Market musings

Is a Coworking Space Right For Your Small Business?

by Sasha Viasasha
August 26, 2017

Coworking spaces are springing up around the country, and not just in downtown business districts. From lofty industrial spaces to cozier dens tucked into smaller towns as well as urban neighborhoods, you can find everything from pool tables and urban gardens to meditation rooms and rooftop patios.

Super-fast Wi-Fi is a typical perk, and most serve free coffee, tea, etc. There's normally a kitchen for making your own lunch and a high-tech meeting room for networking events. Chances are you can find a space that suits you. More and more small businesses are opting for shared office space. Coworking is no longer just for digital nomads and freelancers.

SMB’s now make up 49% of the occupancy of these spaces.  

There's also a wide range of packages based on how much and what types of spaces you need. You can pay for occasional drop-ins as needed, reserve a desk in a common area, or secure the proverbial corner office overlooking a bustling downtown vista. Is a coworking space right for your small business? Here are some things to consider:

Save a lot of money by not paying for a commercial lease

If you want an office in New York City, you'll be lucky to find 811 square feet for $5,000 per month. Prices vary based on your location but the expense of a commercial lease has traditionally been the largest stumbling block to establishing a central business location. A coworking space is a much more sensible financial move for a cash-conscious small business. 

You need the flexibility of scaling up or down

Flexible terms are the number one advantage of coworking for growing companies. It allows your businesses to grow freely without the stress of a risky CapEx committment to a static office space. Office leases often start at a two year contract, and then you must equip and furnish the space yourself. In contrast, most coworking spaces offer month to month leases, along with some longer term packages.

On the other hand, you have the even less committal option of working in an open area on a pay-as-you-go basis. If you settle on a long-term arrangement, you can personalize the space as much or as little as you like.

It’s getting hard to get work done at home (or the local coffee shop)

You need a productivity boost, and the motivation that comes with getting out each day. Home can be productive, but it can also begin to feel confining, and joining a coworking space can be just what you need to shake things up. It's simple to test out various spaces to find the one where you can get more done. Shop around for the best deal and a space that fits your company culture. 

You travel to multiple cities

In the old days, your hotel lobby was the best place to meet with clients, freelancers, and other collaborators when you were on the road. Now, a membership in a coworking space gives you an instant high-tech office wherever you go. Many coworking companies have offices across the nation and around the world.

Depending on your membership package, you can access a space to host clients, meet partners and work while you travel. Some services like Deskpass give you access to a network of spaces, while WeWork assigns you credits to reserve a conference room anywhere. Together with services like Airbnb, you can save money and have a place to work anywhere you travel.

You want to be part of a community

Coworking spaces are more than shared office space, they are shared networks. Not everyone is terribly engaged in the social side of the coworking community, but access to local services, writers, graphic artists, and other contractors can be a big bonus. Just socializing with other like-minded entrepreneurs and small business owners can boost your morale and keep you focused on your goals.

You want to create videos, podcasts or other media like sales demos

Want to start a monthly podcast, or create some simple videos to promote your business? Many coworking spaces have conference rooms equipped with whiteboards, monitors, and other tools. You might even be able to assemble a production team to help you.

You need a place to host clients

Tired of meeting clients at coffee shops where you can’t be sure you’ll have privacy, internet and be comfortable? A coworking space can provide you a professional setting to host meetings, interview freelancers and meet with potential clients. A Business address is an added perk if you need it.

Something for everyone

What do you need from an office space? A private space to make sales calls? An area to meet with visitors? A quiet place to sit down and do some work a few times a week? Copier, printer and other supplies? Whether you decide an office in a coworking space is right for your business or opt for a more flexible arrangement, there are plenty of options for small businesses looking to grow.

The future of work 

The future of work isn’t just for big corporations, it’s transforming the way small business operate. Open talent markets, coworking spaces, and BYOD platforms ensure you can grow your business anywhere, anytime.

At Spoke, we want to help small businesses grow. We’ve designed a phone system just for you. In just three minutes you can turn your mobile phone into a business line with all the functionality of an enterprise-class phone system. Our smart directory keeps track of all your business calls and supports your company with features like an AI receptionist, easy call transfer, and group calling. Check out our no risk free trial and see how Spoke can help you, whether you are working from the road, a coworking space, or home. 

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