Comparing Co-Working to Office Space and Deciding what is Right for You
Co-working spaces are the newest trend among small business owners and entrepreneurs. These spaces give professionals the ability to go somewhere besides their home to get work done and often include other amenities such as audio/video equipment, office equipment, meeting spaces, reserved desks, internet access, and sometimes an office kitchen area. While this may seem like a great arrangement, it is important to consider all aspects before deciding on co-working space for your small business.
Co-Working Spaces Provide a Professional Environment
Some small business owners and entrepreneurs find it very difficult to work from home - in many cases things such as television, pets, and children can be very distracting. Although working from home, or in a local coffee shop or library, is usually free of charge, these spaces often do not lend themselves to being very productive environments. While co-working spaces do have an expense attached to them, they are often have a much more professional atmosphere, which many people find more productive.
It is important to remember that co-working spaces often do not have private offices for each person renting in the space. In most cases, there will be desks arranged throughout one larger room with other smaller, private spaces available such as meeting rooms or boardrooms. Make sure to keep this in mind when considering a co-working space - while the environment will be more professional than your living room, you will likely not get the same kind of privacy as a traditional office space.
Co-Working Spaces can Provide Networking Opportunities
Chances are, if you choose to join a co-working space, you will be meeting clients and business partners in that space, meaning they will also be exposed to the other professionals sharing this workspace. Before signing up to join a co-working organization, ask what other types of businesses or professionals will be sharing the area with you - see if there is any potential for networking or partnerships as well as seeing if those businesses are in direct competition for your customers or clients.
There is a Cost for Joining a Co-Working Organization
Just like there is a cost to rent an office space, there is also a cost to become a part of a co-working space. Depending on what type of organization you choose to work with, it could either be a prepayment for a set amount of time or monthly installments much like paying rent. While the cost of joining a co-working organization is important, you should also take other costs into consideration, including a possibly longer commute or having to eat out more often since you will not be at home.
In the end, only you as the business owner or entrepreneur can make the decision about whether or not a co-working space is right for you and/or your business. Will being in a professional environment make you more productive? Will exposing your clients to other businesses bring up issues with competition? Is it more cost effective to invest your time and money into acquiring your own office space? All of these are important questions to ask before making the move to join a co-working organization.
Stacy O'Quinn is a work from home professional that helps other aspiring entrepreneurs develop and launch their own small business projects. If you would like to learn more about Stacy and learn about the opportunities he has available for aspiring business owners, please click here.
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