Many entrepreneurs and startups love the idea of co-working, being surrounded by like-minded individuals, having a desk and meeting facilities, while saving money in the early stages of building a business.
But if a shared workspace isn’t executed or delivered properly, it can actually be detrimental to a small business or startup, create unnecessary problems and leave you frustrated.
Alex Hill from Hello Work, Manchester offers the following insights on things to consider when choosing a co-working space:
Location – is it near public transport, is there parking?
Noise – from all angles and how this will affect you and those working around you
Communal and meeting spaces – is there an enclosed area or break out section for you to meet clients and hold confidential discussion, if required
Characters – do you have an adaptable and likeable personality? You may need to be patient on some occasions and work with people you wouldn’t normally work with from completely different sectors and backgrounds
Business advice and encouragement – entrepreneurs and small businesses often have to overcome hurdles in the early stages. Does the landlord share contacts for help with finances, equipment repairs, technical problems?
Budget – does the overall cost workout cheaper than you renting a space or desk within another office, or working from home?
Flexibility – what if you find yourself sitting next to people who need to talk on the phone a lot / loudly and you can’t concentrate? Is there an opportunity to move?
When you find the right co-working space for you, this way of working can really help propel your business forwards. You’ll often find that your co-workers become advocates for your business and you’ll naturally network together, plus it’s a great way of having people on hand to run ideas by.
It creates a great sense of community and can provide positive business networks, resources, and useful contacts. It can also ease some of the stress of starting a new business and connect you with talented people with innovative ideas and aspirations.