There are an estimated 27 million small businesses and startups in the US right now, and hundreds of millions of startups in the world. Now is the perfect time for you to create your startup, but it’s also a very competitive time. In order to remain competitive, startups need to find ways to get ahead of the competition and be innovative. One emerging way for startups to stay ahead of the pack is to move their small businesses to coworking spaces.
Coworking spaces have in recent years become very popular. In fact, according to Deskmag, there will be an estimated 10,000 coworking spaces in the world by the end 2016. Coworking spaces offer lots of benefits, but they’re not just for freelancers and solopreneurs. Startups can benefit from moving their businesses into a coworking space.
We’ll look at 7 practical reasons why you should move into a coworking space with your startup.
Benefits of Coworking Space: #1 Cut down on costs
That’s right: the first and biggest reason to get your startup into a coworking space is that you’ll be able to cut overhead costs. With no long-term lease to sign (and all that paperwork either), you’ll be free to better manage your money. You and your startup can decide to work at your coworking space in the office size you’d like. If the next month you’d like to scale down or up, you can do that easily too. Even better, if you’d like to cut costs more, you can pay for just a few weeks or a month at a time. That way, you can work from home the rest of the time.
Benefits of Coworking Space: #2 Find great networking opportunities
This the greatest benefit of moving to a coworking space. When you’re there, you’re with other people just like you. However, if they’re not in the same industry, there’s a great chance they may need your services.
Laurie Davis, founder of eFlirt, and her team had been working independently until they moved to a coworking space. Before, they had made a few sales, but because of the networking opportunities that comes with coworking, they were able to do thousands of dollars’ worth of new business.
Benefits of Coworking Space: #3 Get educated
Coworking spaces often come with many perks and benefits. They can include things as simple as copying and printing, free coffee, tea and breakfast cereal, or things such as free yoga and gym lessons. One of the best perks is the free educational courses that you can get from coworkings, such as trainings with a new process, conferences, and demonstrations (especially with the tech industry). Many universities offer coworking space training for their students, but it’s also become quite prevalent with better coworking spaces that want to foster community growth. And it’s all free with your membership.
Benefits of Coworking Space: #4 Use a variety of equipment
This is more applicable for startups in the physical tech industry, such as makerspaces where everyone is working in similar fields and using similar equipment. This can include 3D printers and specialized artist and creative tools. This can also include such things as sewing machines, printing machines or prototype workshop tools, depending on the industry.
Benefits of Coworking Space: #5 Find collaborators and mentors
When you’re working with other entrepreneurs, they don’t just have to be your customers. You can find partners to help you in your business. You can collaborate on a shared project, or you can trade services without exchanging cash. For example, you can provide web design in exchange for free accounting software.
It’s also a great place to get mentorship. The people in coworking may have more experience than you in the same industry, and they may be able to help you out. Or they could come from a completely different background (for example, sales) and help you out in the part of the business that you and your team are lacking in.
Benefits of Coworking Space: #6 Get motivated to create
All this networking and collaborating can help you in general to be more creative. When you are in a creative environment, it spurs you and your team on to be more creative. It is a good form of competition, one that looks at the hard work and creativity of others and uses that to “catch up” and apply it to their own businesses.
This is miles better than your team working independently, far removed from each other, or in their homes where creativity might be at its lowest point.
Benefits of Coworking Space: #7 Increase your team’s productivity and time management
The last reason may seem impossible, seeing as your coworking often includes open spaces, and this may cause a constant noise level.
However, if you’re in a coworking space, you’ll end up falling to what’s known as social pressure (which can act like positive workplace culture). The sight of others working, running around with grand ideas, putting in elbow grease and burning the midnight oil all for the sake of their goals can be a boost in your team’s motivation. It will keep them on their toes, and get them in the productive spirit. When you are in a room full of hardworkers, it’s very difficult to procrastinate. However, if your team is working remotely, motivation and procrastination become common problems. Not only will your startup team get boosts in your productivity, but the social pressure will also cause them to be considerate of deadlines and schedules.
Coworking spaces are great modern inventions for the new type of economy that the world is shifting to. These places are not only great for freelancers and solopreneurs, however.
They can provide immense gains for startup teams just getting into the business world, or those wanting to grow without spending a fortune on growth.
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Written by: Uwe Dreissigacker.