The concept of coworking
In this article we will discuss the Benefits of joining a Coworking Space for Startups. Founding your own startup is a lonely task, every startup founder will vouch for this. Joining a startup is an interesting option for startups and their teams to consider. Coworking spaces not only offer founders a chance to learn from their peers, but are also more viable financially. More and more coworking spaces are now focused on building an entrepreneurial ecosystem that facilitates the growth of startups and professionals, with the help of events and workshops.
Let us take a detailed look at the benefits of coworking for startups in particular and why it’s important to choose a space focused on startups….
Benefits of joining a Coworking Space for Startups
Flexible costs: According to Harsh Lambah, Country Manager, Regus India (@RegusAsia), one of the main benefits of coworking spaces for startups is the flexibility it offers to startups in terms of costs, “Coworking spaces offer the flexibility to work as per one’s convenience and also at a lower cost. Start-ups would probably have to invest much more if they chose a conventional office space to purchase or lease. In co-working spaces, start-ups only pay for the place they use which definitely helps keep their costs down and enhances profitability.”
Validation of your startup: It is easy to fall in love with your idea and lose objectivity. Hence, it’s important to share your idea with as many people as possible and get feedback for improvement. If you have already built your product, your coworkers can provide feedback on various critical aspects such as monetization of your startup, design, ease of use, etc. You might even find your first clients at your coworking space, which the best validation any founder can ask for!
Learning from other startups and coworkers: As a startup founder, there are many things you wish you knew before you did them all wrong. Working from a coworking space allows you to interact with other founders and professionals who have likely faced the same problems as you and would be able to help you. Céline Tykve (@celine_tykve), Chief Storyteller at Impact Hub Zürich (@impacthubzurich), seconds this point, “In a coworking space, they can learn from each other, exchange thoughts on problems and solutions and meet peers. ” Whether you need advice on your content marketing strategy or you have a problem with coding, you are likely to find experts in both areas in your coworking space to ask for help.
Meeting team members and freelancers: An important prerequisite to building a successful startup is having a great team. Most startups struggle with this, but if you’re in a coworking space it becomes easier to find new team members. A coworking space houses professionals from different fields who may be interested in working on your startup.
Building team culture: Having your entire team work from the same space helps build a strong team culture and ensure all your employees are on the same page as you. There is a downside though. If you don’t want your team socializing too much during work hours, a coworking space may not be an ideal choice for your startup. Also, coworking works well when you have a small team. As your startup grows, it may be best to rent an office of your own.
Meeting investors: If your coworking space is also an accelerator, you are likely to be meeting with a number of investors on a regular basis, even if you are not a part of the program. It helps you stay on top of the latest investments being made, the most innovative startups and markets and if investors are likely to invest in your startup. Even if they do not invest, getting feedback from investors will be invaluable for your startup.
Startup events: This is an important additional perk provided by coworking spaces. Most spaces catering to startups organise events, hackathons, seminars on a regular basis. They also organise workshops and courses that help you acquire new skills and knowledge. Such events are a great opportunity to network, share ideas, meet new business partners and mentors, as well as team members. Events are an important component of the coworking experience at Impact Hub, says Celine, “Besides offering inspiring coworking spaces, all Impact Hubs around the world offer their members great networking opportunities, events to connect and focused peer-to-peer learning session.”
Importance of picking a space catering to startups
As this article on the Become Nomad blog outlines, there are different types of coworking spaces out there – some coworking spaces have are as good as traditional offices, some cater mainly to freelancers with not much of a focus on startups, while others are mainly comprised of entrepreneurs.
Some coworking spaces also have accelerator programs. These offer a unique advantage to startups. Even if you are not accepted in the program, you can benefit greatly from having others entrepreneurs around you.
On Coworker, a coworking space directory that lists out 9000+ coworking spaces with friendly communities in 160 countries, you can check coworking spaces with even additional specifications like being female focused, with or without co-living facilities, locational preferences like near the beach or near rural escapes, etc.
Coworking is a great solution for startups that do not wish to be saddled with the cost of setting up an office. Along with financial benefits, a number of intangible benefits of joining a Coworking Space for Startups include working under the same roof with professionals from different fields, discussing your ideas, and building a support system. While coworking is great, there are two sides to everything. Be sure to check out the disadvantages of coworking as well, before you jump on the bandwagon!
We would like to thank Harsh Lambah, Country Manager, Regus India (@RegusAsia) and Céline Tykve (@celine_tykve), Chief Storyteller at Impact Hub Zürich (@impacthubzurich) for sharing their insights with us.