Coworking spaces have revolutionized the business world. These spaces come with many benefits to entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business owners. The appeal makes them suitable for startups, and owners don’t have to commit to long-term agreements.
Coworking spaces are popping up in all towns due to demand. With so many options to choose from, how do you choose the best working space for you? Here is an exhaustive guide to help you narrow down the search.
Choosing a working space for your business starts with determining your needs. Why do you need a working space? What do you hope to achieve from it? What do you expect to gain? Nailing the goals helps you ascertain your priorities and the essential qualities to look for in a working space.
For example, if the goal is to have more business meetings, you’ll want to find a space with available meeting rooms and conference-calling facilities. Needs can vary from high-speed internet, desk, printer, to 24/7 access. Remember to differentiate between a need and a want. Yes, you love coffee, but it’s not a necessity.
Make two separate lists of top wants and top needs, based on the goals. You can use the lists to evaluate coworking space options. Go for the one that fulfills your business’ needs.
Location is undoubtedly one of the most fundamental factors to consider when choosing a coworking workspace for startups. You don’t want your clients to struggle to find the place. Further, when they find it, they should be impressed by what they see.
A workspace may look good on paper and by the description, but don’t decide on physically visiting the space. Arrange a tour of the place. If possible, ask to try the workspace for two or three days.
During the visit, don’t only focus on the interior. Observe the neighborhood and see if the location will be beneficial to your business. See if there is a possibility of finding new partners, mentors, and industry leaders. Proximity to colleges and universities could help you recruit fresh talent.
Make sure the location stands out to your clients for the right reasons. Also, when you consider employee retention, choose a place that they can easily commute to.
Budget is an essential aspect of any startup. Remember, you are operating on limited funds, so you want to keep your expenditure as minimum as possible. You don’t want to feel you are stretching yourself too thin.
The workspace lease shouldn’t slow down your business growth in other areas because of the price. You should consider any other additional costs attached to the new workplace, such as parking fees, internet access, and other charges that may skyrocket the price.
To help you in this stage, add all additional costs and the lease price before you sign the contract. This will give you peace of mind knowing the total amount.
Needless to say, security is a vital factor. This is especially important if you are working late at night. You should check if the place is staffed at night and during the weekends.
Consider if there are security guards round the clock, and if you’d feel safe leaving your computer as you go for a loo break. Also, check if they have CCTV cameras to monitor the place.
5. Benefits and Restrictions
You should also find out what other benefits and amenities the coworking space has. The most common ones include:
- Snacks, tea, and coffee
- Conference rooms
- Office equipment such as printers and scanners.
- A mailing address
- Gym, spa and wellness center
While the benefits and amenities can be mouthwatering, you should know that some have restrictions. Do they restrict bringing in clients? Do they limit telephone usage? Do they limit the number of meetings one should hold? Do they have limitations on the kitchen and office equipment use? Can they terminate the contract under any conditions?
The restrictions might seem minor, but you must know what comes with your coworking space.
A coworking space is the best option for any startup looking for space between the home office and traditional office setup. Finding the best coworking space for you doesn’t have to be a complicated process.
Some of the factors you should consider are the office location, security, amenities, and restrictions. The lease should not put a dent in your budget, such that you are unable to grow other aspects of your business.
With these steps, it will be easier to find the most suitable office before you sign that contract. Best of luck in your entrepreneurial journey!