One of the biggest worries you might have when considering coworking is the expense. It can be a big step to move out of your home office, and with that step obviously comes some additional costs that weren’t there before. But the great thing about coworking spaces is that they’re actually much more affordable than you’d think, and come with added benefits that you just can’t get from a home office.
It’s All About the Extras
Now I know what you’re thinking – a coworking space is nothing more than a glorified office, right? Wrong. Coworking spaces go beyond pure office space to give members extras that should be taken into account when looking at pricing.
· Support staff – This can be huge for freelancers who occasionally need a little extra help with their work. Many coworking spaces have their own staff who are available to assist with any operational requests, like issuing guest email codes or helping with printing services and meeting setup. Not having to figure out Wi-Fi issues on your own? Always a plus.
· Meeting space – This is another biggie – if you’re meeting with a client, would you rather sit them down in your kitchen or an actual conference room? Coworking spaces come with A/V-equipped meeting rooms that make presentations a whole lot easier and add a sense of professionalism to your meetings.
· Virtual addresses & business mailboxes – Another great way to add credibility to your business is through the use of a virtual business address and/or business mailbox, which is available at many coworking spaces. It’s much easier to work from and manage your business mail all in one place vs. dealing with the post office. Virtual business addresses also help protect your privacy and keep your home address secure.
· No long-term contracts – One of coworking’s biggest advantages over traditional office space is that you’re not locked into any long-term contracts. If you’re a startup, this can be a lifesaver, as many traditional office space contracts span multiple years. Coworking spaces offer month-to-month memberships and pricing, so if you find that you’re no longer able to afford it or your needs change, it’s much easier to make adjustments.
A good way to compare spaces in your area is to factor in the added benefits you get with each. See what these perks would cost if you paid for them individually, and what (if anything) they cost at each coworking space. Decide which you can’t live without and which aren’t so important to you, and you’ll have a better idea of the true cost of each space and the value you’d get with your membership.
It’s Not One-Size-Fits-All
Besides the added perks of coworking spaces, there’s another factor that makes them affordable – they aren’t one-size-fits-all. Most offer a wide variety of desks and offices, as well as privacy levels, at varying price points. While your startup might not be able to afford that traditional office space lease, you likely can afford an office at a coworking space. Similarly, if you’re just looking to give coworking a try but aren’t ready for a full office, shared desk space is a great way to test the waters and is usually one of the most inexpensive options a coworking space offers.
When renting out an office space, one of the biggest uncertainties is whether you’ll actually grow into the space or not. There’s nothing worse than taking a gamble and not actually needing all of the space you’ve rented. This can be of particular concern for startups when looking at traditional office space, which requires those long lease terms we mentioned earlier. Coworking spaces are often better able to grow with companies too, making it easier to stay with your current space if and when you expand.
It also doesn’t hurt to ask the space you’re interested in whether they can be flexible on pricing if you sign up for a certain number of months. Many are more than happy to accommodate your needs.
Now, we’re not going to conclude this by saying that coworking can fit everyone’s budget, because that’s just not realistic. However, it’s actually a fairly affordable option for many who are looking to take their business to the next level. Just do your research beforehand to find the space that best suits you.