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What is Coworking, and How Does it Help Small Business Owners?

By Townes Haas   |    March 5, 2014   |    3:48 PM

What is Coworking?
If you’ve kept up with 2014 workplace trends, you may have heard about “coworking,” an increasingly popular business practice.

It’s an often-heard buzzword these days, but plenty of business owners and workers are still a bit hazy on how coworking can benefit them, and what it is. The idea behind coworking is to help businesses, of all sizes, work more efficiently and effectively.

So, what does coworking involve, exactly?
At a very basic level, coworking allows various professionals (each with their own business or organization) to share a working environment, like an office, meeting space, or conference room. It can be useful for anyone from small business owners to solo entrepreneurs, freelancers, start-ups, and telecommuters.
Working solo from a home office or coffee shop can be inefficient, distracting and downright lonely and uninspiring. Coworking allows for socialization and networking, while at the same time granting access to “normal” workplace amenities, like nice offices and new technology.

How can coworking benefit me?
These days, technology allows people to work from anywhere with an Internet connection, but sometimes a laptop and WiFi aren’t enough. That’s where coworking spaces step in and offer advantages beyond the basic necessities.

With coworking offices, in-person networking is easier
Many businesses still require some face-to-face contact with customers, colleagues, and other professionals. This can be tricky to do from a home office or your kitchen table.

Coworking spaces let freelancers, solo entrepreneurs, and others occupy an office space filled with fellow professionals where they can also feel comfortable meeting a client or colleague.

Coworking offers a la carte services – only pay for what you need
When you utilize a coworking office, you only pay for what you use. If you only need a professional address to put on your business cards and receive mail at, you’re in the right place.

A typical coworking professional will have affordable access to first-class office space, executive level meeting spaces, and current technology. Sharing working space with other professionals grants you any-time access to many of the amenities a traditional office has, and because costs are shared, there isn’t a hefty price tag.

If, however, your business needs services beyond the basics, amenities like a virtual assistant are available at an extra cost. You can combine services like utilizing office space and having a virtual assistant, or you can simply pay to use the coworking space. Service plans are conveniently customizable.

Coworking spaces offer traditional office amenities, like virtual assistants, at lower costs
Many coworking organizations also have a staff of fully vetted virtual assistants. Employers won’t have to deal with hiring, firing, employee taxes, or even sick days, because more than one assistant is trained in your business and on-hand to service your needs.

These assistants can do more than just answer your phone and process your mail. Staff can handle widespread tasks like customer acquisition and retention, inbound and outbound sales, online scheduling, database management, and revenue generation, freeing you up to focus on building a business, not running an office.

Interested in trying out coworking? Search for nearby options!
If coworking sounds like the solution you never knew you needed, search for coworking offices in your city. Large and small cities across the country are becoming home to plenty of coworking spaces, each with it’s own unique vibe and offerings. It won’t be difficult to find one that works for your business.