Congratulations! You are here because you want to start or are thinking of starting your own Maker Space and that’s the first step- getting the intention straight. But you are stuck and overwhelmed, you have ideas by the million but no way of streamlining your thoughts, this post will help you with that- clear out the confusion in your head and provide some much needed- direction.
a. Vision: If you can answer this piece of the puzzle, you have won half the battle. Why are you opening up this space? What is the vision for it? Setting the vision for a maker space or any other endeavour for that matter help prioritise all your needs and decisions.
b. Audience: You have your vision in place, now you need to think about who is this vision serving? Who are your audience? Is your maker space catering to young students and makers or hardware start-ups or companies? Answering this question, will help you decide all the other decisions for your place:
- Where will your Maker Space be located?
- What will be the layout of your space?
- How will your space operate?
- What tools and technology will you have in your space?
c. Tool and Technology: Like I said, looking and answering the above two will help you plan for this one. What kind of tool and technology will you house in your maker space? Are you going to be just an Electronics Driven Maker Space or a Wood Working Space or a combination of 2-3 elements or a space with a focus of arts, crafts and design?
d. Business Model: Let’s talk money. You need to think of how your maker space will operate- as a Not-for-Profit community space or a profit-making company? Moreover, how will you fund it? Are you planning to fundraise, rely on donations, begin a campaign on a crowdfunding platform? Or take a loan? In case of a profit making company, you’ll also have to think of the Income model- how are you generating income with your maker space- Memberships, Workshops and Events or an alternative income source?
e. Space: You have your vision in place, you know your audience, you have selected the tool and technology you would need and you have a clear business model in your head- time to look for a space and turn it into a bustling space for creativity and making. Think about the following things when you think about the Space:
- The area of the MakerSpace: Tie it back to your audience, business model and tool and technology
- Furnitures and Fixtures: If your maker space is woodworking centric, your furniture would be different than if your maker space was just an electronics and programming space or if your maker space was designed for students.
- Inventory: When you think of your space, you also need to think about the inventory- Where will you store and how you will store your inventory?
- Layout: How will the maker space look like?
f. People: The last on the list, but equally important for running a successful maker space-you need to think about who is going to be running this space- are you going to allot a full time manager? What other resources you would need- A full time marketing and events person? A strong team of volunteers/partners for workshops and events?
These are only few of the important things you need to keep in mind. Make a rough plan and talk it over with your closest friends, mentors and colleagues, take their feedback and go on build your space.
And if you need more inspiration to start your own Maker Space, check out this Post.
Remember, building something, anything takes time and once you have built it, you can always improve. So don’t fear imperfection- start, that’s what stops most people.
If you are looking to partner with MakersBox to build a Maker Space, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org