Shyam Nagarajan / Reading Time: 3 mins
Being an entrepreneur is great! You're your own boss. You call the shots. You can make your own hours. Which probably accounts for the rise in people seeking self-employment and becoming entrepreneurs over the last few years. According to a GEM survey, there was an increase to 14.9% in entrepreneurial intention when compared to 9% the previous year (source: Economic Times). Even the fear of failure rate has gone down.
Do startups need an office space? Any team goes through the following phases of effectiveness :
A startup too will go through this before you start to see a rhythm working out for you. As a startup, you should optimise the equation that takes you to the “performing” stage as quickly as possible. The first important thing to take care of is the hiring part. Hire the people with the right attitude and intent to ensure that you don't get stuck in the storming phase for too long.
Conflicts can be resolved faster in person. Tension can be sensed when you can see the body language of each other. You can develop better bonding and empathy when you are socially together. This is where a physical space a.k.a office kind of comes and helps you.
At the same time a conventional office can plough through your startup’s bank balance very quickly. Fixing your business to one location can also restrict your access to talent. Employees also prefer flexibility in where they work and hate commuting.
While the conventional office is not necessary for a startup, you do need a physical space that you can use to come together say once or twice a week to be together and to norm together.
This is precisely where coworking spaces fit into the equation.
For entrepreneurs, choosing the right workspace is crucial to the success of their ventures. Coworking spaces have emerged as an innovative solution, offering more than just a physical place to work. These environments provide a unique blend of resources, networking opportunities, and flexibility, all of which are essential for entrepreneurial growth.
Networking and Community Building
One of the most significant benefits of coworking spaces is the opportunity for networking. Entrepreneurs often find themselves in the company of like-minded individuals, ranging from freelancers to startup founders. This community aspect facilitates the exchange of ideas, collaboration on projects, and even the formation of new business partnerships. Regular events and social gatherings further enhance these networking opportunities.
Access to Essential Resources
Coworking spaces are equipped with essential office amenities and resources that are often out of reach for individual entrepreneurs. These include high-speed internet, printing and scanning services, meeting rooms, and audio-visual equipment. Some coworking spaces also provide access to valuable resources such as legal advice, accounting services, or mentorship programs, which are particularly beneficial for early-stage entrepreneurs.
Renting a traditional office space can be a significant financial burden for entrepreneurs, especially when considering the costs of furniture, utilities, and long-term lease agreements. Coworking spaces offer a more cost-effective solution with flexible membership plans. This flexibility allows entrepreneurs to scale up or down based on their business needs, without the worry of long-term financial commitments.
Inspiration and Creative Environment
The design and atmosphere of coworking spaces are often geared towards fostering creativity and productivity. These spaces are typically more dynamic and aesthetically pleasing compared to traditional offices, providing an environment that can boost motivation and creativity. Being surrounded by other driven professionals can also serve as an inspiration for entrepreneurs.
Professional Image and Credibility
Having a dedicated workspace in a coworking environment can enhance the professional image of an entrepreneur. It offers a credible business address, professional meeting spaces for client interactions, and can make a positive impression on potential clients or investors, which is often challenging when working from home.
Exposure to Diverse Industries and Skills
Entrepreneurs in coworking spaces benefit from exposure to a wide range of industries and skill sets. This diversity can lead to a broader understanding of different business models, market trends, and innovative strategies. It also opens up opportunities for cross-industry collaboration and learning from the successes and challenges of others.