When you work for yourself, costs can make or break your business. Many solo business owners think they can’t afford an office, but they still need somewhere to get work done. Coworking spaces provide affordable work space to solo businesses and small teams.
The battle for affordable work space is real.
In 2014, I was looking for office space. I was a solo lawyer working out of another lawyer’s firm, but I didn’t want to be in Southfield anymore. I wanted to connect more deeply with my community here in Ferndale, Michigan. That’s when I met my future business partner, Ben Long, and we decided to share office space to cut down on the bills. But finding affordable work space with the amenities we needed proved to be a challenge.
Ferndale’s business district is older. Most of the buildings were constructed before modern accessibility standards. And there just weren’t that many small office spaces to choose from. We ended up settling for what we hoped would be our least worst option.
But the bill for a dedicated 24-7 office space was still reasonably high. We didn’t really need all that space either. What we needed was a place to get our work done in an attractive environment and an accessible conference room on demand to meet clients.
Sound familiar? Most solo business owners, especially in the professional service industry, end up paying for office space they don’t need. And that cuts into the company profits. Since you are your business, that means you’re bringing less home to pay personal bills and live your life.
Modern solo businesses do more with less.
It can be hard to find the right space for solo business owners and small teams that will provide necessary amenities without breaking the bank. Increasingly, small business owners are turning to less traditional work arrangements to minimize overhead and do more with less. That could mean sharing space, working remotely for larger clients, or even working virtually or from home.
But cutting the office can create challenges of its own. When you work entirely from home, loneliness and isolation can interfere with your productivity, and your confidence in your business.
It is a case of needing to spend money to make money. Solo business owners still need a space dedicated to work, where they can collaborate with other professionals and create business acquaintances that push them to do even more for their business.
Coworking space provides flexibility for your budget.
That’s the beauty of coworking space. It is as flexible as you are. If all you need is a desk and a wi-fi connection twice a week to get out of your house, it can do that. If you dedicate one day a week to meeting with clients, a coworking space can give you a professional appearance just when you need it. If you host monthly workshops, it has the amenities to serve your clients and make you all comfortable. If your other life commitments mean you work odd hours, a membership can give you 24-7 access to an affordable work space away from your sleeping family.
Working for yourself is all about flexibility. It allows you to do your work, your way, on your time. So why should you have to pay for a traditional office space that doesn’t work the way you do? Become a member at your local coworking space to do work your way within a supportive environment with the amenities you need to make your business work.
Lisa Schmidt is a co-founder of the PatchWork Collective, a coworking facility coming soon to Ferndale, Michigan. PatchWork will offer drop-in coworking space and offices to meet the needs of solo business owners. Contact PatchWork today to get updates about the grand opening.