Starting and running a business can be a challenging and lonely experience. Given the stress that comes with high overheads and increasing start-up cost, many solo entrepreneurs and small business owners choose to work from home, coffee shops and fast food outlets to cut down on cost. Whilst this might be a great cost cutting option- it is in no way the best option for a budding business; which requires somewhere to put down roots, bud and grow!
The need for freedom yet surrounded by a community, whilst cutting down cost, has brought about the innovative and creative use of office workspace; a new perception termed Co-working. Co-working spaces have especially been priceless to entrepreneurs, who have learned how to use the concept of co-working to help their small businesses grow.
Here are five ways small business owners could explore co-working opportunities for their benefit:
- Networking Opportunities
Leads are everything when it comes to growing a start-up. And in a co-working space, members get to know one another in a formal yet friendly environment. Once rapport begins to build, members naturally become each other’s brand ambassadors, spreading the word about one another’s businesses to new clientele. In a short amount of time, members begin to impulsively take care of their own, and if it takes a lot of support to keep a small business running, a co-working space is a phenomenal place for one to take root.
- Support Services
Small companies want to stay lean and profitable, so they, too, are looking for opportunities to keep lean and efficient. At a co-working space, most essential needs are met without having to lift a finger. In addition to the basics — utilities, facilities, hot coffee and strong Wi-Fi — most co-working spaces offer printing and mailing services, and other perks. Co-working custodians generally act as cruise directors, taking care of little details that could otherwise eat up a business owner’s morning. There’s no need to spend half a day dealing with a dreadful administrative situation or fixing the office printer; it’s already taken care of, leaving small business owners to focus on more important things, like ensuring their mission for setting up in the first place is accomplished!
Collaboration in the workplace has long been cited as a sign of highly effective, and functioning team. Workspace surveys have shown that the level of collaboration directly impacts the outcome of a task or project. One of the most inspiring things about being a start-up, especially in a co-working environment, is the comradeship between new businesses. Whether you’re looking for opinion on an idea, advertising through social media, or word-of-mouth recommendations like the ones mentioned above, most new business owners are willing to cooperate with each other in return for compensation in kind.
Co-working spaces are normally handy 24/7. Small business owners can decide whether to put in a long day when they have a deadline or want to show progress, or can decide to take a long break in the middle of the day to go to the movies! They can choose whether they want to work in a quiet space so they can focus, or in a more collaborative space with shared tables where interaction is encouraged.
- Cost Savings
Business operating cost gets expensive quickly, and rent isn’t cheap. For a tiny proportion of the cost of a conventional office space, small business owners and staff can enjoy a hygienic, safe, professional ambience when they report to a co-working space. Personal items won’t be stolen like they might be in a public coffee shop; parking, Wi-Fi and other services are generally included at no extra cost; there’s no pressure to buy food every day in exchange for taking up space at a fast food outlet! Small business owners will only have direct production or business cost to contend with.