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Co-Living & Co-Working

Co-Living & Co-Working

Gaps in Urban Living and Working

Living and working are two fundamental necessities of life. For studies and careers or work and occupation, it is common for people to move out of their homes and hometowns or move to new places. For students, most of the headache is addressed by their guardians including covering for their finances. But for millions of working professionals around the world, shifting bases is not an easy thing. Their organisations, universities, or clients may not provide them with living solutions. On top of that, moving to a new city comes with other challenges as well. The challenges include finding rooms and apartments, customising the place of stay, setting up a kitchen, streamlining grocery purchases, finding laundry and housekeeping services, etc. This is where co-living comes into the picture.

Conventionally, offices are the physical places where people go and deliver their services (work). As the world becomes a bigger and wider place in terms of business and economics, the need for the services of people and value chain entities has also increased. New startups are mushrooming – playing one role or the other in the value and supply chains of multiple industries and sectors. This is also true for independently working professionals whose services are hired by organisations. These organisations and professionals then require office space to work from. This is while technology has made it feasible and commercially sustainable to maintain remote workforces and work remotely. Where will the space to accommodate the emerging spatial requirements for setting up offices come from? On the other hand, spiralling real-estate prices make it challenging for MSMEs and independent professionals to set up offices. All these factors combined have created a gap as to wherefrom the exchange of services takes place. Co-working knocks here.

What is Co-Living?

Think of co-living as hostels for rent with built-in home-like infrastructure for ease and convenience. Co-living service providers deliver a comprehensive service package where occupants get an extensively-furnished space. Generally, in one co-living unit (a flat or apartment or set of rooms), multiple occupants live together and pay separately on a per-person basis charged by the service provider. They get separate rooms with common kitchens, halls, television, internet, etc. Here is a list of assets and services commonly found in co-living arrangements:

  • Multiple numbers of rooms with or without air-conditioning
  • Electricity and water supply
  • Common hall, television, music system, gaming consoles
  • Furnished kitchens with accessories, dishwasher
  • Restrooms, washing machine and dryer
  • Housekeeping services
  • Wi-Fi internet
  • Doorman services
  • Community events
  • CCTV surveillance

Co-living can include more assets and services depending on what a service provider chooses to offer. As per the offerings, the rental, charges, and security deposit requirements go up or vary.

One of the most valuable outcomes of the co-living industry is the emergence of co-living solutions for senior citizens. This is not to be confused with old-age homes where the residents may need medical care and attention and/or extensive support systems.

What is Co-Working?

Think of co-working as clubs or gyms but for work. In normal clubs, people go for leisure and entertainment purposes but in co-working, people go for work. In gyms, people go for workouts but in co-working, people go for work. It is a common space for all with the fundamental assets and services required for work. People can go as individuals or in groups and use the setup to do their work. The service providers charge fees for the same. Here are some of the commonly found services in co-working arrangements:

  • Fully-furnished office space
  • Air-Conditioning
  • Coffee and refreshment
  • Restrooms
  • Individual workstations
  • Meeting/conference rooms
  • Private offices
  • Wi-Fi Internet
  • Security, CCTV surveillance

Like in co-living, different co-working service providers offer different work setup services and solutions to individuals as well as enterprises. However, co-working is relatively a much simpler concept than that of co-living.

Similarities between Co-Living & Co-Working

  • Ready-made solutions for living and working
  • Shared Economy, Shared Costs
  • Driven by the essence of community-based principles and advantages
  • An opportunity to live or work with people from the same profession
  • Meeting point of professionals from diverse specialisations within or beyond one field
  • Charges as per offerings availed
  • Open to students, employed, self-employed, freelancers, businessmen and independent professionals in groups or as individuals
  • Makes it easy to quickly find living solutions and a physical place to work
  • Both are proven business models and complement one another

Differences between Co-Living & Co-Working

  • Co-living is a dwelling solution while co-working is a workspace and setup solution
  • Depending on the region, laws may be more stringent in the case of co-living
  • Co-working places may be governed by stipulated working hours
  • Co-living has a greater bearing on the personal-transactional lives of the occupants; co-working, by default, keeps the personal lives of the co-workers separate from work

Business Challenges in Co-Living & Co-Working

Market Understanding and Product Design Requirements: Co-living and co-working are two evolving industries. They flourish in modern cities with high urbanisation, educational hubs, high employment opportunities, a large working class, business centres, and any other hallmark of a big and growing city. However, the mere presence of these factors does not translate into market potential or make it easier to identify the right target segments. Local and prevailing cultural and traditional factors play a big role in deciphering whether or not modern concepts like co-living will be accepted. In the case of co-working, the equation is more about how well-connected and aligned a city is in terms of employment, business, and trade and commerce with the rest of the country or the world. The business models and product designs depend on these and other related market factors.

