Why Coworking Spaces are Best for Launching Your Startup

There are plenty of stories about startups launched from basements and garages. Those tales are exciting, but the truth is that most successful startups need a space that’s a bit more legitimate. Your home is no place to meet with clients or to create a productive workspace. Renting an office suite is cost-prohibitive.

If you’re struggling to find a launching pad for your startup, you’re not alone. Fortunately, your solution may be more accessible than you realize. Coworking spaces were designed for remote workers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs to work together in shared working spaces.

Flexible Options for Startups

Unlike renting standard office space, coworking is flexible. Depending on the specific layout of the coworking space you use, you might have the option to lease a small office, pay for a storefront, rent a dedicated desk, or hot desk. The latter option is when you pay a daily rate to use whatever desk is available. If you don’t need a workspace, some coworking spaces offer business mailing addresses, access to meeting rooms, and use of office equipment. Since contracts are very short term, you can upgrade as you need, or reduce the services you use.

Lease and payment options are flexible as well. Many coworking spaces allow month-to-month agreements. Many also allow you to pay a daily rate for hotdesking or access to other amenities. If you aren’t convinced, many established companies such as Uber, Grab my Essay, Spotify, Studicus, and IndieGoGo launched in coworking spaces.

You Can Find a Coworking Space That Matches Your Style

Not only can you find a space that meets your business requirements, but you can also find one that matches your working style. For example, there are spaces that cater to people in specific niches. If you live near a larger city, you will likely find coworking spaces that cater to tech startups, and others that specialize in providing space to creatives. Some are made for people who are dedicated to operating their businesses in a manner that supports ethics, sustainability, and wellbeing. There are even spaces that have been created for women business owners specifically.

Would you prefer to be a member of a coworking community, or to simply use the space provided to get your work done? Many spaces are laid out in a way that encourages communal interaction. They may have break rooms, open floor plans, or hold regular networking events. Others cater to more of a ‘heads down’ audience.

5 Other Benefits for Using a Coworking Space to Launch Your Startup

If you’re still on the fence, consider these other benefits.

1.   You Can Control Your Own Growth

Before coworking spaces, you had two choices. Operate from home or in coffee shops, or rent office space with a long term lease. That often meant committing to something without knowing if your business is truly ready for that step, or staying in a place that you were outgrowing. Coworking spaces give you the ability to control your growth. For example, you can move from hot desking to leasing a dedicated desk, to renting a storefront or enclosed office. If you need to downsize, you can do that as well.

Jordan Pillar, a freelance writer for BestEssay.Education says, “You’ll find that budgeting is also easier. In a coworking space, you don’t have to worry about building maintenance or utilities. You simply pay the agreed fees to access the space and amenities you need.”

2.   Access to Amenities You Couldn’t Otherwise Afford

Would it be feasible for you to purchase a 3-D printer? What about a gourmet, espresso machine? Do you have the equipment available in your home office to handle a video conference with potential clients from across the globe? Could you do it without looking like a bunch of kids from your high school A/V club?

If the answer is no, you are not alone. Most startup owners don’t have the funds to buy specialized equipment like this. It’s also not practical to invest in equipment that you may not use regularly. Fortunately, many coworking space owners have invested in these amenities, because they know they can make up for the cost in their rental fees. You get to enjoy using equipment and technology that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you.

Ask for a tour of any coworking space you are considering. You may be pleasantly surprised by the extras available to you. Many spaces include free coffee and snacks. Some even stock local microbrews.

3.   Increased Professionalism

Whether it’s fair or not, appearances matter. If you run your business from your basement, you risk being treated…as if you run a business from your basement. That’s not a great position to be in when you’re already the new guy on the street.

When you rent a coworking space, you create an aura of legitimacy. You’ll have an office phone and fax, a mailing address in a business district rather than your home, and access to the equipment you need to present an image of professionalism.

4.   Business Support and Advice

If it’s been set up to foster startups and help freelancers get started, your local coworking space may also be a great source of business support and advice. Many spaces also function as startup incubators and accelerators. As a member, you may have access to mentoring, learning sessions, and tools that are created specifically to help you create a successful business.

5.   Great Networking Opportunities

Finally, you’ll be sharing space with other entrepreneurs and freelancers. That’s a space full of potential contacts all in one place. Even better, many coworking spaces hold regular networking events so their clients can get to know one another. You never know when you might introduce yourself to a potential client or referral.

Final Thoughts: What to Look for in a Coworking Space

Before you pay for your coworking space membership, consider the following:

  • Is the location convenient to your home and clients?
  • Are you getting the right amount of space?
  • Is your business a good fit for the community and space?
  • Will you have the space and resources you need?

