6 Reasons Why Co-Working Spaces are really Good Value for Entrepreneurs and Startups
On the surface, it could look like co-working spaces are expensive. I often hear people say ‘well I can work in a coffee shop for free’ or ‘I could get my own office space for that amount’. However, on further examination that isn’t usually true if your local co-working space has free coffee it can actually work out cheaper! In terms of office space there are other financial considerations that will be a little hidden such as there’s normally a lease or contract period that you must commit to (most co-working spaces are monthly arrangements), there’s nearly always a need for refurbishment or an outlay for furniture to make it your own! Co-working spaces normally pride themselves on being ‘cool’ places to be and impressive to clients.
But the real value of co-working spaces for the start-up or entrepreneur is more far reaching than the financial and I would suggest more important than the financial. So here are my top six things that I think makes the co-working space a must for the start-up or entrepreneur.
1. They have flexible working spaces.
Most good co-working spaces have a variety of places to work — desks, sofas, meeting rooms, creative thinking areas (whiteboards, flipcharts etc.) standing desks etc.
This has many benefits including comfort and variety, health benefits — not having to stay in one position or place for too long really helps you avoid back problems among other things as well as helping productivity. People are amazed how being able to have a change of space for different activities refreshes you mentally and physically and helps you focus on a new task.
2. You can expand at the pace you grow
Rather than having to buy/rent larger premises ‘to grow into’ you can just get more space as you need it! A lot of co-working spaces have a variety of ways you can the rent space but remain as part of the larger co-working community.
Some hire out whole tables to a company or have offices off the main space or somewhere else in the building but still allow you to use the other community spaces, facilities and fully enter the other opportunities on offer. There are so many different options to meet your needs. A lot of co-working spaces have the attitude that they want to facilitate the community members to be the best they can be and therefore are open to you suggesting solutions.
3. Networking heaven.
Most good co-working space will have a great co-working ecosystem! It’s not just a good working environment but a fantastic networking environment. A place to give work, a place for finding work, a place for being found work and knowing that when you need something either someone in the community can supply it or someone knows someone who can.
Not only is it a great networking environment but a place to nurture collaborative projects and find collaborative partners. Co-working spaces are full of people with differing skill sets that normally have an innovative mindset that can partner with you to achieve great things!
5. They have the stuff or know where to get it!
Co-working spaces are like ‘resource rivers’! They are normally familiar with the needs of startups and entrepreneurs. Most co-working spaces offer a variety of services that can help your business grow or they are made up of companies that can help you grow and if not they normally know someone who can!
Good co-working spaces will have creative and innovative programmes for their members, as well as running events and clubs that help you grow. These can be from community brainstorming to pitch nights to introductions to investors to hosting launch nights to the mundane things like helping with accounts or printing or social media marketing.
6. Drink in the positive vibe
The new co-working spaces that are emerging seem to be continuing the tradition of having a real vibe of positivity but are also evolving a deep sense of community. Although they are competing in the market place they seem to be developing a community ethos where the ‘members of the space’ are rooting for each other and they carry hope and optimism not just for themselves but for each other. They encourage each other and as well as being able to offer constructive criticism and analysis to find that breakthrough moment. They know how to celebrate success together and help one another embrace failure and learn from it so that it becomes a launch pad to success.
So, go find a co-working space and try it out!