GOWANUS — They're looking for ladies who launch, not ladies who lunch.
A new business coaching and shared working space in Gowanus is tailored for female entrepreneurs who want to take their businesses to the next level. Or, as co-owners Aja Davis and Molly Pinney like to put it, their target customers are women who want to "grow the sh-- out of their business."
Clients of Cowork in Brooklyn get personal coaching from Davis and Pinney and a space to work alongside fellow female business heads. Davis and Pinney, who are engaged to be married, say the service fulfills two crucial needs for women who start their own businesses: accountability and community.
"Just because you work for yourself doesn't mean you have to work by yourself," said Pinney, who is also the founder and CEO of the nonprofit Global Autism Project.
She and Davis, who owns New Body Boot Camp NYC fitness studio, got inspired to start their own co-working business after they shopped around for shared work spaces for themselves. They were disappointed when clients they spoke with said using a traditional co-working space did little to boost their productivity.
"That's what made us say, wait a minute, there's a problem with co-working," Pinney said. "There's no one who cares if you show up."
At Cowork in Brooklyn, Davis and Pinney sit down with clients and map out action steps for achieving goals each week, then they check in later to make sure clients are moving forward. Goals are set every Monday, and clients must give an update on "key performance indicators" every Thursday. Clients also get nuts and bolts instruction on business tasks such as creating a website and using Facebook for marketing.
Michele Fox, who runs Riding With Us, a website for owners of classic cars, has been a Cowork in Brooklyn client since October and has already seen results. Davis and Pinney helped her set up a successful online fundraising campaign for her website's nonprofit arm. She's also found a community of like-minded professionals, she said.
"When you're working on your own, it's always good to have support around you," Fox said. "They're really great at keeping you accountable."
Pinney and Davis describe their service as "high-end coaching" for "serious, committed" business owners. Their current members are trying to achieve monthly business incomes between $15,000 and $40,000.
Davis and Pinney don't have business degrees or professional coaching certifications, but last year they completed B-School, a training program by business and self-improvement guru Marie Forleo. Inspired by that experience, they started a weekly meetup in their apartment for female professionals.
When the storefront around the corner from Davis' fitness studio became available, they jumped at chance to open Cowork in Brooklyn there. So far the clients they've signed up include a lawyer who runs a "virtual law firm," and a blogger looking to turn her website into a viable business so she can quit her day job.
Depending on how much one-on-one coaching they want, Cowork in Brooklyn clients pay fees ranging from $500 to $4,000 a month for the use of a light airy workspace with sleek desks and a conference room at Third Avenue and Union Street. But the real selling point at Cowork in Brooklyn is the advice, instruction and support from Davis and Pinney, they said.
"We look at things that are really going to move the needle for your business," Davis said. "There's a difference between 'busy-ness' and getting things done in your business. We're holding them accountable to the goals that they set."