I was asked to write a post about co-working spaces and how they help small business owners grow their business. In doing so I took for granted how big the co-work/shared office space ecosystem really is. I posted the following question to a couple of the Facebook groups I belong to and in The Secret Team Facebook group I got a pretty good sample of answers that found me going down a few rabbit holes in order to learn more about the spaces they mentioned in their responses. Additionally I found there are many and varied co-working/shared/maker space models around the globe.
One question in particular I was interested in hearing answers for is:How has a co-working/shared office space environment helped you grow your business? Click To Tweet
Charlene Burk of Grow Because You Know had this to say “…perfect for high end clients and pitching venture capitalists and angel investors. It helped my business grow because I was able to train groups of people instead of 1:1 (tho did 1:1 as well), it helped me meet other soloprenuers and start-ups in the area.”
Diane Darling from Effective Networking said “It’s tricky to make connections if you’re solo though”
Anne M. Carley at Chenille Books says, “I met some good people who remain colleagues and acquaintances.” and “I recommend people I met there when my clients need those services.”
Jen Jamar over at Get Social Events said, “It’s nice to connect with other freelancers and entrepreneurs. I also like being able to work from multiple locations, have access to meeting rooms if I need them, and generally just be part of a space filled with like-minded people.”
Jennifer Linnell Fong at Philipiak Milano says, “…it’s been helpful to have a professional presence with front desk staff when bringing people in, as well as access to resources like conference rooms when we need them. Plus the camaraderie of other folks working there is nice since we’re very small.”
Dave Dean over at What’s Dave Doing said, “They’re useful to me for a number of reasons- (usually) decent internet, access to a printer, the chance to meet like-minded people and a good excuse to get out of the house for several hours. I also tend to be more focused in a co-working space – more work, less Facebook.”
Barbara Bousted CEO of Mary’s Daughter LLC replied,” I will be retiring from my job and plan to rent space even tho I have a home office. Love it!”
For me I have been able to host workshops at my co-work/maker space 712 Innovations. I get to see all sorts of mad creative people. There are options for me to take classes within the space that are either free or paid. We have networking opportunities in the form of open houses, community events such as First Friday Art Walks. There is the exposure to what other businesses are doing in the space when they are using the commons area next to the drop in desk area. We have an option to volunteer our time in exchange for reduced rate membership. Volunteering makes me feel more invested in 712 Innovations because I am in essence working for my reduced membership fee. Also I am able to keep my overhead low because our monthly membership is significantly lower than what you can rent an office space for elsewhere in my city.
In my one year of being at 712 Innovations it has prepared me to help my friend Cheyney Edwards in Sydney NSW, Australia with social media marketing for Bay 9 Heritage Warehouse Offices. I’ve been able to experience first hand how a co-working/shared office/maker space works, how the merging of various personalities and business models all merge into the melting pot.
If there is a co-working/maker space in your area I would encourage you to take a look at it to see if it fits your needs. If you already are in one I would love to know what it is in the comments below.
Wildheart Social Media is the only Topeka business that does only social media.