OK. You have hit upon that great idea, brought together a team with great skills, bootstrapped and ready to launch. Next step is to operate out of somewhere. In short, find a great workspace that gets things rolling! While the advantages of coworking (there’s no hyphen!) are undeniable and far superior to working out of your own space, which one is the right space?
Here are a few things that you have to look out for before zeroing in on a coworking space:
What kind of culture is the space breeding? Does it cater to only technology enthusiasts or is a mixed bag of great interests. As a startup, can you leverage on this blanket culture to promote employee engagement and retention? Not many spaces have a great culture and do little to encompass all the startups that are sitting out of their space. Talk to the community manager and a few members to understand what you are getting into.
Related Article: Importance of Culture for Startups
Are you just getting a workspace for your buck or something more? Some coworking spaces offer discounted services and lifestyle benefits to their members while the really big ones throw annual parties for members and alumni. Look for any value that is being delivered out of your space through internal efforts and 3rd party services. These are direct benefits and cost advantages a startup can leverage on.
What kind of members sit out of this space? Is there diversity or people have just been jam-packed to show utilization? A startup simply cannot thrive in a static environment. A diverse, vibrant and mixed skill set is what you should be looking at to leverage on idea bounce and synergies. A web developer, a finance consultant, SEO specialist, sales and marketing leaders, UI/UX experts, etc..you get the point.
Now that the above 3 are fulfilled, what way is the coworking space bringing all of these together in the right quantities to create an awesome environment? Can you get to listen to thought leaders, domain experts and successful founders sharing their knowledge on different platforms? How do you and your employees get rewarded in terms of value? Again, events and workshops aren’t community!
Anyone can provide you with world class infrastructure. Very few can actually provide quality intangibles. What would you choose?