According to the Small Business Administration, over 627,000 new small businesses open up every year. Entrepreneurship can be both a thrill and a challenge, and one of the greatest challenges entrepreneurs face is finding the right working space in which to pursue their dreams and carry out their daily tasks.
Because a new business can be risky and can require an outlay of the entrepreneur’s own funds, it’s tempting to want to eliminate the cost of office space entirely and merely work from home. However, working from home has several disadvantages over a traditional office space:
- It’s socially isolating.
- It doesn’t provide amenities such as a gym, meeting room, or deli.
- The home is not an appropriate place to meet a client.
On the other hand, traditional office spaces have disadvantages over working from home:
- Traditional offices are expensive.
- Traditional offices are inflexible.
- Traditional offices are confining.
Fortunately, it’s possible for entrepreneurs to benefit from shared working spaces without having to spend a small fortune or confine themselves to a traditional model. This is why you might hear an entrepreneur say, “I’m looking for coworking near me.” The benefits of coworking spaces include affordability, professionalism, networking, and motivation.
Coworking environments allow entrepreneurs to save money on office expenses by splitting costs with other entrepreneurs and freelancers. A start-up can rent an entire suite, or a sole proprietor can rent just a single desk in a shared space. There’s no need to sign a year-long lease, either, as many of these spaces allow the flexibility of month-to-month membership fees. That means if an entrepreneur’s business should suddenly take off, she can move from a desk to a suite the very next month. Or, if a small business owner finds he needs to tighten his belt, he can move to a cheaper arrangement without being trapped in an expensive lease.
Entrepreneurs want to be taken seriously. They have to present a professional face to the world, and sometimes that hard to do out of a basement. Shared spaces allow entrepreneurs to invited clients and other contacts to a formal, professional furnished conference room in a central location. Often, such spaces have other amenities, such as high-speed internet, which can facilitate meetings, or coffee, which an entrepreneur can serve his clients.
No new business will survive for long without networking. While the Internet makes it possible to network from home like never before, there is no substitute for in-person, face-to-face interactions. In coworking spaces, entrepreneurs come into regular contact with other professionals in a wide array of fields. This can help entrepreneurs to get input that may help them to improve their services, make contacts, and expand their businesses.
Entrepreneurs are often driven by passion, but passion can be hard to maintain in isolation. Shared workspaces allow workers to feed off of an environment of energy and accomplishment. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs once said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” Seeing others at work around them can inspire entrepreneurs to persevere even when challenges batter the business. Sharing a workspace is like sharing a community, and sometimes just having someone else to talk to about business can give a person the inspiration to press on.
“I need to find coworking near me” will be a continued refrain of entrepreneurs in the years to come. Statista predicts that, by 2020, there will be 1.8 million people working in coworking spaces across the globe. These people will be able to take advantage of the affordability, professionalism, networking opportunities, and motivation these spaces offer. While it may be tempting to work from home or from a table in the corner of the local café, coworking environments have so much more to offer the entrepreneur who hopes to bring his or her business to new heights.