In this blog series we will be covering ten reasons to base your organisation in a coworking space. Our first compelling reason is "to afford superb facilities on a small business budget."
Most small organisations on tight budgets need to minimise their fixed cost commitments, the ones you HAVE to pay every month like rent (yes, even through lock-down). For this reason, many early stage organisations end up in B or even C grade offices, tired, worn and sometimes down-right grubby. But they are usually cheap and accept short leases, so they kind of work huh?
Well maybe, but as Oscar Wilde is reputed to have observed, "you only get one chance to make a first impression". From the moment your new hire, customer, equity investor or debt funder walk in to your office space, they are making important judgements about you and your organisation.
One alternative to leasing - running a business from home, necessitates going out for important meetings which can be challenging. Things like interviewing new hires in busy cafes, or trying to find suitable meeting rooms for hire. This is hard we know, since as a shared space we field lots of enquiries for our meeting room and event spaces that we turn-down as we don't cater for casual hires, to ensure our facilities are available for regular customers. Some shared spaces do rent out their facilities, and you can check this out in our Hawke's Bay guide below.
The second issue with running a home based business is the utility services available in residential area are not designed for business. Outages for power and telecommunications are commonplace, and a car crashing into a power-pole or road-side cabinet can take down your power or network for days. This is hard to plan for in a home setting and can result in major issues if deadlines are calling when an outage occurs.
The biggest drawcard for home working is zero commuter downtime. Let's be honest though, we enjoy short commute times in the Hawke's Bay; even Napier to Hastings in rush hour is just over 20 minutes. The issue arises where one partner is at work, with the family space being intruded upon by work demands. And the work-from-home partner(s) can find it hard to turn off at the end of the day, but also to truly "turn-on" during business hours.
So when choosing an office space, perhaps consider a modern alternative to leasing and home offices, which is renting in a coworking or shared spaces.
Good shared office spaces have invested in things your stakeholders really value, like attractive meeting rooms, generous breakout areas such as a busy cafe, designer kitchen or quiet "Koru lounge" area, spa like bathrooms with showers and fresh bathmats, or the latest video conference equipment in meeting rooms that "plug-and-play" with your Zoom or Teams applications.
Some providers have more eclectic amenities, things like climbing walls, pool or ping pong tables, or even gym equipment, but remember you will be paying your share, so check these things are important to you.
What all coworking spaces have in common is great affordability, often less than half the cost of leasing an office. By using shared facilities you enjoy the benefits, without the high cost and high commitments associated with A grade office leasing. You really can "have your cake AND eat it".
But since coworking spaces target and appeal to different segments of the market, you should first consider what will impress YOUR stakeholders. To help you choose a space that will deliver the best all round value for your organisation, we have compiled a list that is updated quarterly: