“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” -- Peter Drucker
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, and it’s a rather long, and lonely journey. But does it have to be a particularly bumpy one?
We know the risks that come with being an entrepreneur, they are innate and unavoidable –
- The long hours one has to put in,
- Being accountable for everything,
- Sacrificing personal life &
- Most importantly the cost and finances involved
While none of these can be eliminated they can sure be mitigated. Wouldn’t you as an entrepreneur want to lessen any of the uncertainties and complexities attached with your work?
Today there are investment banks, insurances, expert marketing and finance teams to help one choose the most effective and gainful solutions for all their business needs. From recruitment, to implementation, to marketing, etc. a number of business functions can now be easily outsourced for a pocket friendly fee. With the increasing need to manage core functions effectively a new style of office management – Coworking has become the answer for many established and new businesses.
What started off as a serviced office solution has now grown into a comprehensive office and community management service. More and more Startups & SMEs are switching to Coworking due to the various economic and tactical benefits they have to offer. Here are some of the top reasons that I talk about in this segment:
Economic Benefits of Running Businesses from Shared Offices
1. No locking-ins / fixed cost – Renting a Coworking space means no long-term leases or purchases. Coworking spaces are furnished with adequate office furnishings and equipment, hence, there is no need to invest in any office furniture. Most spaces come often with superior IT and network infrastructure such as servers, firewalls, Wi-Fi access points, minimizing one’s IT procurement needs. One can also look forward to 0 lock-in periods and down payments making the whole the process a lot less committed.
2. Shared resources – As we march towards into era of shared economy, we se ever more successful business models based on shared consumption. Coworking is no different, which works on the principle of shared resources. If you have ever lived as a paying guest or car-pooled you know what I am talking about. A coffee machine for a 5 people office might not seem as such a good idea but it certainly does for 20 people or more. The burden of resources is distributed among all the members and hence, more amenities and equipment can be availed at a fractional cost.
3. Scope for flexibility – Whether one wishes to expand his/her team or set up in a new city, Coworking proves to be the most cost effective solution for any business. There is no need to lease an additional office space or invest in new infrastructure; all one has to do is rent a few extra seats. And if for any reason the business owner wishes to downsize his/her team then, unlike regular offices where there is no scope of reducing the rent regardless of the size of the team, co- working spaces permit you to cut down on the number of desks and other resources as per your office needs.
This unique feature of co-working spaces lets you to keep your company nimble and agile.
Now let’s talk about, the Tactical Benefits of Using Co-working Spaces
I have often found that for some entrepreneurs the tactical benefits outweigh the economical ones. Especially with startups that are looking for a supportive and conducive ecosystem and networking opportunities, Coworking is more than just a budget office.
3. Wider access to skill sets & increased productivity – In a typical office set-up it is the entrepreneur and his/her team, with occasional conversations with the next door lessees / offices. But it’s different with a Coworking space as the diversity of members and the amount of interactions is much higher. Furthermore, certain Coworking spaces regulate the mix of members they have to preserve certain amount of diversity. While some like, Hacker Dojo might encourage mostly programmers at their spaces, others may insist on variety. This enables extensive knowledge sharing and networking. One may meet his/her next big client, or a valued vendor through their Coworking ecosystem. Some start-ups have claimed to have met their co-founders while working at a Coworking space.
Another advantage is that there are few or no instances of internal politics, glass doors, or direct competition in such co-working spaces. This specific advantage enables all members to draw upon the skill sets of others without putting on a ‘work persona’.
4. More effectively collaborated efforts – Like I said entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, but with co-working spaces, there is no reason to feel isolated or lonely. The motivation that one can draw from working alongside like-minded people who are facing more or less the same challenges is unparalleled. One can often find himself driven on the collective energy that a Coworking space bustles with.
5. Hiring becomes easy – For most startups, the need for Coworking arises when there is an increase in business volumes and potential talent has to be hired. However, it is difficult to hire the right people without a proper official framework. This is easier within shared workspaces where the overall environment is more productive and efficient and gives an opportunity to employees to work in a disciplined environment. Here, entrepreneurs benefit from the general feeling of well-being and contemporary work culture prevailing in the environment.
These are but a few ways in which Coworking is proving to be the most ideal workplace solution for budding as well as seasoned entrepreneurs. The ease of operations and add-on services like recruitment support, legal support, IT/Admin support further make it a sought after workplace solution. With its collaborative ecosystem and multitude of offerings, Coworking has given the serviced office industry a whole new meaning.