We’ve all come to love the ambiance so freely given by our neighborhood coffee shops; the fresh scent of roasted coffee beans, the current and future CEOs bootstrapping their way to success, and access to free WiFi. But while the coffee shop is comfortable, it lacks the space, resources, and relationships you need to build your business.
Don’t get me wrong. Coffee shops have their place. They invite community and conversation, but trying to run a business out of them isn’t ideal. In fact, doing this could cost you more money than you think in opportunity.
And despite what you may believe, serious, productive, and professional business meetings rarely happen in a crowded coffee shop.
You Need a Healthy Workspace
Cafes may be a part of your entrepreneurial journey, but it’s tough to create and sustain momentum there.
Remember, the coffee shop’s job is to share great coffee and make a profit. Neither of those things are meant to grow and scale your business.
That’s the job of a healthy workspace.
And I’ll argue that entrepreneurs need more than just a purpose-built place to land. They need access to communities of like-minded, hungry, and scrappy individuals who can help keep the entrepreneurial fire going when things get tough.
I’d argue that a healthy coworking space fits the bill perfectly, especially when compared to a boisterous coffee shop.
Now, your argument may be all about the expense. I get it. Coffee shops are essentially free and you’re on a budget. Eventually, you’ll get to a tipping point where you won’t be able to grow past a certain ceiling in your business. Having a stable environment, a dependable support system, dedicated meeting space, and even faster WiFi will become non-negotiables.
Doubt my position? Consider the following stats sourced from those who operate out of coworking spaces:
- 64% say they’re better able to complete tasks on-time.
- 68% said they were better able to focus.
- 91% said they had better interactions with others after coworking.
- 60% are more relaxed when they go home.
- 90% said they felt more confident.
- 50% report higher incomes.
Picking a Coworking Space
I’m sure I have your attention now, but how do you know which space to pick if it’s clear that a coffee shop isn’t your best option? Well first, a healthy coworking space should definitely offer coffee. That’s a non-negotiable. After that, you want to look for a space that has resources, flexible space, and the most important of all: community you can get plugged into.
While coffee shops have all the caffeine you’ll ever need, they don’t offer much else for the driven entrepreneur. You need resources. Sure, you’ve got free WiFi at the cafe, but what about access to office materials, printers, comfortable chairs, functional desks, quiet meeting spaces, or even educational lunch & learns that help you sharpen your sword? Heck, what about a safe place to leave your laptop while you go to the bathroom? This is where coworking spaces shine. Their resources are purpose-built for entrepreneurs’ needs.
To bring ideas to life, entrepreneurs need a space to grow and move. While your local coffee slinger might give you the space, it can’t offer expanded space when you need it. It definitely doesn’t offer privacy. And what if you bring on another team member, need to present something to a client, or find that there’s no parking or seating on a given day?
A well-proportioned coworking space offers your own desk or office space, meeting rooms, conference rooms, a lunch area, and probably even some extra desks for when you need to add to your team.
Business is all about people. When you share space with other people who do what you do, building relationships is a natural byproduct. Those relationships can set the stage for trust in joint projects, client-vendor cooperation, and even turn into friendships. Your relationships are branches in your community of support. Being surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals helps you broaden your perspectives and provides stability as you ride the entrepreneurial roller coaster. A healthy community exposes you to new opportunities and can even help hold you accountable.
A community-friendly coworking space does things like organizing weekly lunches or food trucks and facilitates plenty of opportunities to sit and chat with others in your universe…you know, so you can bond a little.
Opportunities are everywhere (even in the coffee shop), but you’re probably not using your local coffee shop to leverage those opportunities as much as you could. You’re using it as a place to sit and work on your laptop. When you’re hustling, it’s great to have a little slice of space to call your own. It provides you with a supportive community and solitude when you need it. It also helps you make the most out of your opportunities when they show up. You can invite people to meet at your “office” without worrying about parking or a noisy ambience. You up your level of professionalism.
And as your build relationships with the right people in the space’s community, you’ll start to see the benefits of the coworking community from a business perspective, and you might start to wonder how much more is possible.
It Starts with a Visit
Shopping for the right coworking space can actually be a fun experience. Now that you know what to look for, get out there and see how different spaces do things and make a few new contact along the way.
And, selfishly, if you’re looking for more of a purpose-driven workspace, and you’re looking in Tempe, set up a tour at MAC6. Find out about our values and tour the meeting spaces, full kitchen and gym. Ask a few questions and make a few new friends.