Co-working for new small business owners

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In the age before technology, the local coffee shop served as a central gathering place for a diverse group of business owners and professionals to meet, network and share ideas.

What is Co-Working?

You might be asking yourself, what is co-working? Simply put, it is a professional work environment for people who work independently, but who share values and are interested in collaborating with other professionals on everything from mutually beneficial business opportunities to incubating new small businesses. A typical co-working environment provides resources such as WIFI, desk space, fax, copy machine and private conference rooms, at a cost far less than traditional office space. The business model for many co-working sites is membership-based pricing that really depends on the numbers of hours you would use the facility in a given month. Additional charges may apply for facilities that offer 24/7 access.

Benefits of Co-Working

While co-working can be more cost-effective than renting a traditional office, the real power of this arrangement is the sharing of ideas, information and networking with peers. Work at home professionals, freelancers and start-up small business can benefit by using co-working locations to avoid the distraction of their homes and overcome isolation. The benefit to those who travel extensively is that co-working sites can serve a valuable purpose as  hub locations. For the emerging small businesses owner, the collaboration with other entrepreneurs in this environment can provide valuable networking and idea sharing and incubation.  Often, co-working locations offer events, seminars, and social media based communities on Facebook,  Twitter, etc., that help bring  the community concept to life.  

Tips for Co-Working

Whether you are embarking on a co-working situation for the first time or are an old pro, here are some tips to help you make the most of it:  

  1. Networking – Schedule formal appointments to develop your centers of influence.

  2. Manage your time effectively by limiting idle talk.

  3. Privacy & Security– Use private conference rooms for sensitive discussions and keep necessary paperwork under control such as financial and bank documents. Guard intellectual property and ideas closely.

  4. Maintain proper office etiquette – Avoid loud cell phone conversations and manage your workspace so not to interfere with others that use the location.

 

Where to Find Co-Working Spaces

Using this link, you can find a co-working space most convenient to you.

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General Disclosures

The opinions and views in this blog post are those of the authors, and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Please consult professional advisors with regard to your individual situation.