If you can’t find a space that is a perfect fit, consider giving it a try anyway. The beauty of this option is that you aren’t forced into any long term obligations.

Nicole D. Garrison is a content creator and strategist who writes for a number of websites for marketing specialists. She is known for a detail-oriented approach to research and writing. Nicole is a contributor on WowGrade and has her own blog on LiveInspiredMagazine. In her spare time, she is interested in beekeeping and running.

5 Tech Trends Small Businesses Should Be Investing In

We live in a golden age for small businesses, where all the tools and resources you could need are available at a single tap. It can, however, be hard to know which tools to select, especially when it comes to tech. It’s easy to be confused by all the options, which makes it hard to know where to put your money. As always, we are here to help. Below are five trends in small business tech that you will not regret investing in.

Mobile

Mobile has become such an ingrained part of everyday life that it can hardly be called a trend anymore. Still, many small businesses fail to see just how powerful mobile tech can be. Did you know, for example, that mobile ads have 10 times the redemption rate of other online coupons and 3 times the click rate? Optimizing your website, ads, and email campaigns for mobile will bring you closer to your consumers and make them more likely to make a purchase.

Mobile technology can also be leveraged on the operations side. According to CNBC, small businesses save an average of 5.6 hours a week by using mobile apps. These range from communication tools to time-tracking apps, bookkeeping tech, and more.

Shipping Automation

If you sell a physical product online, you will already be familiar with how confusing shipping can be. It’s essential that your customers get their orders fast and without hassle, but this can be a nightmare to plan on your end, especially if you are just starting out.

Shipping automation takes all the manual work out of the equation so you can focus on what you do best. FitSmallBusiness ranks ShippingEasy as the best overall option for small businesses, with ShipStation being better for high volume and truck freight shipping and Ordero being best for more complex inventory.

If you aren’t currently in e-commerce but would like an additional revenue stream, you can consider adding dropshipping to your business. This model ships products directly from a third-party inventory to your customer, so you hold no physical stock at all; This works particularly well if you have products that complement your current offerings, such as accessories, books, or gadgets. 

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term that encompasses the shift to devices connected to the internet, from home assistants to WiFi-enabled cars and appliances. Although this has mostly happened in the home, businesses can also make use of this trend. According to Forbes, popular business applications for IoT include the use of virtual assistants, sensors that can quickly identify equipment faults, and saving money with smart controls for light and energy.

Cloud Storage

If you have invested in any tech, chances are it is cloud storage: indeed, 92 percent of small and medium businesses are using at least one form of it. The cloud can save you money, protect your data, and make it easier to find and access the information you need.

For those who have not yet taken the leap — or for those looking to upgrade their cloud storage — it is important to choose carefully. The best solution for you will depend on your needs. For instance, Google Drive is a great efficiency and collaboration tool, but pCloud is perfect for small startups who need the option to scale at their own pace.

Software Integration

On the opposite end of cloud computing, software integration is woefully underutilized by small businesses. This form of integration allows your various apps to work seamlessly, reducing redundancy and boosting productivity. For example, if you have invested in CRM software, you will not be making the most of it until you integrate with other tools like your social media, email, and accounting software. Trends can be fickle, so well-proven ones like the above are what you should be focusing on. That said, do keep an ear to the ground: what are other companies using? Which new tech could be revolutionary? Basics like mobile and the cloud give you a good foundation, but fully embracing the power of new tech is what will help you get an edge on the competition

What to Look For When Shopping For a Coworking Space

In an era of startups and entrepreneurs, many traditional business ideals have been ditched for newer, more effective ways of getting things done. Coworking spaces are one of these newer trends, enabling a more flexible workplace at a lower cost while retaining professionalism and avoiding freelancers needing to post up in Starbucks or in their own beds every day. In this article, we explore what to look for in an ideal coworking space for your company.

Features and Location

The core elements of a coworking space are the features it provides for you and your colleagues to get work done. The ideal combination of essentials and perks will differ based on your own personal preferences and needs.

Internet speed, availability and size of workspace, and the ability to leave equipment and belongings overnight securely are all essential factors to keep in mind. Balancing your budget with the hours, space, and desk type that you need will narrow your search for a coworking space that fits your needs.

Coworking spaces with lots of amenities like pool tables, lounges, and even bars can provide a welcome break for some. Others, perhaps those with a tendency to get distracted or indulge in extended breaks, might not fare as well in a space that enables this sort of activity.

Noise levels can also be a matter of personal preference; some employees are very comfortable plugging in to headphones and drowning out other, while others need a certain level of quiet to be productive. Some studies have even shown certain levels of background noise to boost productivity. Make sure to research which spaces have the right acoustics for your personnel. Of course, to get the best sense of this, make sure to visit the spaces in person.

