There are many reasons why you may be considering setting up a work space: it may be just to create a simple space for you and a friend, you may be growing a new business that requires a larger more visible space, you may wish to set up a networking
What is your vision?
Clearly decide what you want to do and what you do not want to do. If you are working in partnership, or a group, ensure that you fully understand what your shared objectives are. Have a list of clear objectives (in order of importance) written down at the start of the project that can act as a reference guide as the project progresses.
Who is involved?
If you are developing this project by yourself – consider what skills you will need at all stages. If you are working with a group of people – assess everyone’s individual skills and understand the gaps. Do you need specific training or access to other partners or mentors to assist the process?
Who are your community?
At an early stage you need to consider what the relationship of the project is to a specific creative community that you may wish to directly attract or support, or the wider community that surrounds the building. Seriously consider how important communities are to your overall plan and whether a specific neighbourhood is important in the choice of location.
What is your business model idea?
Explore different scenarios about how your idea can work and what future work you need to do to have a viable working plan of action. Understand key issues: are you renting or buying a property, your desired timespan of project (long or short term), what are the core activities in the space, how will the space generate an income – what is the realistic financial mix, what grant funding or support loans may be needed, what partnerships are essential, who will run the space and overall sustainability
What research and communication?
There are many examples of other creative spaces and creative business models, so research existing models (nationally and internationally) that you identify with and use this information as a collaged template to start to structure your own vision. Clearly identify and understand the need of your creative space in the location areas you are considering – and understand any possible competition. It is important at this early stage to consider how you will begin to talk to others about your project and increase awareness. Do you need to survey, or set up meetings with particular communities to test your idea? Use different social media to identify possible new audiences and tenants and then understand what forms of future communication/website would be most effective to support your specific project.