Commercial and Financial Sustainability: Starting a co-living and co-working business calls for high initial investments and operating expenditure if starting from scratch. Major expense heads applicable are the purchase of land and buildings and the purchase of fixed assets. Then there are operating costs like lease and rental charges, housekeeping, asset maintenance, electricity bills, water supply, etc. Running a co-living and co-working business is almost like running a multi-starred platform for living and working as the case may be. Not making the necessary numerical assessments can jeopardise a business on its commercial and financial fronts.

Streamlining Processes and Operations: As said earlier, running a co-living or co-working business is almost like running a multi-starred platform for living or working. Parallels can be drawn with hotel management but for living or working purposes. Various important operations include housekeeping, asset maintenance, IT support, check-in and check-out, reservations, safety and security, electricity and power, accounts and finance, HR and admin, and inventory management. Each of these operations will have its unique requirements and standards aligned to business goals and coordinated with other business processes. Streamlining business processes and operations in co-living and co-working businesses is a massive and complicated task that calls for a professional approach. Even a small deviation in operations planning could adversely affect services and customer experience.

Establishing a Brand Identity and Maintaining Brand Consistency: As co-living and co-working are new concepts and competition levels may not yet be harsh everywhere, setting a brand identity already has many inherent challenges. In branding efforts, the need is to convey the message of value or utility of what a brand has to offer. Both co-living and co-working offer ‘space to live or work’ which is universal. The challenge for businesses here is to convey what they stand for within those brackets.

In co-living and co-working, consistency in branding is maintained when consistency in services is maintained. As business and operations expand, maintaining consistency in the services keeps on getting more challenging. Without robust operations planning, it would only be a matter of days before the cracks in the functioning begin to show up.

Achieving Space Optimisation: In both co-living and co-working, space optimisation is important for some common as well as unique reasons. The foremost necessity comes from the scarcity of space. Making the best possible use of the available space could mean more space to accommodate more customers without compromising on visuals and functionalities. Apart from commercial benefits, layout planning is also instrumental in lending speed and accuracy to many important operations. The challenge here in layout planning is getting it right the first time. Once the things are set, it is difficult to change them again. Repeatedly changing the layout is neither financially ideal nor is it favourable from the perspective of customer experience.

Franchise Management: Franchising is a commonly used business expansion strategy in the co-living and co-working industry. It has brought success to many. But it is as much capable of pulling down an already successful brand. The catch in franchising is defining the rules of the game covering the roles and responsibilities of both the franchisor and the franchisee. Irrespective of the form of franchising, this principle does not change. The onus is on the franchisors to put measures in place that will safeguard their brand identity and see to it that those measures are adhered to by all stakeholders involved whether inside or outside the organisation. Without an insightful understanding of how to make franchising work, even experienced businesses have learned lessons the hard way. This applies to franchisees also as they need to secure their interests as well.

Why YRC Business Consulting?

We are a retail and eCommerce consulting enterprise with more than 11 years in business and a scaling global footprint. We have worked with 500+ clients hailing from over 20+ verticals. Our projects are handled by a team of experienced business consultants. Our services and solutions are designed following planned and proven principles and processes. In the co-living and co-working sector, startups and businesses of all sizes can avail YRC’s extensive range of services as per their unique business requirements.

Market Research

Market research is one of the fundamental requirements before starting any business. In market research, our objective is to help clients quickly gain relevant and detailed insights and analysis on an extensive list of parameters pertaining to the target markets. As co-living and co-working industries are in their nascent stages, we highly recommend that thorough market research be conducted whether outsourced or done by internal resources.

Business Model Development

In co-living and co-working business model development, we assist our clients in establishing their businesses on strong value-based fundamentals. Here, we help in identifying the right value propositions for the right customer segments. The value chain is mapped charting the best possible routes and the key activities required to develop and deliver the identified UVPs to the target segments with the help of key partners. All possible revenue streams are assessed. Major cost heads and key resource requirements are identified. The best channel options are also determined. In co-working and co-living business model development, it is important to bear in mind that these two share similitudes with hotels and service apartments.

Financial & Commercial Planning

In financial and commercial planning, we assess the numbers and statistics required to convincingly take a business idea off the ground and keep it flying. The assessments cover demand forecasting, sales and revenue projections, CAPEX and OPEX requirements, estimated P/L statements, ROI and break-even analysis, and purchase planning. These financial and commercial assessments are also central to co-living business plans or co-working business plans.

