A Complete Checklist to Decide Whether Co-Working is the Right Choice For You Evaluate the need to socialise and network from your business's point of view and accordingly take a call

By Sanjay Choudhary

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Establishing a self-driven venture is a challenging task and it comes with its own set of concerns. One of the most persistent concerns is finding the ideal location to operate out of. Investing in a property at this initial stage might not be a wise and feasible choice as requires a huge amount of capital investment which may not be readily available at this stage of your venture. Another commonly sought out option is to rent an office space, which might also prove to be expensive for your limited team and incur a good amount in monthly bills.

With the overwhelming response that co-working spaces have received in India – opting for one for your own venture can prove to be a sensible decision in most cases. From just an experimental concept, co-working spaces have evolved intensely and garnered recognition not just from start-ups but established organisations due to its cost-effective subscription, networking opportunities and a multitude of facilities that it offers.

Although attractive, deciding whether a co-working space is the correct option for you is a crucial decision, a complete checklist to help you choose if this option is your calling:

  • Planning Initial Costs: Undoubtedly, the cost per seat is almost half or one-third of conventional leasing cost, but there are other expenses as well. It comprises of expenses related to brokers, deposits, build-outs, moving, infrastructure, furnishings, utilities, and everything else. On closely analysing the options available, you will notice that flexible workspace options can greatly impact the overall cost, if you can access a space that offers pay-for-usage-only benefit. Look for single-day use passes, with flexible space options that meet your both short-term and long-term needs, where you have to pay for the time you availed the benefits of the premises.

Also, ensure that the coworking space has multiple locations as this will help you leverage the meeting hour anywhere you travel.

  • Quality: Coworking spaces may look the same on the surface, but there are a number of things you will realise with time. A coworking space doesn't charge you for the piece of land, but also a number of facilities they provide. The cheaper options may not be able to meet up to your expectations. However, a right space will ensure that they provide services that you signed for. Be sure of what you are opting for as there might be things you skip in the rush of a busy site tour. There are high-end coworking options that are not right for some businesses, and low-end offerings that are perfect for others. Know what you need and don't settle for anything less.
  • Amenities and Perks: Renting a coworking space is not just about access to a piece of the property. It is a complete package. A rented space would demand extra efforts to set-up desks, storage solutions, Wi-Fi connections, kitchen, and conference rooms. But if one opts for a co-working space all these facilities comes as an add on advantage. You don't need to invest time, efforts and finances to arrange for these basic requirements. Moreover, it cuts off those petty expenses like internet cost, electricity bills, security charges etc., that sometimes accounts for a huge part of your earnings. Review your business plan while factoring in costs to determine if co-working aligns with your vision.
  • Growth Prospects: A number of coworking spaces attract people with similar interests. The biggest advantage of a coworking space is to connect with like-minded people, build connections and grow together. One might find potential clients, business partners or employees. In contrast, if you are working in a conventional office space, you will follow that longstanding method of spending time to research for relevant people, reaching out to them, financing time and money for traveling to interact. Coworking space ease up the process for you. Therefore, evaluate the need to socialise and network from your business's point of view and accordingly take a call on the space that suits you best.
  • Expansion Plans: A business, start-up or established is tends to grow in terms of turnover, activities and in turn the number of employees as well. A conventional office has a limited space and can accommodate a specific number of employees. In future, when the company or organisation plans to expand the operations, they will require space to accommodate more people. This will call up for another location and the whole process to search for another property. On the contrary, if you are operating from a coworking space - all that needs to be done is to invest a bit extra on few more desk spaces for the new employees.
  • Community Engagements: Isolation can be one of the biggest disadvantages for start-ups, freelancers or stringers. Sitting alone in a private space or in a traditional rented office space can hamper the work as one might not get motivated to be productive in the said working environment. To break the monotony, coworking space can be a one shop solution for all freelancers by providing them with the right ambience, environment and exposure. They also organise events and activities to keep the spirits up and promote a healthy work life balance by ensuring timely rejuvenation.
Sanjay Choudhary

founder and CEO of Incuspaze

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