4 Powerful Benefits of Coworking for Startups

4 Powerful Benefits of Coworking for Startups

By | 2017-07-20T15:57:12+00:00 May 5th, 2016|Startup Culture, Workplace Design|

Coworking spaces are much more than a space for you to work. After all, if all you want is space, you can work from home, go to your local coffee shop or park at the nearest public library. Coworking spaces are different. They aren’t just alternatives to high-priced office spaces. Many foster a community of support and other amenities such as coffee, a kitchen and conference space — not to mention the networking and serendipitous collisions that happen in the hallways.

So is coworking right for you? Here are 4 benefits you may not have considered:

Bootstrapping your office location

Claudia Lebenthal of Style of Sport, a content and e-commerce site for the sports enthusiast, didn’t want to pay for space when she wasn’t using it. Real estate is the second largest expense for companies, said George Grace, managing partner of Mohr Partners, a commercial real estate firm.

For her, paying by the day, which Grind offers, was the solution. It offers flexible membership levels. When Lebenthal needs to write, she works at home. When she’s doing lighter work, such as email and admin, she likes to be around people so she can get up, walk around and schmooze.

“We were a one-year-old business and were tired of hopping around from hotel lobby to Starbucks when we joined Grind,” said Sara Walker-Santana of DigitalFlash, a digital experience agency. She and her partner, Laura Mignott, wanted to hang their hats someplace they could call “home” and have clients over.

They’ve pivoted a couple of times. They weren’t locked into a space. When they need to grow or shrink the number of people on their team, it’s totally flexible. Plus, people can work at the location most convenient for them.

Tap the network

Minott and Walker-Santana got much more than just space. They’re surrounded by other passionate, driven people who are pursuing their dreams. As one of the first members of Grind, they’re well known in the community. It’s not just that they’re gregarious, it’s strategic.

Networking is one of the biggest ways these women get clients, project partners and even friends. Being part of a coworking space can be a goldmine for finding these relationships. Lebenthal couldn’t agree more.

If you’ve worked at home, you know that’s it’s great when you need to be heads-down on a project. However, working from home can be an isolating. “I love working in an office with other people,” said Lebenthal.

All have done business with other members of the community. You may even find your next client, investor or future partner by just grabbing a cup of coffee or hanging out at the water cooler.  

By being part of a coworking location, you are networked into what’s happening in the wider entrepreneurial community. That way you’ll be among the first to know about resources, events and happenings throughout your city.

A shoulder to lean on

You are around other startups, small businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers who inspire you and become your role models. You can share your challenges and opportunities, and get feedback from people who have been there and done that. Members of a coworking community become your sounding board and your cheerleaders.

Facilitated support

“Women face different obstacles in business than men,” said Mignott. The team at Grind organizes many different kinds of support for entrepreneurs. One of the most successful is their monthly breakfast for female founders. “We can be more honest about our struggles in the group,” she continued.

Working in a coworking space is a fundamental shift in the way that people work, but it just might be the right fit for you.

Why coworking

With more than 10,000 coworking spaces around the globe, there is no denying the movement is here to stay and that it continues to redefine the way we work. Want to learn more about what it takes to create a great coworking space and the benefits of working in one? We’re excited to share our new video and invite you to pass it on and use it freely as our gift —just don’t edit or remove our generous contributors, okay?

Geri Stengel is president of Ventureneer, a marketing research company targeting small business. Geri is a regular Forbes contributor, consultant, Kauffman facilitator and the author of Forget the Glass Ceiling: Building Your Business Without One.