Are You Looking for An Office to Rent in Prescott? Or Are You REALLY Looking for a Coworking Community?
Have you ever heard the phrase, “You don’t know what you don’t know? When you’re starting your own business, or growing a business you’ve already established, you may think all you really need is your laptop and a place to work – whether that be someplace inside your home or public library or café. But after a while you might start to notice that your chosen work place is not quite working out for a multitude of reasons. You may even start searching for an office to rent, which is often followed by sticker shock when you calculate the cost of rent, wifi, equipment, furniture, insurance, and so on. And then eventually you may come to realize that there's something even more important that you're missing - community.
Starting or growing your own business is no small task. And with more and more people entering the independent workforce it’s good to explore the many options out there that can help you build a sustainable business successfully surrounded by the right kind of support.
Here are just a few ways that coworking spaces are strategically designed to help the micro-business owner succeed:
1) Community Support. The number one reason that any independent worker may want to consider joining a coworking space is for the community support. Opening your own business is scary. It’s a huge risk and investment both personally and professionally. You put a lot of time, education, effort, money, consideration, research, and planning into your business, right? That whole preparing and planning stage is like working in a tunnel – you’re in a highly focused, determined work mode. But over time you may come to realize that intense way of working is not sustainable. And then you may struggle with staying focused and setting boundaries around your work time and find yourself not very productive. Suddenly you look up and wish you had a few other people around you who can help give you the support you need to do this self-employment thing better.
That’s the beauty of a coworking environment. Coworking members will support you. They will let you bounce your ideas, give you honest feedback, and cheer you on when you have a success. It’s a ready-made, diverse support mechanism just waiting for you to be part of the community.
2) Freely flowing feedback. This is a key benefit for entrepreneurs. In a coworking space lunchtime or anytime can become a brainstorming session with some pretty smart people. You don’t have to wait for a scheduled pitch night to get feedback.
The ever-ready exchange of skills, knowledge and the basic nuts and bolts of business, marketing, and technology are all around you. Just being around other entrepreneurs who are willing to share ideas and provide support will help you accelerate your business. You can usually just ask others in the community if you can do a quick demo of your product in an open conference room to offer you some feedback and support and they’re there for you.
3) Accelerated Serendipity. A coworking environment allows you to quickly build out a diverse social network, which can potentially lead to new clients, new investors or resources to help you get the work done. This is what some in the coworking movement refer to as 'accelerated serendipity’. It’s much different than the typical business networking group that meets once a week, but the only way to truly know the difference is to experience it. Seriously. It’s a world of difference
4) Save cold hard cash and valuable time. The best part of working in a coworking space is the ability to be flexible and quick. If you need a task done outside of your skillsets then there is likely someone in the community that can help you out. If you were working on your own, you would either take on the drawn out task of learning that new skillset, or create a job posting, or search Elance or oDesk and hire someone. This takes valuable time and you are faced with hiring someone you have never met with questionable skills.
5) Low cost. Of course, one of the most obvious reasons why people love coworking spaces is that the cost of membership is far more affordable than an executive office, and the cost is usually offset by the increase you receive in your business sales.
6) Shared amenities. This one is a no-brainer. Coworking spaces are a wonderful development of the new ‘sharing economy’ concept, which has made it possible for more people to gain access to an affordable professional work space or office, decent wifi, equipment, and meeting rooms that they may not otherwise have been able to afford at an early stage of their business development.
What other “trickle-down” benefits have you seen in the coworking community? Share your experience in a comment!
And if you’ve got friends who are still unsure that coworking is worth the monthly investment, please share your experience (and this article) with them as well!
About the Author:
Melanie Banayat, Founder of WingSpace.biz
Melanie is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Author of Stretch Your Brave, Hack Your Story, and an avid supporter of the 'self-employed'. She's hell-bent on bringing together a community of like-minded, business-focused people in the Greater Prescott Area to create the change we want to see in this area (that is not only about retirement and tourism).