Why Co-Working Spaces Are Ideal For An Early-Stage Entrepreneur?
A simple idea of setting up a space equipped with desks and necessary utilities such as internet has caught the imagination of modern Indian professionals
Higher salary versus growth, learning opportunity. A big brand on the CV versus work-life balance and an early promotion, modern day professionals are faced with hundreds of predicaments that define their professional journey. However, the one thing they all seek in any kind of work they take up is common - an inviting workspace with equal amounts of structure, community, freedom, independence, and the chemical X of ‘fun.’ But where does one get all of this?
Welcome to the world of co-working spaces!
A simple idea of setting up a space equipped with desks and necessary utilities such as internet has caught the imagination of modern Indian professionals unlike anything else. In fact, entrepreneurs today are increasingly moving towards co-working spaces thanks to the cost benefits and the refreshing work environment offered by them. While global corporate powerhouses are also jumping on the co-working bandwagon in high numbers, early-stage entrepreneurs and bootstrapped start-ups have been quite vocal about how they have benefitted the most by this concept. So what is it about co-working spaces that makes them an ideal match for fast-growing, early-stage start-ups and ambitious entrepreneurs? Let’s find out.
1. Affordability – Let’s face it. Start-ups don’t have the deep pockets of large multi-nationals, making affordability a key factor in any decision they make. A utility-based model wherein clients only need to pay according to their seat occupancy allows early-stage entrepreneurs to drastically reduce the huge amount of infrastructural and operational expenditures that they would have otherwise made on an office space. It is much more affordable to rent a co-working space for projects of specific durations or to operate with a lean team working from a convenient co-working location.
2. Location – Talking of location, one of the most tiring aspects of a regular job for modern day professionals is the day-to-day travel to their workplaces. However, the co-working culture simplifies this problem to a large extent. Firstly, entrepreneurs can choose a location that is convenient for them and their core team. Secondly, many top co-working hubs have several branches spread out across metro cities. Therefore, if a certain member of the team lives far away from the rest, he/she can work out of a co-working space located closer to his/her place of stay. In fact, start-ups can also easily build teams in tier 2 and 3 cities in order to expand to these markets as many co-working brands are setting up shop in these fast-emerging locations as well. Further, most co-working spaces are located in commercial hotspots of the city and working out of them gives the business an impressive address to start with.
3. Quick Setup – Offering a full of stack services, from infrastructure to internet, receptionist services, hospitality, meeting spaces etc., co-working spaces are an extremely flexible option for the early-stage entrepreneur. Start-ups do not have to wait for services to be set-up and aligned according to their needs. Co-working space providers quickly adapt their offerings according to the need of their clients so that the business can take off at the earliest and function in the most seamless way without being interrupted by infrastructural roadblocks.
4. Free Amenities - Many co-working spaces come with free services like a kitchen department and machinery like printers etc. This ensures that a bootstrapped start-up can focus on making essential expenditures as the rest is managed by the co-working space itself. From the best coffee to quality print-outs and super-clean desks, an early-stage entrepreneur can enjoy all basic amenities for free and can focus on doing his/her job at these new-age working spaces.
5. Flexibility and Scalability – By 2020, India is expected to have the world’s youngest workforce with an average age of 29. A large number of youngsters will also opt to become freelance consultants and professionals, hopping from one city to another on a project-to-project basis. Co-working platforms are the best suited models for these professionals as the flexible payment plans allows them to move out of a co-working space easily without having to lock up a huge amount of money in long-term rental leases.
6. Networking, Mentorship and Community building opportunities – Apart from the large suite of services, early-stage entrepreneurs also need constant guidance and easily available networking opportunities to help grow their business and their avenues. This is where co-working spaces assume prime importance. As there are multiple organizations working under the same roof, entrepreneurs are exposed to diverse talent and individuals who can boost their operational network massively. There is a free flow of ideas and one can take help or collaborate with peers in complementing industries very easily. It also helps budding entrepreneurs to interact with thought leaders and industry veterans. Co-Working spaces also organize frequent discussions, events, investor pitches etc. that can help start-ups in actually raising funds and in gaining tremendous exposure which is simply not possible if one’s working out of one’s own isolated office space.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.