The concept of coworking spaces (a physical space where independent workers come together to work) has been around since 2005, but it was not until recent years that coworking has become a prominent choice as a workspace for entrepreneurs and startups. Today, many startups choose to work in coworking spaces before they consider getting an office of their own. And while working in a shared office may not be the ideal situation for some, modern coworking spaces of today are steadily proving to be the best choice for the majority of startups and entrepreneurs.
To illustrate, here are some of the benefits that coworking spaces can provide to startups.
“All included” services
Many coworking spaces offer plans with “all-included” services to their customers. Plans usually include a virtual office that provides startups with a professional mailing address, in-house receptionist service, an individual business phone line, a welcome desk, mail handling services, and many more, depending on the type of plan.
For many startups, the cost is the number one driving factor in choosing to work in a coworking space. As opposed to renting an individual office space, startups can save a lot of capital by starting out in a coworking space wherein monthly fees cover the rent, utilities, Internet, taxes, and maintenance. They don’t even have to worry about initial costs like furniture, interior design, equipment, and fit-outs. A coworking space provides all of these and more at a fixed monthly cost.
Many coworking spaces have the basic amenities of a regular office, including free beverages, conference rooms, kitchenettes, high-speed Internet, and lounge areas. Some even go the extra mile and provide higher-level amenities like sleeping rooms, sit-to-stand furniture, wellness rooms, game rooms, outdoor spaces, and phone booths. Depending on a startup’s priorities, they will be able to choose a coworking space that offers the level of comfort, convenience, and fun that they need and want.
A coworking space is home to different kinds of workers from different industries and backgrounds. It’s one of the biggest benefits of working in a coworking space, especially for entrepreneurs and startups that want to expand their network. A diverse place like a coworking space provides plenty of opportunities to get to know people inside and outside of the industry, allowing startups to foster more professional relationships and perhaps collaborate with other entrepreneurs.
A coworking space can offer private offices, not just shared space. For startups, this means that they can rent a private office when they scale up and hire more workers, but still be able to enjoy the shared amenities and avoid the higher expenses that come with renting their own office.
Working in a shared office is probably not a permanent set-up for startups. As their company (and financial capability) grows, they will likely move to somewhere permanent eventually. Coworking offices make this transition easy and smooth, as opposed to moving from one traditional office to another. In fact, it can be just as simple as giving a 30-day notice to the coworking space management and then packing up on moving day. There are no telephone lines to cut, Internet plans to cancel, or furniture to move — it’s just the company itself and whatever physical assets they have.
Location is one of the most important factors that startups need to consider before choosing a coworking space. A building in a central area of the town or city is the best place for many startups, however, rent in areas like this is expensive — often too expensive for small companies that are just starting out.
A coworking space is the best solution to this dilemma. By renting a coworking space, a startup can enjoy the benefits of being situated in a central area without the full brunt of the rent. Moreover, they will be able to use the address of the building to look more professional and established.
Renting a coworking space is definitely less risky than leasing an office, especially for startups on rocky starts. When the business succeeds, they can scale to an actual private office without a hitch. But when the business fails, there is a good chance for minimal fallout since the startup is not tied down by lease agreements, utility contracts, and other commitments that go with having a traditional office.
Coworking spaces are some of the best, most cost-effective options for startups. It also offers the most security and flexibility among other options. Moreover, coworking spaces can provide plenty of opportunities to build networks, foster working relationships, and grow the business in more ways than one.