Following through on your business idea is hard enough. Staying the course, finding investors, building a team, creating credibility, optimising operations, dealing with accounts and legalities while keeping your chin up and happiness intact is tougher still. But startup entrepreneurs do not need to tinker away in their garages, live out of their cars or wish away their blues in isolation anymore. If you have a startup and you have ambition, here’s why you should consider co-working:
Working out of your bedroom or a cafe can be distracting, even isolating. In a co-working space, you need not give up your flexible work routine, yet find the company of like-minded people, add some structure to your work and demand accountability from yourself and your team.
No long-term leases need to be paid. Space can be rented by the month. There are also daily, hourly rental plans or pay-per-use options. Setting up printers/scanners, pantry, pool tables and meeting rooms would be a prohibitive cost for a startup. In a co-working space, you could avail fully functional office space at a fraction of the cost. Even prime office locations become affordable if you work out of a co-working space.
Co-working environment allows newbies on low budgets to improve their credibility with potential employees, clients, even investors. Would it be more helpful for your credibility to fly in and conduct interviews in a cafe in the city or out of a new business centre in Gandhinagar?
If you opt for co-working, you are surrounded by people of many interests, many skill-sets and varied experience. The co-working revolution is built on a culture of sharing and diversity in this environment spawns new ideas and novel approaches to old problems. You may hit upon solutions or avenues for your business that you had never known existed.
You will be able to strengthen your networks with people working in areas other than your own. In co-working spaces, the norm is to connect, to take referrals and make referrals. It is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to discover new partners, vendors or team members with help from the extended networks of their co-workers.
You could comfortably accommodate a more substantial team when business picks up or cut down on team size when needed. You could distribute your teams, start a pilot project in a new city or travel for investor meetings and yet be able to have a workspace that fits your changing needs. For a startup that is growing, taking risks, evaluating options while trying to remain operationally and financially prudent, coworking provides the greatest flexibility at an affordable price.
More than an established business, a startup venture is fraught with highs and lows that extract an emotional toll from the entrepreneur. In co-working spaces in the center of Chicago, entrepreneurs typically weather these challenges better because you are surrounded by other startups like you and also experts and seasoned professionals who can serve as a sounding board in tough times. The sense of community and social ties engendered make sure that you have an emotional support system when you need one.
Things that you didn’t know you needed! – In addition to all the above, many co-working spaces actively support the startup community – by organising pitch nights with investors, providing accounting and legal advice, hosting industry meetups and mentoring programs, even hobby clubs and meditation areas – things that overworked entrepreneurs would readily value but have little time to set up for themselves.
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