Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

How Coworking Spaces Benefit Small Businesses In Big Ways

Of all the shifts that have occurred in the business world over the last five to ten years, the evolution of how and where we work is one of the more intriguing topics. And while working from home gets most of the attention, the rise of coworking spaces – particularly within the context of small business – is especially noteworthy.

What is a Coworking Space?

In the simplest form, a coworking space is a workplace community where people gather together and work among like-minded people in a structured atmosphere. It gives solopreneurs and small businesses alike the opportunity to work in close proximity and benefit from shared resources.

Every coworking space is unique, but they all tend to focus on the communal aspect of entrepreneurship. Take Venture X in West Palm Beach as an example.

“Members enjoy secure super-fast internet, a high speed business class copier/scanner/printer, free coffee, tea, filtered water and weekly catered breakfast,” Venture X explains. “Member events and an online member network help you make connections, collaborate, share expertise and get inspired. We take care of office operations so you can focus on networking and growing your business.” 

Notice the value offering: easy, convenient, collaborative, etc. Whether it’s in West Palm Beach, Manhattan, or Seattle, this is the goal of coworking spaces – and it’s enjoying mass appeal.

The Benefits of Coworking for Small Businesses.

For the most part, people think about individual entrepreneurs, remote employees, and startup founders using coworking spaces. But did you know that coworking is a viable option for small businesses as well?

Here are some of the perks:

Low Commitment.

In most cases, a commercial lease on an office building is going to come with a three-to-five-year commitment. At the very least, you’ll be locked into an 18-to-24-month lease. For a small business or startup, this sort of long-term commitment can be a real drag on growth (especially if you get locked into an expensive lease). The beauty of a coworking space is that there’s virtually no commitment.

While it varies from location to location, many coworking spaces operate on a month-to-month basis. At the very most, you’ll have to sign a three- or six-month agreement. This sort of flexibility is ideal for keeping costs down and promoting expense sheet versatility.

Instant Scalability.

Another downside of getting locked into a long-term lease in a traditional office space is that you’ve essentially put a cap on your growth potential. If you sign a lease for a 20-person office and your business grows to a point that you need to hire 20 additional employees, you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. In a coworking space, you can add new office space on a monthly basis (even weekly if needed). You can also get rid of office space you don’t need in the case of downsizing. This instant scalability is extremely cost-effective.

Greater Productivity.

Think about all of the time that goes into finding office space, touring, negotiating a lease, buying office furniture, unpacking and setting up furniture, setting up utilities, dealing with broken printers and copiers, figuring out the best internet service options, etc. When you use a coworking space, all you have to do is find a location that fits your needs and budgets. From there, everything else is built into the cost. This allows you to focus less on time-consuming administrative tasks and more on building a productive business.

Networking Opportunities.

Don’t underestimate the networking opportunities that come with managing a business in a coworking space. Not only do you have access to prime real estate in the heart of your city, but you’re also working down the hall from other business owners, entrepreneurs, and like-minded professionals. If you play your cards right, you could establish some powerful relationships.

Ushering in the New Age.

A decade ago, the notion of multiple small businesses and entrepreneurs working out of the same location would have seemed impractical. Today, you could argue it makes more sense than a traditional corporate setup. If you haven’t yet considered this type of setup for your small business, now’s the time to give it some thought.

Share

Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

Tagged as: ,