Co-working spaces have taken firm hold in the community of tech startups.
There seem to be some benefits to working cooperatively. According to a Global Coworking Survey, benefits reported include improved focus, creativity, standard of work, and ability to meet deadlines.
Another benefit is the communal “entrepreneurial air.” That is, you are sharing a space with those who are also of the same mindset of launching a business. That creates a great opportunity to exchange ideas and to find inspiration.
Co-working spaces tend to have a few features in common; they offer Wi-Fi and Internet access; office machines such as printers and copiers; and meeting spaces. Some even offer perks such as food and drinks; events; social media marketing; rooftop gardens, business mentors, and more.
Entrepreneurs of color and women may also want to search for co-working spaces with multiethnic staff and ones that are female-friendly. You can get a good gauge on the demographics of a space by paying it a visit and taking note of the other entrepreneurs and also the makeup of the co-working space’s staff.
Your startup is your baby, and you want to nurture that baby in a safe, productive environment. When shopping for co-working spaces ask a few questions:
Is there more than one location? If so, do they all offer the same features?
Can you get deliveries sent there or set up a P.O. Box?
What are the hours and days of access?
Is the space noisy or relatively quiet?
How large of a team can it accommodate?
Can you use the same desk or space, day after day?
Does the space offer storage?
If there parking available? What about a place to safely lock up bikes?
Can you keep equipment there overnight (such as laptops, monitors, storage servers) securely?
Some co-working spaces overlap into the incubator/accelerator service area, offering new companies guidance and advice on getting a business off the ground. In general, most co-working spaces just provide you the tools and surroundings you need to start and conduct your business.
Stay tuned for our Best Co-Working Spaces for Entrepreneurs of Colors Series 2016!