Let’s face it, in the business world, first impressions matter, and in some cases can literally be the difference between success and failure. If you want to stand any chance of making it in the highly competitive business world, you need your head screwed on straight, you need a plan, and you need to put that plan into action. As mentioned previously, first impressions can make or break any business or startup looking to expand and grow. For that reason, you need a professional, productive, attractive, and practical working space for you and your employees. If you base your company out of your home, though it might be convenient and inexpensive, in most cases, you simply will not be able to enjoy the same growth as you would if you were operating out of a state of the art business center. Even if your company is small and you only have a handful of employees working for you, a home office isn’t a long-term solution. There are far too many distractions, it lacks professionalism, and it’s just not practical.
Now, renting an entire office building is usually not in the budget for a small company, or a company that is in the early stages of development. Start-ups tend not to have too much spare cash to throw around. A great way to solve this issue however, is simply by basing your company in a co-working space. Shared work-spaces provide businesses with a practical, professional office location alongside other companies and businesses, that are in varying levels of growth. Here are a few ways in which your business could benefit from operating out of a co-working environment.
Professionalism – If your company relies on meetings with potential clients, partners, or customers to discuss products, services, or business strategies, working from home can look unprofessional, and in some cases, entirely inappropriate. In business, perception is reality, and if potential clients see you as a professional company, poised for growth, then they will be more likely to use your services. Co-working spaces are fully furnished with all of the necessary furniture and decor, which helps a young business appear legitimate. Additionally, most co-working spaces feature private conference rooms or small offices to offer optimal privacy and professionalism.
Networking Opportunities – Another great benefit of co-working is the fact that you get to network and interact with people you never would have met otherwise. In a shared work-space, you have similar goals and aspirations, and everyone is willing to help out others. Naturally, you will each have your own unique business strategies and hints and tips, but sharing these with one another can be beneficial to everyone. For example, maybe the start up next to you is using a new software to better enable coworker communication. If you adopt the program for your team, employees can converse more efficiently and boost productivity. Remember, in business ‘it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know’. When it comes to networking opportunities, co-working spaces offer up some of the best raw talent, personal connections, and a shared outlook among workers.
Budgeting – It doesn’t matter what stage your business is in – whether you’re just starting out, or your company is more established – the smart thing to do is to watch your spending and save money whenever possible. The great thing about co-working spaces, is that they offer businesses considerable flexibility when it comes to renting out a particular office. Many co-working companies offer members the option of paying daily, weekly, monthly, or even customized payment schemes designed to make both parties happy. Of course, as the company grows, you’ll have more money to allocate to office space. Most co-working workplaces have a variety of offices to accommodate a business as it grows. You might start off in a single desk, but end up in an 8-12 person corner office within a year. Traditional work-space doesn’t give companies the option to expand or shrink. Co-working spaces are more flexible for start-ups.
Workplace Camaraderie – Co-working spaces offer you the chance to meet new business acquaintances who can help you professionally, but they can also connect you with some new friends along the way. Office complexes are renowned for those ‘water cooler’ conversations where employees take a few minutes to grab a drink and chat about last night’s game or whatever else there is to talk about. If you choose to operate your business out of a co-working space, you get to enjoy these perks. Although you’re there primarily to get work done, meeting new people and making new friends can be an unexpected, positive outcome. Working from home is often lonely and isolating. Gathering your team together regularly and interacting with others is a great way to socialize and brush up on your people skills.