Commercialising the Fab Lab

Can I please ask for advice as to how others are commercialising their Fab Lab and actually making money (or at least not losing money)?
How do you charge for your services and what business model do you use?
Thanks in advance,

Hi Gary,

Welcome to! I don’t think we have ever met. From which fablab are you?

Your question is rather broad and therefore not easy to answer. At the moment I only can give you some rather general suggestions:

  1. start with formulating your vision on fablabs and derive your mission
  2. set-up your business model (eg fill the business model canvas)
  3. elaborate on your “customer segments” and the services you want to deliver to them
  4. especially pay attention to all the costs (investments, exploitation, and the latter fixed vs activity based)
  5. focus on the costs of activities (partially fixed, partially dependent of the number of participants), and the income they may generate (number of participants times price)
  6. look at the whole portfolio of activities and the expected incomes; some activities will end in a plus, others in a minus; no problem as long as the whole is plus
  7. try to find a good balance between your social mission and the need to sustain as a fablab.

Does this help?