Why Co-Working Spaces Are Ideal For Small Entrepreneurs
Undoubtedly this is the age of the small entrepreneurs, where enterprising individuals – while committed to their full, 9-to-5 hour jobs—are exploring other income-generating avenues – whether that be managing a blog, selling products online, or even serving as virtual assistants to clients abroad.
These are the individuals who are maximizing their resources, while minimizing their expenses. And when it comes to starting a business, sometimes a big capital – renting a space, employing staff, and the like - becomes too big of an investment that many are not willing to risk. They want to start small, but do have a vision of growing bigger.
And this is where co-working spaces present a practical solution and opportunity for fledgling brands and enterprises.
“In the US, co-working spaces are a big thing, but in the Philippines it’s stills very new. Ask 10 people what co-working is and you’ll get 10 different answers,” says Mikko Barranda, co-founder of Acceler8, a new company promoting hybrid co-working spaces with branches in Makati and other parts of Southeast Asia.
But essentially, co-working spaces offer professionals and enterprising individuals a conducive space for work, which deviates from the stiff, cold traditional office set-ups. Co-working space are designed with a more “modern, millennial” aesthetic, which often makes the spaces look like an architectural design mashup of a Google office and a hipster coffee shop.
But more than offering an energizing environment for productivity, co-working spaces are especially designed to help business owners and entrepreneurs find a more practical and cost-effective means to sustain their operations. Instead of buying property or leasing a space in the pricier CBDs, you can “share” an office address (in the same prime area) and rent it at just a fraction of the price.
“For example, in Acceler8 111 Paseo in Legaspi Village, the 700 sq-meter expanse is home to over 100 companies,” shares Barranda, adding that their clients are a diverse group of start-ups, up-and-coming tech companies and the like.
“Many entrepreneurs and businessman actually manage their operations from the comfort of their homes (since everything is digital and mobile), but they avail of co-working sapces when they need a nice place to host meetings with their clients and their teams,” adds Mel Alcaraz-Lozano of Launchpad Coworking, which is located in Filinvest City.
Offering flexibility and catering to the different budgets of members, co-working spaces usually offer daily, monthly and yearly rates. This includes access to steady, high speed Wifi, unlimited coffee, water and tea, and use of the meeting rooms. At the co-working space, members can also avail of support business services such as bookkeeping and accounting, processing of business registration, and secretarial and legal services.
Co-working spaces also provide members the opportunity to mingle with other entrepreneurs and clients who can potentially help them in their business. “Co-working spaces are a great way to network,” says Lozano. “On a typical day, we’d have a wonderful mix of people - from restaurateurs, students, graphic designers, even bitcoin ‘millionaires.’ So you can learn and even bounce off ideas from each other.”
Helping to nurture a greater feel of community among the members, these co-working spaces usually host free classes and programs as well that often teach new relevant skills like digital marketing or aim to upgrade members’ knowledge about business trends and the like.
When it comes to your brand or business, consider the best means to grow it further – whether that entails keeping your expenses to a minimum (by renting out a smaller space) or by building the support system you need to take your business to the next level. Co-working spaces may just be the solution you may want to consider.