The five benefits of shared office space and coworking venues for SMEs
Looking to upgrade your ‘office’ from your kitchen table? Find out why shared office space and coworking venues are perfect for SMEs.
Running a small business is expensive. Keeping up with hidden and unexpected costs is a constant struggle, and the dominating outgoings tend to be overheads.
Today, the sharing economy is the fastest growing solution for SMEs looking to save money on space. In fact, Small Business Labs have predicted that the number of people renting office spaces will grow from under 1 million in 2016 to 4 million in 2020, following the likes of Uber and Airbnb.
The five benefits of shared office space for SMEs
Could coworking be right for you? To help you decide, here are five benefits of shared office space for SMEs.
1) It helps growing pains
At what point is your business ready to outgrow your kitchen table? And when it does, what are your options?
When you’re running a young business it’s hard to predict exactly how much space you’ll need in three or six months, let alone two years. So how can you commit to an office lease contract with set terms?
This is where shared office space comes into its own. You have the flexibility of renting the exact amount of space you need right now – from a single desk to a private office – with the option to expand or reduce it as your business grows or shrinks.
2) You can choose an ideal location
At some point you’ll need to host meetings – with clients, suppliers and possibly even investors and partners. And when you do, you’ll need somewhere that’s easy to get to, will make the right impression and has all the facilities you need.
Hiring a space for the day for meetings is the perfect solution, and will give you the flexibility of picking a location that works for everyone.
Having the capacity to book venues across the country also creates a sense of inclusivity. Sometimes a meeting room nearest to your office (as is often the case for businesses in central London) isn’t always ideal, as it excludes people who need to travel further.
Understanding everyone’s location and booking somewhere equidistant to their offices will ensure that everyone invited will contribute fully, and get the most out of each and every meeting.
3) More inspirational scenery
A change of scenery is always a brilliant way to inspire productivity. The variety of venues that are available for hire around the country vary from 18th century pubs, to iconic landmarks such as The Shard – there’s something for every taste and need.
Holding brainstorms in different venues is a perfect way to share ideas and inspire your workforce (the Global Co-working Survey found that creativity can increase by 71% in a shared office).
Hosting meetings and events at a different venues is also a cost-effective way to show off your business’ personality, enabling you to pick a location that portrays the impression you want to give.
4) You’ll have networking opportunities on your doorstep
Sharing an office space with multiple startups gives you the opportunity to meet and learn from people with a wide range of skills, experience and contacts. Most coworking spaces have a collaborative atmosphere, so you’ll network without even realising, and easily establish mutually beneficial relationships.
Many shared office spaces even host networking events to promote and grow young businesses. The sense of community will ensure you’re not alone during what can be a very daunting time, too.
Access to mentors, development days and specific workshops are also often readily available, and, combined with professional colleagues willing each other on towards success, is a sure way to maximise productivity and inspire creativity.
5) You’ll reduce costs
Coworking spaces are an affordable way for young businesses to get off the ground, giving you the power to book a range of spaces – from a meeting room to an entire office. You can also decide how long you hire a space for, from an hour to a month, relieving a huge amount of financial pressure.
This enables you to focus your attention on key business development decisions, rather than utility bills and the money lost on empty desks.
Do you need a shared office space?
Whether you need one desk on an ad hoc basis, or are looking for a more permanent office solution, shared office space is a great solution.
With flexible commitment and options, you can control your outgoings as your business grows (or shrinks). You’ll also have a ready-made network of skills, contacts and even access to new projects via your coworking neighbours.
So if you’re ready to upgrade your business from your kitchen table, take a look at the shared office options near you.
Read more tips on coworking
Love to read more about coworking? Or not quite ready to move your business out of your home yet? You’ll find plenty of advice in these articles:
- Everything you need to know about coworking
- Fed up of your home office? Five signs you’re ready for a shared workspace
- Six ways to beat loneliness when you work alone at home
- How to cope with distractions when you work from home
Rebecca Kelly is the founder of VenueScanner.
Photo by Eloise Ambursley