tershouse was envisioned as a coworking space that will bring together people who primarily deal with IT and do not have a place to work. This space, which currently covers over 700m2 and has over 100 members, was opened a few months before the coronavirus pandemic, and regardless of these circumstances, the company has recorded constant growth since then. The founder and CEO of tershouse, Nermin Šehić, working from other coworking spaces that did not meet his needs, realized that he wanted to open his own. Although it was the original idea, tershouse is now much more than just a coworking space for people who have nowhere to work. 'We grew very quickly and became quite important in our startup scene, and what has yet to become in my vision is the main place in the BiH startup scene. A place that will gather investors, companies, freelancers, where we will all work together to develop super innovative ideas and escape from the cycle of outsourcing. Not only in IT, but also in other branches of digital professions such as marketing, design, etc. I really think we have potential, and this has proven to be true in the past three years that we have been operating,' says the founder Nermin. The new space, which will cover over 2000 m2, will make tershouse one of the largest coworking spaces in this part of Europe, and will be located close to the now 'old tershouse'.
At the beginning of the interview, we immediately touched on the most important thing, what interests the current coworkers of tershouse the most, and that is whether the concept of tershouse remains the same and what will change.'In the beginning, we had a vision to which we remained consistent, and that vision will not change with the move. The opening of the new space is essentially an upgrade in our business, which came about because our community has evolved over the past 3 years. We listened to the needs, the trends also changed a little, so the logical step was to make changes because we want to move forward. We could have stayed the same and had that number of members, but that is not in line with our philosophy or the way our coworkers think. We always push each other forward and moving is a logical sequence for us, but nothing will change in the way we do business and behave. We will not become another corporate center, but tershouse will remain exactly as it is now.'
The larger space certainly brings with it some novelties. In addition to a larger offer, a larger range of services is planned. 'We have much more space for experimentation and ideas that we can test, and we don't have the capacity for them here because we are limited by space. As a company, we are becoming more serious and we are leaving the framework of a startup, i.e. a small company that is fighting for its place in the market. We are becoming a leader that should build a coworking scene that should set standards. This brings with it pressure on us as a team, but I believe that it is something that we will successfully deal with,' adds Nermin.
'Prices will remain the same based on what we have now as an offer. This is our strategic decision - to keep the price affordable for everyone, because our goal and interest is for the community to expand and increase as much as possible.'
tershouse space was inspired by the design and concept of well-known coworking spaces throughout Europe, mostly Berlin coworking spaces. The content of the new tershouse will differ in many ways from the 'old' one. 'A lot of time went into planning the design of the space because we wanted it to be in line with what is most current at the moment. We spent a lot of time researching what the biggest spaces have to offer. Not only coworking spaces but also all modern offices and large companies. Great emphasis is also placed on the collaboration corners - places where you can spontaneously meet with someone and discuss, get to know, etc. The space is much more comfortable, in the sense that it is focused on personal experience, and the focus is not on the fact that it is only a workplace, so we will have fitness and yoga rooms, showers, a rest area, a private coffee shop, etc. Our users will be able to change the environment depending on their mood and whether they prefer to work in a professional environment or in a more relaxed environment.'
The space in which the new tershouse will be located
Nermin also points out that a lot of attention is paid to choosing the right interior colors depending on the type and purpose of each part. 'The science behind it is that colors have a lot of influence on the mood and how we feel in the space, so the design is done in different shades, and depending on how you feel that day, you will be able to choose the part of the space that best suits your mood and in that way you it stimulates you to be the best version of yourself that day,' Nermin points out.
What the members are certainly interested in is whether the offer will remain the same, because one of the biggest advantages of tershouse as a coworking space, according to its users, is the more than fair price-to-offer ratio, which is a factor that attracts and retains clients.
'Prices will remain the same based on what we have now as an offer. This is our strategic decision - to keep the price affordable for everyone, because our goal and interest is for the community to expand and increase as much as possible, and we do not want the price to be a factor that will influence whether someone will come to tershouse or not. There will be options that offer more content, but the basic price of coworking remains the same. Not only does it stay the same, but for the same price that our coworkers have now, they’ll get more value - so bigger desks, many more conference rooms, the content I mentioned in the previous questions, and faster internet. We are currently negotiating with several providers to see if we can have a gigabit limit. I think we would be the first in the country to have such a connection with the wi-fi 6 standard. And all that for the same price.'
Nermin founded tershouse at the age of 25, and in the meantime, he learned many important lessons. Symbolically, I asked him which three lessons would he highlight that he learned during the last 3 years, how long tershouse has been operating. 'The first is that it is very difficult to plan everything. When tershouse first opened, we had a plan and an idea about the concept of the appearance of the space itself. The way we envisioned it has been changed many times over the past three years because no matter how much we think we know what people's needs are and do good research, it is impossible to plan everything. So the first lesson is that we have to be very adaptive. The second is that it is necessary to listen a lot. Stubbornness is a big problem in business, and as hard as it sounds, you need to be open-minded and listen. The third lesson would be that it is necessary to spend the resources at our disposal very wisely. We learned this the hard way because the lockdown and Covid happened when we first opened the space. And when we're doing great, we shouldn't spend money without a plan so we don't get spoiled by that success. You don't need to sink when things are going bad or be arrogant when things are going well.' Considering the success and rapid growth that tershouse has experienced as a company, I asked Nermin what is the recipe for success. 'If I had to single out something, I would say that every member is equally important to us, which is somehow also the philosophy by which we are guided. We do not treat a company that pays for membership for 20 of its employees any differently than an individual who is there only a few days a month. We really try to respect everyone's opinion, suggestions, remarks, and they are all equally important to us, that's why I think we succeeded in what we wanted so quickly, and that's our motivation to continue working at the same pace.'
tershouse team consists of qualified young people who were not easy to find, says Nermin. ‘It was difficult to find staff in the sense that people who know how to work in the coworking industry because it is very underdeveloped in BiH. It is difficult to find people who think in line with the philosophy of the brand we are building. We spent a lot of time looking for quality people to be part of the team, but we managed to arrange it in the end and it is now working very well', Nermin concludes.