Whether you’re a one-man-show or a rapidly-scaling enterprise, there’s no doubt that coworking spaces can provide a lot of value for any business structure. From the social aspects and networking opportunities, to the cost-effective rental prices, there’s a lot to love about coworking spaces.
But as with anything, some challenges come along with working from a coworking space. To sort out the pros from the cons, we’ve put together a list of five tips for running a business from a coworking space.
1) Make sure you have a clear and concise business plan
Don’t be complacent just because you’re saving more money by avoiding office costs—you’re still running a business. And one of the most important things to do before launching your company is to iron out your business plan.
A plan details the strategy, timeline, and finances you’d need to achieve to fulfill your primary business objectives. This will not only help you stay on track, but it will also give you something to show potential investors should you need to raise capital down the road.
A business lives or dies by its ability to execute its plan, and if you’re not 100% clear on what your business is trying to achieve, it’s going to be extremely difficult to get your money’s worth from renting a coworking space.
2) Make use of collaboration tools discreetly
One of the best things about coworking spaces is that many of them are designed to facilitate collaboration and networking. If you’re not taking advantage of these collaboration tools and technologies, you’re not getting the full value out of your coworking space.
Many coworking spaces offer a plethora of different collaboration tools, from simple chat and project management software to more complex video conferencing and virtual reality systems.
The best part is that they’re usually very discreet about it. Because coworking spaces don’t entangle themselves with your business, you may present your office as a separate entity to customers. For example, many businesses use something like simple1300numbers. 1300 number types to appear more professional without coworking space branding getting in the way.
3) Use ready-made manuals to onboard new employees.
A company handbook is a must-have when you run a company in a coworking space. It can help new hires orient themselves in their new role, get them up to speed on company culture, and outline expectations for behavior and conduct.
Moreover, if your employees are location independent, a handbook can serve as a valuable tool to help eliminate any confusion or frustration that can come from trying to figure things out on their own.
As you won’t be able to walk to their cubicle and answer their questions in person, a company handbook will serve as a frequent go-to guide for your employees whenever they need simple clarifications.
4) Socialize and network with the community
The beauty about working in a coworking space is that you’re surrounded by like-minded individuals who are all striving to achieve similar goals. This makes coworking spaces the perfect environment to socialize, network, and collaborate giving rise to the coworking trend globally.
As such, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and start conversations with the people around you. Even a simple greeting or smile can go a long way.
If you’re introverted and aren’t always in the mood to initiate conversation, check the local calendar for any community events you may be able to participate in. You’ll never know when you might meet your next business partner, client, or employee—and since most people are tuned in “work mode” while in a coworking space, it’ll be much easier to strike up a meaningful conversation.
5) Set a daily routine
The fact of the matter is working independently can require a great amount of self-discipline. It can be easy to get sidetracked when there’s no boss a few tables away or juniors and associates bombarding you with questions.
One way to stay focused is to maintain a consistent schedule throughout the day. This could involve setting office hours, taking pre-determined breaks, and dedicating certain times of the day to do specific tasks.
While being an entrepreneur would require you to perform multiple functions at once, a semblance of structure helps you get things done more efficiently. Plus, it’ll be much easier to achieve a good work-life balance when you have specific times set aside for work and leisure.