It’s 10 a.m. on a Saturday. I’m in a coffee shop reading, and as I look around I can’t help notice, I’m surrounded by people on laptops and others engaged in conversations about projects and business ideas they are working on.
I overhear one particular conversation that catches my attention. There are two women sitting next to me discussing ideas for businesses they have, but they don’t know where to start. What is particularly interesting is that from what I can tell, they are both gainfully employed. One of the women wants to turn a passion project into a passive income source, and the other wants to find a way to take a product idea she came up with while traveling for work to market.
Lately I’ve been having similar conversations with friends and colleagues. It could be because of changes in the economy, or that my social circles have started thinking more about passive income sources, but it seems like everyone is starting a business or has an idea they want to get off the ground.
Regardless of the starting point—whether they are fully employed or not; whether they have a fleshed-out business model that's already making a profit but want to take it to the next level, or just a desire to start something—I always recommend joining a coworking space as the next step. I’ve worked out of different spaces across the U.S. and can honestly say that not all spaces are created equal. The ones that get it right offer educational and social programming, flexible memberships, and remarkable spaces designed with intention. These elements in combination can directly impact a business’s bottom line.
I’ll break down the rationale I give to those who have full-time jobs in a future post, but for now I’ll start with folks who actually have a small business or a funded startup and are interested in growing.
Three benefits of coworking for a small business owner.
- Saving on the cost of space: One of the biggest expenses of a small business is office space. You can find a space that’s cheap, but if you’re looking for a space that you feel motivated to go to each day, the cost goes up. There is also the hidden cost of the lease and operation costs of running it. Things like cleaning, utilities, coffee, furniture, etc. usually don’t get considered. All of these items, while critical to managing the space you work out of, don’t directly impact a business’s product. Whether an entrepreneur is at the edge about to take the leap or just getting started, I always advise them to get an office at a coworking space for this reason.
- Investing in a healthy company culture: The second benefit has to do with engaging employees and building the type of culture needed to create quality goods and services. The right coworking spaces have it built into their membership experience. The best coworking spaces offer community-focused activities designed to help you move your business forward. In fact, some of the better coworking spaces host great networking events and offer educational programing employees can attend for free or at a member discount.
- Connecting to a network of highly motivated people: Lastly, and I'd say most importantly, at a coworking space you’re surrounded by other highly motivated, high-functioning people that are working on growing their business as well. Having a network of people can make a world of difference. I consider myself particularly lucky because I have the best of both worlds. On one hand, I know what it takes to deliver on the COCO promise and the team I work with to do so delivers a level of output that is almost unheard of. On the other hand, I get to interact with and get energized by our members as I work on my projects as well. Side note, we're looking for talented people to join our team as we speak.
Being an entrepreneur or entrepreneurial minded, whether you’re a startup founder or a small business owner, the journey can be a real roller coaster. Having an authentic group of motivated people around you working on building their own future and disrupting industries can directly contribute to successful personal and professional outcomes.
Of all the coworking spaces I’ve worked at in the past, I can confidently say we offer the most value to our members, and I’m not just saying that because I work here. I started out as a member as well and took advantage of all the benefits I’ve listed myself. Now I get to help shape our member experience, and knowing why we do the things we do and how we do it makes me even more of an advocate. Don’t just take my word for it though. Schedule a tour and see for yourself what makes COCO a unique place to build or grow a business. You can do so here.
That's all I’ve got for now; I hope this was helpful. I’ll be hanging out here in the comments and you can also find me on Instagram.
- Thinking about signing or renewing a long-term office lease? Check this post out on the true cost of office space before doing so.
- Have an idea for a business but think it needs a bit more fleshing out? Check out this post on using Design Thinking to reimagine your business.
- Wondering about the culture you’ll find at our coworking locations? Check out this video.
I laid in bed this morning and successfully rationalized not going for a run. Then I took Kingston, our dog out and saw the view. The colors were changing and there was a nice cool breeze. How could I not get in on this? So I came home, drank some coffee, bundled up and hit the streets. It was cooler than I thought it was going to be but I'm glad I went.