Of course, a good coworking space should be easily accessible for all members of your organization. Spaces close to transportation hubs, light rail lines, or bus routes are ideal for this.

Privacy

Coworking spaces can afford to offer inexpensive rates because they lease the space to multiple companies, freelancers, and other professionals at once. While this provides some great benefits (which we’ll get to later), it also carries some risk.

Aside from the obvious distractions that can occur when many different projects are being worked on in close proximity, intellectual property (IP) concerns can arise. Especially in the startup and entrepreneurial realms, big bold ideas are extremely valuable. If your company is still at a pre-patent or development phase, it’s possible that eavesdropping or a casual conversation that occurs in a coworking space could lead to the theft of ideas.

Choosing the right coworking space, and following the right IP protocols, can help insure you from any negative consequences according to J.D. Houvener, a patent attorney at Bold Patents Houston law firm. “Coworking spaces are a hotbed for ideas, but that can backfire if the space  is too crowded and doesn’t have any designated private spaces. Companies must make sure that they have the right trade secret, patent, and copyright plans already in place and that all their employees are briefed on what they can and cannot divulge.”

Survey: What's the most important factor when choosing a co-working space?

Survey: What's the most important factor when choosing a co-working space?

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Coworkers

Lastly, one of the most crucial but most often overlooked facets of finding the right coworking space is right there in the name: the coworkers.

Chances are, you’ll be sharing your space with like-minded individuals in similar or related industries. This opens up incredible opportunities for networking and collaboration. Many business relationships can be sparked by a casual conversation in a shared space, and can continue on long past.

Most coworking spaces are transparent about whom they rent their space out to, so be sure to inquire with them and do some research on who you would be sharing your space and time with. A good relationship with your co-coworkers can make everyone involved better off on a daily basis.

In Conclusion

When shopping around for the right coworking space, many factors come into play. The essential logistics of budgeting, availability, location, and services are always paramount. Make sure to look for places that have the right combination of calm, amenities, and accessibility for your specific needs.

Striking the balance between privacy and collaboration then becomes the goal for an ideal coworking space. Make sure your employees are briefed on confidentiality issues, and that you have access to private meeting spaces if needed. Look up who will be sharing the space with you and base your decisions on compatibility.

Finally, keep in mind that a gut instinct will serve you well, so you’ll want to visit any potential coworking space candidates to see how it feels in person. For more info and articles on coworking, head over to our blog!

10 Benefits of Coworking Spaces

Working as an independent freelancer certainly has a lot of advantages. After all, not being stuck in the same place at the same time every day can do wonders for your creativity and peace of mind. You determine your hours, the type of work you take, and the workload, which leaves you pretty much in charge of your professional growth.

However, a freelancer’s life isn’t all glitz and glamour. Turning your personal space into a professional one has its downsides. Here are the 10 reasons why switching your freelance work into a coworking space is a very good idea for most freelancers out there.

1.   Flexibility, reimagined

Coworking spaces will offer you an opportunity to utilize all the benefits of working in a well-equipped spot, but without the 9-to-5 mindset. Switch seats and rooms every day, choose a drink that fits your mood at the moment, talk to people around you or don’t. The choice is always up to you.

2.   A mindset of a beehive

Gina Norton, a freelance essay writer and assignment service content contributor, has a long history of testing and changing coworking spaces. One of the benefits she likes the most? “A mindset of a beehive”: Even on days when you totally don’t feel like working, being a part of the vibrant atmosphere and seeing people working around you will give you a nudge you’d get nowhere else.

3.   Networking for business

Even if you’re not a type that makes connections easily, you’ll find that most people in coworking spaces are very approachable. Who says you can’t make a casual business proposal to a coworker from the same or another industry over the first morning coffee? A few laughs can sometimes seal the deal better than any serious pitch.

4.   Networking for pleasure

As time passes, you might feel inclined to actually make some friends in your new fancy office. Whether they turn into real-life buddies or you just like to spend some time with them during breaks, meeting different people with the same mindset as yours will help you break the spell of working and not saying a word for days.

5.   Effortless commodity

Forgot to buy coffee or milk? Internet in your favorite coffee shop is down? You need to print something quickly, so you have to drop everything to walk to the nearest print shop? You can’t stand uncomfortable chairs anymore? Not if you’re in a coworking space. You’ll always have everything you need there.

6.   Impressive business address

When in a coworking space, do as your coworkers do and utilize all the perks you can get. You can now proudly send that invoice with a new impressive business address, and you can even invite (potential) clients to meet you there. Most coworking spaces even offer to handle your mail and shipments – how great is that?

7.   Perks of additional equipment

Although available amenities can vary from one coworking space to another, most of them will offer you the use of additional equipment such as scanners, printers, cameras, and other high-tech gimmicks which would otherwise be expensive to acquire (especially if you don’t need them on a regular basis).

