Five Ways a Coworking Space Can Help You Start a Business
Whether it’s a dream you’ve had for years, or you need to find a new source of income, starting your own business can be a tricky prospect in the best of times, let alone starting one now.
And if you’re starting your own business now, or even if you’ve had one for several months, there are some easy ways to help it ramp up and grow. Step one is working out of a coworking space instead of your home office because it offers a few amenities that you just can’t find working at home.
Here are five ways a coworking space can help you start and grow your business.
1. Coworking puts you in a “go to work” mindset.
Working from home is extremely convenient, but the line between work and personal lives get blurred. It’s easy to jump up and do a load of laundry or sneak in a little Netflix and a nap in the middle of the day.
It’s tempting to sleep in later and work well into the night, just because it’s convenient. You’re more likely to check your emails before bed or finish up a report at 11:00 PM because you can. That throws off your whole work-life balance and your attempts to keep those two parts of your life separate.
Going into an office, even if it’s a coworking space, can help you create that mental separation between work and home. You get there at 8:00 or 9:00 (or whenever) and you’re in work mode. When you leave at the end of the day, you can shut off that part of your brain, and focus on your home and family.
But if you need to get in earlier or work later, some coworking spaces have 24/7 access, or at least extended hours so you can work at the office rather than doing it at home.
2. Network with other professionals
Coworking means being around other people, even at a safe distance. It’s a chance to meet other entrepreneurs and find new ways to collaborate on different projects, enlist someone’s help with solving a problem or even bounce ideas off of someone to create new solutions.
Coworking can increase your potential client reach as well. For example, if you’re starting a bookkeeping business, there will be plenty of startup businesses in a coworking space who are handling their own accounting and could use your help.
Coworking lets you build relationships with other entrepreneurs so that you become a valuable referral resource. Remember, people buy from people they like and trust, so by building these relationships, you’re also exponentially increasing your reach.
That’s because your coworking colleagues are more than just potential customers — they’re referral sources. They know the people you want to meet. And you’re more likely to get those introductions if your coworking colleagues know and trust you.
3. Collaboration can lead to new business opportunities
Working with other entrepreneurs can help create an atmosphere and creativity, which can lead to new ideas, new opportunities, new projects and new clients, and even entire new businesses.
For example, a graphic designer can start offering web design capabilities by connecting with a web developer, and vice versa. They could even be joined by a nearby copywriter to handle writing the web pages. All three of them have expanded their reach and their potential client pool by collaborating with each other.
Collaboration comes from being around other people and sharing time together; you just can’t do that in a home office.
4. Low costs keep expenses down
Twenty years ago, if you wanted to start a business, you had all kinds of expenses: a computer, wifi, printer, fax machine, office furniture, and maybe even a coffee machine, not to mention your rent and utilities.
Coworking spaces have all of that covered except your computer or a fax machine (because this is the 21st century). The only thing you have to come up with yourself is the (relatively) low rent and a computer.
Depending on the location and the city, a coworking space can cost you anywhere from $49 to $1,000 per month, while a regular 10′ x 10′ office could cost anywhere from $500 to $3,000 per month. And that doesn’t include utilities, furniture, office equipment, or the coffee machine.
Coworking spaces are also flexible. As you grow your business and hire new people, you can add new hot desks or even take up space in a private office within the space, which still costs a lot less than a regular office.
5. Coworking spaces often have access to resources
As you’re trying to start your new business, you’ll have a lot of questions and need a lot of help with things like taxes and expenses, finances, understanding policies and regulations, and even all the tiny details like the best place to get business cards or setting up a website.
That’s on top of all the other things you should learn in order to grow your business: social media, marketing, networking, working with contractors, writing proposals, and so on.
Being in a coworking space means having access to the people and resources that can help you with that. Not only are you in a room full of people who have been dealing with those same issues for many years, some coworking spaces have their own educational content, such as seminars and webinars, subscriptions to online resources, and even relationships with groups like SCORE and the Small Business Administration.
You can find mentors, advisors, and valuable resources among your fellow coworking tenants who will be able to share their advice and wisdom with you.
If you want to start a new business, consider renting a desk in a coworking space for a few months and see if you can meet new people and create interesting opportunities for yourself and others.
To learn more about coworking and how it can help you start a business, please visit our website at NeowareStudios.com.
Photo credit: Ann0611 (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 4.0)