For Samantha Davies, founder of Platypus Coworking, the idea of a coworking space went beyond an open office area with “hot desks”.
Sam envisioned a modern space, you can comfortably call your “business home”, providing the opportunity to connect and collaborate, network and engage with other like-minded business owners and professionals in the Ballarat area.
It was important to Sam to be able to offer a variety of affordable plans with the flexibility and access to first-class office facilities to suit small and larger businesses.
To understand and learn more about Sam’s personal journey as an entrepreneur, she shares some insight into how she was able to put it all together.
Sam, how did you come up with the name of your company?
When the Platypus was first documented by European settlers, people thought it was made up of a number of different animals - birds, fish even a beaver as it had parts that resembled many different animals. A bit of a hybrid if you like.
I saw this as a great way to describe coworking, and in particular my coworking space as many different types of people and businesses utilise it, plus we offer a variety of office spaces depending on what space you’re looking for.
Since opening, I have also been told Platypus is unique which I like as well.
So, how did the idea for your business come about?
I had previous experience working in building management looking after the staff who worked in it and I enjoyed this, so when looking for a business venture, I read about coworking I saw that it would utilise a combination of my skills and what I enjoy doing the most. At the time, in 2018, Ballarat didn't have any coworking venues either so it was a fantastic opportunity to start something of my own.
How do you market your business, and which strategies have been most successful?
Otherwise, I also use Google ads to help people searching locally find us and it’s worked really well.
Word of mouth has served us well too and works so well in a regional community like Ballarat.
In what ways does your business give back to the local community?
We like to promote local community events via our social media accounts and our monthly newsletter. We have also allowed some local community organisations to use our meeting room for meetings for free.
As we grow, I hope to increase giving back to the local community where we can.
What size of businesses mostly choose to work in your coworking space?
We have many solo operator businesses, who love the flexibility we offer and we also have some bigger national businesses who use the office space.
Coworking allows any business, regardless of size, the ability to have a professional office space they can use for one day to full-time and everything in-between. It’s been great for businesses that may have one or two staff satellite working from Ballarat and where the head office is based in Melbourne. It saves on the daily commute to Melbourne which is a win-win for everyone involved.
Mention one thing that a first-timer notices when come to Platypus Coworking …
How much bigger the space is than they expect and what great natural light we have.
I designed the space with local award-winning architect, Talina Edwards and the open central space and natural light were important foundational elements.
What is unique about your coworking space?
Simple. The view!
How would you describe your workplace culture?
Welcoming and wanting to see how we can help the different businesses that come through the door.
What is the one thing most entrepreneurs find most attractive by choosing to work at Platypus Coworking?
By far, it’s the ability to get more work done!
The feedback is that by separating personal and business by no longer working from home, they’re more productive and focused and can get through so much more work than working at home. There are no distractions at Platypus such as having to hang out the washing, or flicking on the TV, or stacking the dishwasher.
For some, this is one day a week right through to every day of the working week. Flexibility is key!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a successful entrepreneur?
Talk to others and test your product. Do some market research with your potential ideal customers before jumping into an unknown market.
Summarise the platypus coworking space in 3 words...
Open, Modern, and Responsive.
Takeaways For You...
From the chat with Sam, it’s clear that every successful business needs specific components in their business to become successful. From Sam’s journey, we learn that:
For your next business name, be sure to pick a relevant, unique and memorable business name.
Always remember to network with other business owners for ideas, feedback and further connections.
It’s important to test your products and services well before beginning the launch and roll-out.
When searching for a business idea look for unique and less competitive opportunities.
Google and social media platforms are powerful marketing platforms to explore and make effective use of to help grow your business.
Since 2018, Platypus Coworking has hosted and helped hundreds of businesses begin their journey and we know that Sam will go on to help many more in the Ballarat area.
Come in and try Platypus for yourself - get a free day pass use coupon BLOG.