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5 ways to use coworking spaces


So, you’ve finally gone and done it. You went and started up your own business. How are you feeling? Excited? Exhilarated? Utterly paralysed with terror? An unnameable combination of all three? Thought as much! Don’t worry. It’s all perfectly normal. This bittersweet cocktail of emotions is common in all who eschew the dead ends and frustrations of the traditional career path for the chance to strike out on their own.

Whether you’re starting up your own business solo or whether you’re joined by an intrepid team of colleagues / friends, the decisions you make in your early days might just be the most important you ever make as the owner of your own business. Decisions like whether to set yourself up in a private office, build your business from home or opt for a coworking space.


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What are Coworking Spaces?

Coworking spaces aren’t places where you go to work cows. Frankly, we don’t even know what that would entail. They’re shared facilities that provide you with everything you need from an office (space, power, connectivity, endless coffee) at a fraction of the overheads that come with office space in most major conurbations.

Not only are they fun places in which to work and spend time, they’re beneficial to your nascent enterprise in a number of ways.Here are 5 ways in which your business can make use of coworking spaces to get off to the best start...

They allow you to get started straight away

Whether you’ve just nailed down your business plan or recently secured funding, you’re likely chomping at the bit to get started. But searching for the perfect office space can stall that momentum, not to mention tying you into prohibitively long contracts. By contrast, coworking spaces enable you to get started pretty much straight away, so you can move in while you’re riding high on that wave of positivity and optimism that’s so important in business.

And because you’re only paying a fraction of what you’d pay for your own office, you can be assured of easy cash flow from day one.

They’re highly flexible and can be scaled up as your business grows

Don’t want your small business to stay small for long? No problem. The beauty of coworking spaces is that their provisions can grow with you, to meet the changing needs of your business. In your early days, you might need only a single desk. But as you gain more clients and a more substantial reputation, you might need more dedicated space. Coworking spaces can provide a range of solutions on flexible terms. So your provision can grow as your business grows, but it can also be scaled back if times get leaner or demand fluctuates with the seasons.

This means that you’ll never need to spend money than is necessary on the roof over your business and this means that you’ll be able to maintain liquidity in those crucial early months.

They can provide you with meeting and conferencing facilities

In your early days of business, it’s likely that you’ll be making a lot of pitches, attending a lot of meetings and building relationships with the people who will take your business forward. It’s much easier to make the ultimate first impression with a coworking space.

Let’s face it, you don’t want to entertain potential clients or investors in the spare room where your laptop shares space with piles of laundry and several cats. You want a prestigious and centrally located space in which you can wow them. Coworking spaces allow you to do this at an affordable price with meeting and conferencing facilities which can be booked out when you need them.

These facilities are also scalable. You need to make an all-singing all-dancing presentation with projected videos, graphs, music and pyrotechnics (may not be allowed-always check) in a dedicated conference suite. Or simply book a more modest meeting room if you just want a relaxed chat over coffee.

While these facilities will be shared with other teams and individuals, they are usually easy to arrange with enough notice.

There’s a wealth of networking opportunity under one roof

Whatever the nature of your business, there’s a good chance that it can be improved by knowing the right people. And knowing who those people and how to network with them is a skill with an extremely sharp learning curve. While networking events are a potentially useful way to do this, they’re not for everyone. They’re inherently a little bit awkward and it’s all too easy to find yourself inflicting your elevator pitch on some poor soul who’s just trying to sidle their way to the platter with the good biscuits.

Effective networking happens when people get to know one another, establish a mutual trust and respect then slowly start to investigate the possibility of a working relationship. And the nature of networking events isn’t always conducive to that kind of courtship.

Coworking spaces, on the other hand, are filled with a diverse range of clever, dynamic and talented people all under one roof. As you get to know each other at the coffee machine or the water cooler you’ll start to build relationships organically.

Coworking spaces aren’t just a great place to meet people with whom you can network. They’re also amazing to meet like-minded people with whom you can engage socially. This can help ensure that you retain your work / life balance and prevent entrepreneurial burnout.

Use them alongside virtual receptionists or assistants for the ultimate combo!

Coworking spaces provide a prestigious and centrally located space in which you can operate your business. But rarely will they be able to take and divert your calls, manage your schedule or ensure that your clients get an answer straight away. Virtual receptionists and assistants can neatly fill in the gaps that coworking spaces tend to leave, creating the ultimate combo of services (while still proving significantly cheaper than hiring an office of your own).

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