When building a small business out of your home, you may one day find that it’s time to scale your venture and expand your team, rising to meet new demands and challenges.
At that point, a home office may no longer be an option. But instead of investing major working capital in a new office, what about a coworking space?
In recent years, coworking has exploded across the country. Every state has seen coworking spaces open—and on a per capita basis, states like Montana, Maine, and Vermont are leading the nation in new coworking spaces opened.
Whether you live in a big city or a rural community, chances are there is a coworking space not far away—either from you or your prospective employees. With that in mind, let’s explore what benefits coworking spaces afford new and growing small businesses.
(Photo by Nancy Belluscio)
Even before you hire new employees, you can make the transition from working out of your own home to working from a coworking space. Unlike renting out your own private workplace from a commercial building, you can sign up for a coworking space and walk in the next day ready to work—no time spent setting up internet, buying furniture, or haggling over rent necessary.
This applies to any new employees you do decide to bring on, as well. No matter where in the world your new employees live (more on that in a second), you can likely afford to pay for their coworking membership fees and still spend less than you would to sign a multi-year commercial lease.
Limitless talent pool
The great thing about building a small business out of a coworking space is you may be able to network and find new, talented people who can contribute to your business out of your coworking space.
On top of that, a remote business has an advantage over traditional companies in that you are not limited by geography or time zone when recruiting new employees. Hire from anywhere, as long as that person can be an asset to your small business. You can do this even if you have office space, of course, but you are more likely to hire people to fill up the space you are renting if you have a traditional space.
Consistent overhead costs
In the long run, depending on location, you might get a better deal on a long-term commercial office space lease than you would going month-to-month coworking.
On the other hand, the absolute consistency you get from a coworking space—the space takes care of everything from rent to utilities to other office perks upfront, which means you’ll have no concerns about paying for repairs due to damages or variable utility costs—is a boon for small businesses. Cash flow issues arise when fluctuating costs take a sudden bite out of your bottom line, and they can sink businesses.
And if you want to scale up to include even more employees? The costs for more members and space are clear, making it easy for you to plan ahead.
Whether you’re working on your own or as part of a team, research shows that operating out of a coworking space is better for your productivity than from home—or even from an office.
To that point, according to OfficeVibe:
- 70% of coworking respondents said they felt healthier than they did working in a traditional office.
- 68% said they are able to focus better when coworking.
- 64% said they are better able to complete tasks on time
- 90% said they felt more confident when coworking.
Additionally, a study out of Harvard showed that being physically close to the people you work with makes your collaborations more impactful. Having a coworking space available to your team will make them healthier, happier, more productive, and more cohesive unit. That’s a win all around.
How to get started
Perhaps the best part about deciding to grow your business out of a coworking space is how easy it is to get started. Find a location in your neighborhood or town that you vibe with, preferably one with a variety of spaces—conference rooms, private workspaces, etc.—so you can have all the benefits of a traditional office as needed.
From there, it’s about paying for new members and access to more space as you build out your team, whether locally or remotely.
If you are still hesitant to operate your small business out of a coworking space, know that flexible workspace is expected to take up almost a third of U.S. office stock by 2030. This way of working is becoming a societal staple—so consider it a smart and ahead-of-the-curve way to grow your small business responsibly.
Eric Goldschein is an editor and writer at Fundera, a marketplace for small business financial solutions such as small business loans. He covers entrepreneurship, small business trends, finance, marketing and HR.