Tony Bacigalupo connected with Lei Ray Xun of SimplyWork all the way in China to talk about the industry’s growth over there.
SimplyWork has eight spaces all over ShenZhen, China and are looking to expand. The size of the spaces and amount of members in them varies. Bigger spaces host around 500 members while smaller spaces host around 200.
Both founders studied abroad have been able to create a community of openness. Upon returning to China, the two founders decided to rent a small space for themselves to work in, decorate it to their liking, and rent out the extra space to friends with businesses. That way, could be surrounded by people they like in an environment they enjoy. A local venture capitalist saw what they were doing and saw a lot of promise.
Having funding was the primary reason SimplyWork was able to open so many spaces. They did not get a lot of money from the government. In fact, most of it came from private investors and people who support what they do. It was important that the founders already had a strong network of support around them. Their network helped word about their space spread naturally. Then, as they developed good programming, SimplyWork experienced massive growth.
SimplyWork started in 2015 and has experienced rapid growth since. The speed to which they were able to attract members and grow their business is because of how effective their team worked. The team put a lot of effort into making sure SimplyWork was comfortable to people of all backgrounds.
Additionally, the community managers help engage members. They are familiar with what they do and with what help or resources they need may be. This allows them to connect their members with solutions to potential or existing problems. Not only that, but members have also taken it upon themselves to cultivate a strong community of people. Members from different spaces even gather once a week to play basketball together showing community between the spaces, not just within. SimplyWork makes members feel like the center of the space which is what allows the community to run itself.