Share and Share Alike: How Shared Spaces and Electronics Help Startups

by Townes Haas
9/10/2014 9:35:41 AM

In the business startup world, sharing really is caring

Making it in the business world has traditionally been perceived as a mostly autonomous undertaking. Sure, successful entrepreneurs often have a team that helps them make it to the top, but “making it” can be a lonely, and extremely expensive, endeavor.

Having a dream and the motivation to go after it isn’t always enough. The success of a new business (especially technology-dependent businesses) are often held back by the sheer cost of starting up. From basic office space to expensive technology, getting commerce flowing can be pricy.

Thankfully, that’s all changing.

Shared spaces are making business more affordable than ever

Coworking spaces and virtual offices are becoming increasingly common. Many cities, small and large, boast excellent communal working areas, where numerous small businesses can essentially split the costs of working space and office technology.

It might be prohibitively expensive for a small business owner to stock his own office with computers, printers, conference call equipment, executive meeting space, and everything else that comes with running a business. Virtual offices can provide a much more cost-effective solution to these business essentials. If an entrepreneur needs an assistant, they’ll have to consider added costs of hiring an employee. Benefits, training time, and equipment can add up fast. Sharing the costs of a virtual assistant with other companies makes having extra help feasible… and only when it’s actually needed.

This trend isn’t limited to basic office space, though. Makerspaces are popping up all over the country, and they’re making high-end technology more affordable for smaller startups.

What is a “makerspace”?

Many business owners and entrepreneurs are already familiar with the idea of coworking spaces and virtual offices. They’ve been around for a while and they’re growing in popularity, but makerspaces aren’t quite as common yet.

These technology-rich spots are filled with the hardware and software tools that startups need to make their products. According to NPR, these workshops can bring costs down from $100,000 or more, to a much more reasonable $2,000 - $4,000. This is excellent news for inventors and startups, and the idea is completely revamping how advanced technology can be used and created.

Makerspaces benefit the community, too

There are myriad benefits of shared spaces like technology workshops, and they extend to the community at large, too. For example, some spaces extend benefits to their communities, giving students access to the same tools and resources that startups have access to. Many schools don’t possess the knowledge or means to teach students about the technology trends that are constantly changing, and these makerspaces help bring STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects to a younger audience.

On the opposite end of the age spectrum, these tech workshops are also a great way to educate the workforce about new technology in an ever-changing work environment. By helping to foster an educated population, they’re an excellent addition to a local economy.

Sharing office space and technology is a smart business move

There’s no doubt that splitting the costs of resources is making entrepreneurship more accessible than ever. From sharing office space to sharing the latest innovations in hardware and software, virtual offices and makerspaces are helping to take the sting out of initial startup costs for business owners and inventors. It’s a trend that will likely continue for years to come. 

Tell us about your experiences with coworking or with makerspaces in the comments!

Additional Resources to Help Grow your Small Business

White Paper

How Mail Services Help Entrepreneurs Succeed

In today's mobile economy, digital entrepreneurs often work from varying locations. While this can help save money and increase agility, it comes with one big drawback:

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Assistants Provide a Competitive Edge

Countless small business owners rely on remote assistants or offsite receptionists to help with critical organizational duties. While some are content to offload simple tasks to self-employed, stay-at-home support people, others demand more comprehensive services...NULL

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Assistants & Remote Assistants: A Comparison

While the traditional virtual assistant is likely to work from home, an executive-level virtual assistant is part of a greater brick-and-mortar presence. This fundamental difference opens the door for extensive training opportunities that broaden the professional's support capabilities.

Read More >
White Paper

Overview of Virtual Offices, Executive Suites and Co-Working Spaces

Work has changed. In an age of instant communication, cloud-based applications, and workplace versatility, the era of the traditional office culture has come to an end. Providers of virtual offices, executive suites and co-working spaces have effectively liberated the nation’s work culture, adding dynamic and energizing new choices...

Read More >
White Paper

Part 1 of 4: Introducing the SBA

For entrepreneurs and small business owners, navigating the tricky terrain of creating a sound business plan, forecasting for growth and developing an operative growth strategy can be a major challenge. Fortunately, American entrepreneurs and operators have access to one of the most effective resources in the worldwide market...

Read More >
White Paper

Part 2 of 4: Starting a Small Business

Navigating the complex terrain of creating a sound business plan, forecasting for growth and developing an operative growth strategy can be a challenge for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Fortunately, American entrepreneurs have access to one of the most effective resources in the world via the Small Business Administration (SBA).
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Part 3 of 4: Managing a Small Business

Congratulations! You have gotten your small business up and running. Now what? This part of our four-part series on leveraging the Small Business Administration to help you launch and manage a small business will focus on the operational aspects of running a business. Whether you need leadership strategies, day-to-day decision making skills
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Part 4 of 4: Marketing, Sales and Contracting

Understanding marketing and sales as well as the technical complexity of our Internet-driven society gives entrepreneurs a distinct advantage over the competition. This final segment of our four-part report will take a deeper dive into the logistics and philosophy of marketing and sales and their impact on your business success.
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

DIY Marketing Tools

If a business isn’t marketing, its potential customers are not finding it. Small to medium size businesses often struggle with spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing. New DIY marketing tools, however, have eliminated the need to spend astronomical amounts on online and traditional marketing. These tools
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Office for Legal Professionals

Law firms (large and small) and solo legal practitioners alike can use virtual office services and spaces to run their entire legal operations or as a supplement to a home office or traditional brick-and-mortar offices. Virtual office services can be particularly useful during trial preparation
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Finance & Tax Professionals

Finance and tax professionals, whether they work solo or as part of a larger firm, can use virtual office spaces and services to stay on top of their workloads, especially during the busy tax season. Professional virtual office spaces can be particularly useful when back-to-back client meetings are necessary...

Read More >
White Paper

Traveling Entrepreneur

As business people and entrepreneurs continually strive to grow their business, doing so frequently involves traveling around the country to attend networking or tradeshow events, meeting clients and prospects on their own turf, and getting some face-time with colleagues, contractors or employees who may operate in a remote location. Preparation
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Office Eguide

Have you ever wondered why some small businesses are successful and others are not and what do these successful companies do to gain an edge over their competition? Through our years of experience
... Click to read more

Read More >