Where you work is important! We would like to add…DUH! Where you work influences your productivity, your finances, and your connections.
Think about what you want to accomplish. Think about the workspace environment that would help you accomplish your goal. What will it take to actually accomplish that goal? Would flexible service options contribute to reaching your goal faster or offer sustainability in a unsure market? This is a chance to break down your timeline estimates for just how productive you’re going to be and how quickly you can accomplish your goal. Your goal may be far-reaching with multiple steps, involve a team of people, several vendors or be a simple task to get one step completed today. Think about your energy level to get things done, and what motivates you? What are the options for resource access? Can you streamline the way you’re doing something? Are you making long-term commitments or are resources there “just when you need them”? Do you want a quiet, contemplative space so you can focus – connecting one thought to the next? Do you need to rock out so you can move through a list of thoughtless tasks and power through to the next thing? If your office workspace isn’t helping you accomplish your goals, it’s time to look for somewhere else to work!
Have you thought about the costs to grow your business? Want to win the lottery, so you can grow your business? Did you think that your only business growth option was to actually win the lottery? Have you watched Shark Tank or The Profit? Are you wondering just how much ownership of your company you’ll have to sacrifice to grow? There are workspaces that offer their support for a portion of company ownership. Even Daymond John, ‘Shark Tank’ Investor, gives some great advice about considering one of these types of spaces:
We recognize it takes a team of dedicated people working together to make a business successful. The question is how many people do you really need involved in financial decisions for your company to remain successful? Then, who are you really working for: the investors, or your company’s mission and vision? Bootstrapping is sounding better and better, isn’t it?
You’ve heard the old saying, too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth.
Do you really want a workspace manager involved with running your company? What do they really know about your particular industry? Can they help you make business connections and what kind?
In studying the startup workspace market, there are other options. What if you’re considering an incubator workspace? Are there incubator expectations for a particular timeline to reach your business goals? Will you be forced from the incubator if you don’t reach those goals within a certain time period? Think about the financial costs and time costs to move a business – AHHHH! Vendors and customers are fickle. Just because you share your new business address it doesn’t mean they will effectively follow your address change instructions.
In pursuit of your workspace, consider what stage of business your company is really in. Your business can go through five stages of small business growth according to the Harvard Business Review authors Neil C. Churchill and Virginia L. Lewis. If your business is stage 1: existence, you have created some systems to make things happen. This business is trying to hold on! It’s like riding a roller coaster. If you’re the owner, you may be the chief cook and bottle washer. You’re generating sales, marketing, working out the processes to get things done, accounting, and on the list goes. You can’t wave your hands in the air because you have to care. An incubator workspace environment might be the perfect place for your business. With a ton of determination, your business may make it past your one year anniversary and roll forward to stage two: survival!
According to article authors Neil and Virginia, stage two: survival is when you’re working through processes to increase sales and aim for more growth. You may create some brand recognition and begin creating some integrity for your product or service. Congrats, there may be some traction in the market. The stats are crazy just how many businesses fail in the first year alone. Keep going! There are more stages to battle through in business. Wouldn’t it be great if you had business workspace options that would grow with your company? Incubator, investor or coworking spaces may even ask for your business plan to see is how “solid” your idea is. Do you really know their intentions possibly for their own businesses as they are reviewing your business ideas? Let’s not even go to the legal issues you might pursue if these people take your business idea and create a “one-step-off” idea of their own. This just makes us cringe, especially if you’ve worked this hard to get this far.
There may be some options you haven’t considered for workspace. An executive suite or full-service office space may be a perfect fit for your company. The intent of these spaces is not to own a piece of the business. It won’t be necessary to show your business plan, either! They won’t kick your business out of the workspace for not reaching a business goal at a particular time. There may be flexible service options that could be a just-in-time or ready when you are. They may offer short-term commitments for services, too. You can grow your business at your pace and not have business decisions manipulated by the workspace management.
An executive suite or full-service office space may offer everything from a one-time or hourly meeting room, virtual office positioning for a mailing address or full-time private office rental service option. You’ll want to contact your local executive suite or full-service office space for details. This type of workspace is built around clients being able to walk in the door and go to work. Many of these work environments include furniture, phones, internet, parking, printing, copies, scans, housekeeping, utilities, even business concierge support and even more services with convenient monthly billing. Check out social media and see what the workspace reviews are like if you want to check out the experience before you even call.
Consider all your workspace options and what you might be giving up to grow your business. Exploring all your options could save time, increase your productivity and help you focus on what makes you money!
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