Coworking has emerged as an alternative to the traditional office among startups, because it alleviates some of the stress of staring a new business by providing affordable, flexible workspaces and networking opportunities to facilitate growth. According to deskmag, the number of coworking spaces globally has risen by 36% in 2015, and the trend looks to continue.
Here are 5 reasons why your startup should choose coworking:
1. Save Money with a Flexible Lease
If you’re an early stage startup, cash flow is king and paramount to your survival. The last thing you should spend your money on is sunk overhead costs that drain capital. Coworking spaces offer the flexibility of short-term, month-to-month leases which reduce the upfront costs that would have been spent on restrictive long-term leases for office space. Instead, you can reinvest in your product, in hiring talent, or in other areas of the business that drive growth.
You also don’t need to pay for unused space that just sits there. A new contract came in and need to hire some more employees? That’s a good problem to have when you’re a member of a coworking community that can accommodate your growing team, while not breaking the bank.
2. Spend More Time Growing Your Business
Working at a startup, time is your most valuable resource. Between keeping customers happy, setting goals, traveling to industry events, hiring, and meeting with investors, your team is wearing many hats, and often doesn’t have enough hours in the day. The last thing your small team needs is spending time maintaining an office.
Coworking spaces offer convenience like no other. Your team can come into the office, grab a cup of coffee, fire up your laptops, and start working right away. Don’t worry about who is going to buy more coffee or fill the keg. Spend your valuable time on things that matter, like growing your business.
3. Leverage the Network for Valuable Expertise
Coworking spaces provide instant collaboration and networking opportunities. No other place offers the environment to meet thought leaders across industries and with a variety of skillsets. The exchanges and interactions that take place at the coffee bar or networking events are hugely beneficial to startups as these new connections can spark new ideas and provide instant feedback on your business that you cannot get elsewhere, especially at a coffee shop or your home office.
Want feedback on a new idea? Need to hire a developer to redesign your website? Valuable expertise is only a few steps away. Chances are, someone at your coworking space can help, or can point you in the right direction. Think of the hours of time you’ll save with this setup; time you can reinvest in your business instead of posting a job description on an online job board or getting frustrated trying to find relevant user feedback.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you already have a different take on the world, and think you bring something uniquely valuable to the marketplace you’re disrupting. Coworking spaces have emerged as the new hubs of innovation where early stage startups can thrive in an environment of likeminded professionals.
4. Access to All-In-One, Worry-Free Office Space
At its heart, coworking spaces give you access to turnkey, worry-free office space. Coworking spaces provide the office infrastructure you need to be productive and get work done, including fast WiFi, conference rooms, breakout meeting space, printing, and more. This is a huge benefit to an early stage startup, because you don’t have to spend time setting up and maintaining an office or fighting for outlets at a coffee shop.
5. Use the Perks and Benefits to Attract Talent
As a startup, you’re looking to hire exceptional talent in a competitive market. Take advantage of the various perks of becoming a member of a coworking space, and use them as a recruiting tool. Perks like unlimited coffee, tea, beer, wine, the wellness rooms, and the massage chairs are awesome amenities that coworking spaces provide. Combine that with discounts on everything from gym memberships, to hotel stays, to sporting events, and your company instantly offers an amazing set of benefits that can help tilt talent in your favor.
Convinced that your startup should join a coworking space? Awesome! You should choose a coworking space that fits with your culture and needs. Your startup may need to host frequent client meetings, and might prioritize more conference room time and a great location versus some of the other perks that you might not need. Figure out what kind of people you would be sharing the space with, and if it’s a good cultural fit for your team.
Coworking spaces have popped up around most major cities throughout the world, and each one has its own look and feel. Some are more social, others are more productive and have more of a focus on getting work done. Tour the spaces you’re considering, and ask for a trial day to see if it’s a good fit. Ultimately, you’ll be spending a lot of time there so you want to make sure it’s a place where your startup can grow and thrive.