It is no big secret that money is a major concern for many startups. Unless they have a hefty investment or a fair amount of funding, startups often rely on bootstrapping in order to make ends meet. Startups need a space for their base of operations; however, a dedicated office space can exceed far beyond the entrepreneur’s budget. Many entrepreneurs rely on coffee shops, cafes, or even working from home in their early years. But there is another option for startups, who require a space without the high costs. Coworking spaces are an attractive alternative, providing a dedicated space at a cost-effective price.
The Benefits of Coworking Spaces
The potential gains of a coworking space can be enormous, providing enormous benefits for the entrepreneur. The startup simply needs to pay a relatively low cost to gain access to a wealth of resources. Depending on the coworking space, the entrepreneur can take advantage of a dedicated workspace, all with the amenities of a traditional office. In addition, coworking spaces can also offer conference rooms, networking events, and a foothold into the local startup community.
What to Look for in a Coworking Space
Coworking spaces have increased in the recent years, with spaces appearing in major cities throughout the world. Each has their own individual flavor, culture, and community. Before signing a contract, startups looking for spaces should consider the following.
- The Space: The workspace itself should be the main concern for the entrepreneur. Many spaces will give the startup the opportunity to tour the offices. While walking through the area, keep an eye out for type of furniture and the general layout of working space. Does the space possess a kitchen, office equipment, and wireless, high speed internet? A good frame of reference is whether an individual can consider working within the space for an extended period of time.
- Cost: Again, a major concern of any startup involves effective management of costs. One of the major attractive qualities of coworking spaces is the relatively low prices. Many spaces offer space at a daily or monthly rates, and others even offer on a per hour basis. A number of different factors will have an effect on the price, such as size of space, number of dedicated users and use of additional rooms.
- Resources: Certain coworking spaces have entrepreneurs in mind, tailoring their services to meet the exact needs of a startup. Some coworking spaces offer meeting and conference rooms, allowing startups to meet with clients and display a level of professionalism. Other coworking spaces will feature incubator services, connecting startups to potential investors, mentors, and other valuable resources. While looking for a space, entrepreneurs should carefully consider whether a coworking model can provide more than just a place to work.
- Community: Coworking spaces should possess an active, vibrant environment, with startups constantly brainstorming and pitching ideas back and forth. Successful coworking spaces often possess their own community, with many dedicated startups. By joining a space, an entrepreneur can get more than a workspace from a subscription; he or she can also take advantage of speaking and networking with many peers.
- Events Calendar: One indication of a great coworking space is to see if it possesses an active events calendar. These events can be a priceless opportunity for startups, giving them the ability to network with others. Whether they participate in community events or host events themselves, a calendar can show the involvement of the coworking space in the startup environment.
With coworking spaces appearing in major cities everywhere, startups have little reason not to join this movement. At a low cost, the startup has the opportunity to join a community, network with peers, and establish their business at once. Startups no longer have to rely on the confines of their local coffee shop. Coworking spaces can facilitate the entrepreneur’s journey and help them achieve success.
About the Author: Rachel Hyun Kim is a writer on topics ranging from workers compensation insurance to document scanning. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including document software to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com.