PropertyStartup

Could CoWorking be the answer to business success?

CoWorking

Distractions are endless

Several weeks ago I decided I’d had enough of sitting at home at my dreary desk watching the cat continuously lick herself. The continuous drone of commercial radio, mixed with backyard lawn mowing and street traffic, was becoming a bore. Who can seriously work like this full time? I started to ask myself is CoWorking the way of the future? Let’s face it, working from home is eerily devoid of human contact during the day, and the distractions are endless. “I really must fix that squeaky hinge” and “Oh no, it’s going to rain this arvo. I have to get a couple of loads on the line before it does”. On and on it goes. Could CoWorking be the answer to my business success?

Hindsight is an amazing thing

What used to be an annoyance and pain in the butt in the corporate world has become trivial and to be completely frank, I miss it. Who cares if you’re crammed into pods like sardines, at least you have someone to talk to, bounce ideas off and enjoy a laugh. Why should I care if my stapler suddenly disappears? Just grab a new one out of the stationary cupboard. What’s the point in worrying about the noise? Take your call in another room, or plug in your iPod. That’s why hindsight is so amazing. You don’t know what you had until you lose it.

Aren’t all CoWorking spaces the same?

I’d had enough, so I set out on a mission to find a suitable CoWorking space. Being a first-time wannabe CoWorker, I had no idea what I was looking for in a solution. Aren’t all CoWorking spaces the same? How wrong I was. After completing some online research and taking advice from a few friends I soon learned how different CoWorking spaces could be. I had to think what was important to me and my business? Was it, Location, Cost, Facilities or maybe a free beer on Friday afternoon? What is going to help and not hinder the success of Usayso? Ah, let’s make a list….

Top 4 CoWorking considerations

Aside from the usual things to consider like, desk or office, daily, weekly or monthly rate. There are several other things worth considering. Here are my top 4 CoWorking considerations:
  1. Location, location, location – While being an online business, a location has less relevance than retail or a café; however, it is still an important decision. Do you need to be close to public transport? Who are your customers and where are they? Do you need a central location for the team? What sort of B2B networking community would you need to be around? Where is your competition located?
  2. Cost – Value for money play’s a significant role in most StartUP decision, especially if you’re bootstrapping it. Some questions to ask yourself include, how many days do you plan to work from the CoWorking space? Each provider offers slightly different packages depending on your usage. How flexible is the facility with contracts? How can they help in saving you money? e.g. free printing, coffee, and networking events?
  3. Atmosphere – Do you want a quiet office space, or perhaps something a bit more vibrant? Are you after an open plan layout or something more private? Do you want a desk and a chair or other creature comforts like coffee, kitchen, change rooms, access to a gym?
  4. CoWorking Focus – You have to consider that CoWorking is not a new trend. It’s being going on for years; however, the focus hasn’t always been about fostering business growth. The industry was dominated by companies wanting to save on costs by sharing resources. We now have a range of different CoWorking spaces catering for various industries and trends. Are you after a place that is full of Startups or mixed with established businesses? Some CoWorking spaces focus on Developers or Music and Arts, while others may take anyone and everyone.
So could CoWorking be the answer to business success? I have no doubt it can play a big part, especially in the very early stages of business development. Most offer a verity of flexible pricing packages. They have a mix of an open plan layout or private settings, as well as hi speed wireless internet, modern conference facilities, phone booths, standing work stations and a mix of indoor/outdoor work spaces. It’s now up to you to decide what best suits you and how you work.

So how do you choose the right CoWorking space?

I recommend shopping around and considering some of the points I’ve raised above. If you’re looking for a friendly hip, open plan space, with a focus on creative professionals and innovators, then maybe CoSydney is a place for you. Huddled in the back streets of Chippendale’s creative district, its private coffee house and regular art exhibitions may be of interest. Or perhaps you want something more energetic and vibrant, with a pinch of an industrial feel. WeWork has a new Pyrmont location, which focusses on building a supportive community and growing your network. WeWork offers flexible packages as well as access to their extensive range of WeWork locations both locally and aboard. They have partnered with some other businesses to help reduce costs for everyday business needs. They also hold regular lunch and learns and networking sessions to help accelerate your business growth. Perhaps you’re looking for something more closely to home. Some local business communities have created CoWorking spaces. Take Inspire CoWork in Miranda NSW. It’s close to public transport, and the local Westfield and its friendly owners and residents are very welcoming and eager to help. You also have Executive Republic, in Taren Point, who offer a range of flexible and cutting edge options for small business operators. Their personalised service approach helps in creating a professional and welcoming environment for you and your customers. So how do you choose? Get out there and start exploring. Most CoWorking spaces will offer you a free trial. Understand what works for you and your business, and maybe CoWorking could be the answer to your business success. Author: Clinton Smith

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