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What To Consider When Looking For The Right Coworking Space

You’ve decided to tap into the benefits of using a coworking space to conduct business. Before you jump on the first option that comes along, take some time to learn what to consider when looking for the right coworking space.

Location, Location, Location.

In the real estate market, there is the saying “location, location, location.” It simply means that location is the most important factor. This carries over into finding the best coworking space as well. Perhaps one of the most important reasons for choosing the workspace best for you is its location.

While giving up the long daily commute may have been a reason why you quit your previous job in favor of going solo, you will want to make sure that the coworking space you choose is located fairly close to your home.

The proximity to your home with a shortened commute in mind is not the only location consideration. Also, think about the neighborhood the office is located in regarding its reputation. Is it an up-and-coming, prestigious area? If so, good. The location is going to speak volumes to potential clients who come to visit you. Additionally, think about what it would be like to spend several hours a day in this spot. Are there places to eat or walking trails nearby? What about the parking? Will you need to use public transportation, or is it easy and affordable to drive your car and find a safe place to park once you get there? If you work with many clients who fly in regularly to meet with you, also think about its proximity to the nearest airport.

Finally, some locations are considered strategic locations. For instance, in the San Francisco Bay Area, you may live in a different city than San Francisco, but travel to a coworking space in San Francisco, such as one of SOMAcentral’s offices strategically located close to Caltrain station in San Francisco. Why? Because all the startups are there, and there are massive opportunities for networking. We will discuss the networking benefits later in the article.

Work Environment and Amenities.

Shared space usually comes with a few expected office amenities, such as internet, the use of a copier, and access to other office supplies. Some offer a shared snack or lunch break room complete with coffee. Make sure you know exactly what you will need day-to-day to conduct business with ease and whether or not these things are included before you sign a contract.

The physical environment is also an important consideration. Obviously, you should visit the workspace before signing a contract. Some will allow you to try it out for a while. If this is offered, always take advantage of the opportunity because it will give you the chance to find out if the workspace is comfortable and workable. Is the environment too cold, too hot, or just right? Is the chair a good fit? Are there too many distractions, or is it a place where you can focus? Basically, get your feet wet, so to speak, and see if it’s a place where you can get work done.

Networking Opportunities and a Sense of Community.

You are in business for yourself right now, but sharing a workspace means that you should make sure you get along with those you’re working across from every day. If your coworking space allows a trial period, use this time to get to know some of the other occupants to make sure it’s a feasible working relationship. Not every group is going to be your best fit. You will get the most out of sharing office space with other professionals if you approach it as an opportunity to cooperate and help one another succeed rather than ignore everyone. Networking is one of the best perks that coworking spaces provide, so pay close attention to this factor.

You will be sharing the workspace with other entrepreneurs who are just as excited to build their businesses as you are to build yours. To tap into this potential and form some camaraderie. Some coworking spaces also offer after-work activities, such as a softball team or happy hour events. One of the other great things that some shared workspaces offer is the ability to host special community events such as talks from highly respected entrepreneurs or potential investors. An opportunity like this could be worth its weight in gold.

Cost.

Obviously, you will need to consider the cost of the coworking space’s rent. Does it fit within your budget? The very basic idea of any business is to make a profit, so if you are losing money paying for a space in which to conduct business month after month, then you might want to consider a space with fewer amenities, renting by the hour or day instead of by the month, or finding a space in a less costly location to start off and build up as your business grows.

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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.

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