We’ve talked a lot about how coworking stacks up to both traditional office spaces and home offices. And for all the pros and cons, the question remains – are coworking spaces worth it? They can be an investment for many freelancers and startups and it’s hard to know if that investment actually pays off.
Obviously, coworking isn’t for everyone, and that’s totally okay. But many people do find coworking spaces to be worth the cost. It all comes down to your business goals. Creating a real business plan and path toward success can help you better understand whether coworking is a sound investment in your venture’s future.
What are your short-term business goals? If you’ve recently launched your freelance business or startup, your goal might be to raise awareness surrounding your brand and develop new business contacts. If your business is more mature, you may be trying to hire more team members and grow your operations.
Whatever the case, does your current work arrangement cater to these goals? If not, a coworking space is worth it to help take your business to the next level. Coworking spaces provide lots of opportunity to expand your network, and for mature companies, they provide the room needed to grow. And the great thing about coworking spaces is that you’re not required to go to every networking event or workshop opportunity, so there’s no pressure when it comes to growing at your own pace.
Coworking spaces also lend an added sense of legitimacy to your business when it comes to meeting potential clients. First impressions are key, and you want to do everything you can to increase the odds that your client’s first impressions of you and your business are good ones.
Outside of the short-term, be honest – where do you see your business in five years? What’s your vision for the future? As a business owner, long-term success can require some investment. Many businesses fail to have a business plan, and that’s where it becomes difficult to gauge which expenses make sense for the future of your business and which expenses your business can do without.
Determine some concrete, long-term goals for the future, and then decide how much you can invest now to meet those goals. For some, joining a coworking space can be the first step in meeting longer-term goals for their business. Coworking provides access to a greater wealth of resources that savvy business owners can really use to their advantage, if they keep that business plan top-of-mind.
Out-of-pocket cost vs. membership cost
To that end, when examining both your short-term and long-term business goals, it’s important to remember that coworking spaces often include added amenities in the cost of your membership. Would you be able to afford the things that are necessary to grow your business, such as IT support, support staff, and meeting room access, on your own? There will always be some type of costs necessary to maintaining your business, but if a coworking membership can help cover some of these costs plus grow your operations, it makes sense to sign up.
If you’re still unsure about coworking spaces, don’t worry – we have a ton of resources about coworking that can help.