8.   An inexhaustible source of inspiration

When you work in a coworking space, you can get inspired more than anywhere else. All the people around you are working on their own things in their own ways. Mind how they talk to their clients and each other, and talk to them on coffee breaks. Why not learn something while you’re around?

9.   Mentorship programs

Whether your work includes programming, writing custom research papers or designing visual identities for corporations, you could always use some good advice on how to be more productive and successful in your industry. Many coworking spaces provide valuable mentorship programs, and you should definitely exploit this perk that comes with the territory.

10. Creating a productive routine

At the end of the day, even if you choose to spend your time in a coworking space as you used to at home, you’ll still notice how different this experience is. Being a part of a professional community that’s always happy to help will make you feel a lot different very soon. Old habits may die hard, but picking up on other people’s vibes will soon come quite naturally.

Conclusion

When coffee shops become too distracting or you realize you haven’t left your house for too long, it might be time to consider a change of working venue. Coworking spaces leave you flexible as you wish to be while providing solid support for your freelance business.

Meet people with similar interests, find new clients, recreate your working routines, and most of all, enjoy the vibrant community and commodities within a space which primary purpose is to elevate your business and make you more open for new experiences and opportunities.


Justin Osborne is a writer at dissertation service and online assignment help, he loves to share his thoughts and opinions about education, writing and blogging with other people on different blogs and forums. Currently, he is working as a content marketer at paper writing services and expert writers.

Is Being A Workaholic Really That Bad?

Aside from the age-old advice from your mother to always rest well, there is much research that shows being a workaholic has its significant pros. Those warnings are effective at avoiding the negative consequences of over-working, which can be as extreme as being detrimental to health. Over-work can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure) and stress-related illness such as a higher predisposition to certain cancers. As far as actual work goes, productivity and focus can decline, and depression is a common theme.

With the negative aspects of working long hours out of the way, read on to see what research says about avoiding them while being a “workaholic”. The Academy of Management Discoveries actually found no hard evidence that it is long hours specifically that caused negative health implications.

It is a compulsive work mentality that led to them. For long hours and early starts to work for you, keep the following considerations in mind.

Loving your job

Choosing a job you love really does lead to the feeling of never doing any work. Passion, paired with dedication is what leads to both financial and emotional success. Consistency within a field that you really enjoy being in will improve your quality of life as you will find a sense of purpose doing something that you look forward to. If you have already found such a career – brilliant! Listen to your gut and dive in deep; being a workaholic can actually be good for you. Ensure you have recognition and a feeling of gratitude in what you do as well, as this will keep you moving up the social ladder of success as well.

Be enthusiastic

A positive mindset will completely switch around the way a person approaches their job. Long hours will not bother you, so will not cause you mental stress. The idea of balance comes in when considering other commitments in life: ensure your job fits around these and you will be fine.

Commitment to your hours

If you have a sensation of being fully invested in your work, long hours will feel more of an obvious thing to do rather than something you are forced to do. Use your full capability in terms of skills and values.

“Many people get caught in the web of feeling that they are wasting their lives, because they aren’t taking this crucial step of fully investing themselves in something they’re doing,” says Michael Simpson, HR at Custom Essays and Big Assignments.

Full engagement

Engagement refers to the full involvement in something. Thus, being fully engaged in something means feeling fully involved in it. You begin to feel like you are a part of what you are doing, rather than simply conducting it all. You will take on the energy of steady speed and go at the pace that is required of the service you are providing, instead of being the engine behind it all that requires fuel.

Of course, the word workaholic is derived from the word alcoholic, to indicate compulsive and counter-intuitive behaviour. When picturing it, images of an anxious office worker pop into the mind, who never take vacations and never ever have a day off; work feeds into every aspect of their lives and family and friends can be cut off.

“…However, this is a mental game: working is a good thing, addiction is not. Those who are not addicted can in fact work long hours and have better quality lives because of it,” says Richard Baker, blogger at EliteAssignmentHelp and UKWritings.

The main factor that divides happy and unhappy workaholics is their ability to achieve balance in their lives. A strong work ethic is not an addiction but is a strong focus to something important and useful. If you can achieve the ability to work long and intensive hours that are highly productive, your career will improve, and you will find greater satisfaction and happiness in what you do. Your reputation will increase, and your bank account will be a lot healthier.

However, if you do find yourself lost in stress and an obligation to long hours you dread getting up for, it may be time to reconsider if you are on the right career path.

Aimee Laurence is a successful writer and editor at Top assignment writing services VIC and Top Australian writing services. Aimee helps companies with employee management and freelances as HR. Also, she blogs at Academized.