Layout Planning

One of the major concerns for businesses in the co-living and co-working industry is making the best use of the available space while maintaining the desired visual appeal and delivering superior customer experience. Our speed and expertise in layout planning help our clients quickly finalise the layout of their co-living or co-working space.

SOP Development & Implementation

SOP development & implementation assistance is one of our core competencies. We use it for defining the operational roadmaps of business processes and operations. Every process is defined with high levels of detailing. The workflows are mapped for every process. The standards of input and output are established for every task and every process. Coordination among all business processes is ensured. SOP-IT integration is done.

Franchise Consulting

Franchise consulting is an important part of our co-living and co-working business solutions. In franchise consulting, we help define the key strategies, prepare the financial and commercial forecasts, support in franchise partner search, draft the franchise agreements, design and develop franchise SOP manuals, and define the franchise audit processes. In a nutshell, YRC offers an extensive range of services involved in franchising a business.

To know more about our co-working and co-living business solutions or to speak to one of our expert business consultants, please drop us a message and we will reach out to you.


How do I Start a co-working Space Business?

Co-working is a relatively new concept that makes it treading in uncharted waters even for the veterans. Fortunately, the fundamentals of starting a business do not undergo any major change. Here are some key considerations for starting a co-working space:

  1.       Market Research – Regulations, competition, demand, gaps, market size, targetable segments, consumer behaviour, pricing, dominant values and cultural factors, etc.
  2.       Business Model Development – Value proposition, value chain and key activities, key resources and capabilities, key partners, revenue streams, major costs, etc.
  3.       Financial and Commercial Planning – Demand forecasts, revenue projections, CAPEX & OPEX requirements, ROI and breakeven, etc.
  4.       Operations Planning – SOPs, IT and process automation, SOP-IT integration, etc.
  5.       Layout Planning – Visual appeal, space optimisation, revenue maximisation, etc.

6.       Hiring and Training Strategy – Emphasis on job as well as industry-specific skills and competencies aided by relevant training and development

Is co-working a Profitable Business?

Co-working is a new business concept. Many challenges in this business are also new and there is very little we know about them. Before starting a co-working space and expecting it to be profitable, it is important to conduct thorough market research and prepare the financial and commercial assessments and projections.

How do I Grow my co-working Business?

There is no simple answer to this question. The following approaches can be considered.

We should assess the impact of the marketing and promotional efforts keeping customer acquisition in measurable terms. If these are not effective, we must re-work on them.

Growth and expansion can also be achieved by increasing the capacity to handle more customers. In co-working, acquiring or developing additional space to accommodate more customers can solve the problem.

Adding new or premium services in the offing also helps attract more customer segments and increase revenue.

Location is also a constraint sometimes. Co-working can consider exploring new markets or localities for opening new branches.

Done right, franchising can also prove to be a masterstroke to achieve business growth and expansion.

Any growth and expansion move must be carried out with proper planning and due adherence to all relevant and applicable factors.

How do I Market my co-living Business?

Good service is the best form of promotion. Here are some add-ons for consideration:

Approach corporates and educational institutions for brand promotion

Tie up with corporates for co-living solutions to their employees

Encourage customers to share their positive reviews on the business’s website and social media handles

Address critical reviews in a positive and constructive manner on digital platforms

Invite testimonials from customers who are also well-known personalities

Add quality content in the form of photographs and videos of business locations and services on business websites and social media handles

Let’s Talk!

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    We work only for Visionaries.


    The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

    In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

    Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

    Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

    YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.


    No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

    Photography includes the following steps:

    • Cataloguing your products
    • Cataloguing your images
    • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
    • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)


    Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

    Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

    These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

    Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

    This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.


    Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

    YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

    IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

    This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

    Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.


    • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
    • Where should your Warehouse be located?
    • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
    • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
    • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
    • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
    • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
    • How much space do I require for warehouse?
    • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.


    At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

    We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

    Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.


    This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

    Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

    From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

    Part 2: UX Designing:

    “UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

    UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

    “As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

    An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

    Part 3: UI Designing:

    UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

    A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

    The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

    If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

    At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!


    This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

    In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

    Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

    Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

    Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

    Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

    Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

    Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.


    Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

    Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

    • In-house Design Team
    • Freelance Designers
    • Outsourced Design Team
    • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

    At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

    These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

    If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

    Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.


    Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

    Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

    It is an integral part to attract the target audience.


    Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

    SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

    At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.


    Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

    CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

    CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

    At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.


    Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

    Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

    Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

    YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.


    Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.