less.

Business types

The survey confirms that Fueled Collective is not purely a startup hub, but actually skews heavily toward small businesses (63%) focused in the area of professional services (38%).

Top challenges

Members anticipate challenges in 2018 most commonly in areas of:

  • Marketing
  • Lead generation
  • Increased sales
  • Talent acquisition and retention

Some conclusions

This year’s survey results confirm some phenomena that we’ve observed but haven’t always been able to quantify:

  • The amount of commerce between members is significant. This may be due to the familiarity that develops between members, as well as organic networking that our culture encourages.
  • Coworking is seeing a shift from its roots in the startup and tech worlds. Note that only 13% of respondents identified as startups and only 25% identified as being in the technology industry. That said, we’ve observed that even if they don’t identify in the tech industry, most of our members make heavy use of new technology to pursue their business goals.

Enterprise is making a showing in coworking. This is something that is being reported extensively in the media. Larger corporations are increasingly making use of coworking for different reasons, including improving recruitment efforts, lowering real estate costs, gaining flexibility and boosting employee satisfaction.