If you’ve been running your own business from the comfort of your own home for a while now, you might need a change of scenery. Many freelancers and entrepreneurs opt for shared office spaces, also known as coworking hubs, which provide a productive, well-equipped environment where you can let your creative juices flow. But with a myriad of coworking spaces popping up on every corner, how do you know which one would be best for you and/or your business? We’re here to help you assess some key factors regarding your requirements, goals and plans for your business venture, which should help you choose the best shared office space.
Here are a few aspects worth considering when looking for the right coworking space for you:
Location is key
One of the most important things to consider (if not the most important) when assessing a coworking hub is its location. While you might not have the budget for a fancy office in a high-end neighborhood, you can easily rent a desk space or a meeting room at a coworking hub located in a great area. This is quite a vital aspect, since first impressions matter, especially when you have to impress a client or a potential shareholder of the value and professionalism of your company. If you’re a small business owner and you have co-workers, make sure each member of your team can reach the office easily.
Check the culture
When looking at shared office spaces, don’t forget to check out the crowds they attract. For instance, you might not feel quite at home as a freelance fashion designer when you’re surrounded only by tech startups. You should always strive to set up camp among like-minded individuals, since they can inspire you and can even collaborate with you in the future. Some of the most significant benefits of coworking hubs can be the community spirit and the knowledge that is freely shared among the members.
Don’t overlook the design
Although often overlooked by many, the design and layout of an office space can really make or break your concentration. It’s important for a coworking hub to have an abundance of natural light, plenty of space available to every individual and a quiet environment to increase productivity. A nice lounge, a generous outdoor area and even a games room are equally important, so you can recharge your batteries after a demanding project and take five before tackling the next task on your to-do list.
Basic amenities, tools and supplies
Many types of membership packages give you a wide variety of office supplies that you can access and use during a typical work day. Find out whether these amenities are fit for your business and can provide a reliable, ongoing source of help that can increase your daily productivity. Besides regular office equipment such as projectors and printing machines, it doesn’t hurt to have access to a small kitchen, where you can put together a quick meal or enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee.
Assess your budget
If all of the above are in harmony with your needs and wants and you’ve finally found the coworking space of your dreams, make sure you can afford it. Check your finances in detail to ensure you’ll have enough to sustain your business for a while. Although coworking hubs have flexible contracts and even month-to-month memberships, it usually doesn’t hurt to find a permanent base instead of jumping from office to office every few weeks.
Compare and contrast
Even if you think you’ve found a shared office space that fulfills all your requirements, it never hurts to look around some more. Don’t be afraid to ask friends, acquaintances and other entrepreneurs in your field for their recommendations – they might advise you on a place you missed during your search that could be an even better fit for your business than your first choice.
Tune in with your goals
When deciding on a base for your entrepreneurial venture, keep your goals in mind. You might consider picking a coworking hub where you can grow both as an individual, as well as a business person. Establish whether or not the office can house your business venture once you reach your goals and find out whether the community has a growth mindset—something that can further encourage you to achieve your aspirations.
There’s an excellent way to truly get to know all these aspects in a coworking space and it might not be what you think. While Google Search provides quite thorough results, you can’t beat actual experience. That’s why we recommend trial sessions, when you can drop by for a day or two and get to experience firsthand what a coworking space is all about. This is probably the best way to decide which shared office space is in tune with your business goals and requirements, so you can commit to a membership package and a stable base.