The Advantages of Using a Coworking Space for Your Small Business

A man working using laptop

When COVID-19 struck, many people thought it would end the coworking trend. However, the opposite has happened. In this age of hybrid working, coworking spaces are now both a viable alternative to permanent office space and, if a business already has an office, a useful addition to this.

In this article, the UK’s top-rated company formation service, 1st Formations – looks at the advantages of using coworking space for a small business. Let’s jump in.

Small business affordability

The cost of purchasing and renting office space is significant regardless of where you are located, especially if you’re looking to set up in a thriving business location. These costs typically don’t align with the budget of a small business, particularly one that is in the initial start-up phase.

Coworking spaces will always be a less expensive option for small business owners considering that the price you pay doesn’t just cover a desk, a bank of desks or in some cases, a private office. It will generally also pay for otherwise costly overheads such as internet, electricity, heating, insurance, a receptionist, and security, if necessary.

When running a small business, every penny matters. A coworking space can help you get the most from your probably limited budget.

Flexible contracts

As a business owner, you never know what’s around the corner. An employee could quit, new legislation with catastrophic consequences – for your business – might be passed, or a pandemic may happen (that’s our final mention of this!).

Having dedicated office space, whether you own it or rent it, represents a huge commitment, and provides an added level of pressure when operating your business.

This stress doesn’t exist in a coworking space. Most providers will allow you to sign up via short-term contracts that allow you to get out quickly if necessary. Whether this is in the unfortunate event of the business failing, or more optimistically – you need to expand. This brings us nicely too…

Flexible spaces

With a traditional office arrangement, if a business is successful and needs to expand beyond initial expectations, a complete relocation will often be in order. Likewise, if a business needs to downsize, it may find itself in a wholly unsuitable (too large) working environment and again need to move premises. In both instances, this will require a lengthy process and significant effort as a new, more appropriate space is found, and then negotiated over.

Such a problem doesn’t exist if a business is operating wholly from a coworking space. The provider is likely to have suitable, alternative space to accommodate the new-sized team. If the right space isn’t available, and the provider is part of a network of coworking spaces, they should be able to point you in the direction of another location that they manage (or have a partnership with).

Either way, the process of finding another office should be relatively quick.

Collaboration in mind

More and more businesses are finding that they can operate efficiently without having any permanent office in place, with employees working remotely full-time. Whilst this model is working for certain businesses, from time to time, they will benefit from getting everyone together in the same physical space to collaborate.

Coworking spaces are ideal for these events for several reasons:

  • They’re conveniently located across the country in easily accessible locations- so employees should be able to travel with relative ease regardless of where they live.
  • They’re flexible in the sense that businesses of all shapes and sizes can typically drop in and use the space for a limited period (for just a day or two, for example) provided that sufficient notice has been given.
  • They often boast large meeting rooms and conferencing and break-out areas that are perfect for collaborative work and events (and the inevitable post-work debriefs).

Get remote workers out of the house

Recent data states that 10% of workers in the UK work from home all of the time, with a further 29% working from home some of the time. That’s a large number of people working remotely. For those members of your team who operate away from the office, have you ever considered how suitable their working environment is?

Thanks to coworking spaces, remote working doesn’t have to mean being cramped in a tiny room in the attic, perching on a high stool in the kitchen, or jostling for elbow room in the local coffee shop.

A coworking space allows your remote employees to operate in a professional environment, have access to suitable equipment (adequate desks and chairs, and sufficient conferencing facilities), and be energised by the bustle of fellow workers.

Hybrid working arrangements are often in place because of necessity – such as distance from the office or childcare commitments – not always because someone doesn’t enjoy being in an office environment. So, ask your employees who work from home if they’d be interested in working from a coworking space some of the time, and if your budget allows covering the cost of this.

Networking opportunities

As a business owner, coworking spaces are a fantastic place to meet like-minded individuals who may be going through similar experiences as you. This can be tangibly and emotionally useful as you seek advice on particular challenges or simply talk ‘business’ with people who understand.

In some instances, you may even come across people who can help your business, either through a service that they can provide, a specialist skill that they have, or potentially a partnership opportunity.

Let’s be honest, networking events aren’t for everyone. However, in the right coworking space (remember, some spaces are industry-specific) you can meet fellow entrepreneurs and collaborators in an organic environment where connections aren’t forced over free prosecco.

A professional place to meet

As you look to build a successful business, every so often you’ll need to meet people with the aim of impressing them. This could be a supplier that you’re looking to work with, a lucrative customer, a potential business partner, or a candidate that you want to recruit.

If you don’t have adequate office space – or any workplace at all – to meet these people, a coworking space could be the solution. The majority of coworking spaces will have meeting room facilities that you can book by the hour, or if that’s too formal, you could book a couple of hours of hotdesking. You can then find an appropriate quiet place within the space.

In business, first impressions matter – a coworking space can help you make the right one.

Specialist equipment on hand

A coworking space can be more than desks, chairs, meeting rooms, and nice coffee machines. Some specialist spaces come with additional resources. These are often designed to help businesses that work within creative industries.

We’re talking recording studios for music and podcasts, film studios with editing suites, screening rooms, state-of-the-art printing, sewing machines for fashion designers, and woodworking tools for carpenters (really).

So, before you splash out on a sparse office and expensive equipment, do a bit of research and find out if there’s a coworking space within reach that can give you what you need.

Socially rewarding

A well-run coworking space will not only thrive in providing its users with a professional environment in which they can do their jobs but will also excel when it comes to the social side of things.

Beer on tap to tempt everyone to stick around on a Friday night, in-house yoga sessions, screenings of major sporting events, guest speaking slots from thought-leaders, communal meals cooked by professional chefs, hackathons – these are just a few of the things that a good coworking space will often arrange to give the space a sense of community.

For business owners with a team behind them (and who are also working in the space), this is perfect, as most of the groundwork required for previously dreaded team-building events has already been done for them.

What’s more, everything that their team needs regarding food and drink is already on hand, so they spend more of their free time together – which is conducive to developing a solid company culture.

And for people running a business on their own – which can be an isolating endeavour – this community can provide a welcome reprieve that wouldn’t exist if they were sat working from home all day.

So there you have it

Those are the advantages of using a coworking space for a small business. Whether you decide to use a coworking space as your full-time place of work or simply as an outlet for when you or a team member want to get out of the house (or the coffee shop), there are many benefits to be had from using such a space.

We hope you have found this article useful. Thanks for reading.

The UK-limited company structure is one of the most esteemed business models in the world. If you want to register a limited company, 1st Formations can help from as little as £12.99. With packages to suit all needs, they can get your business off to the best possible start. Find out if your proposed company name is available now.

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