In today’s competitive market, start-ups and individuals striking out on their own are faced with many tough choices. Having to decide on a suitable office space is one of them. Leasing an office is the traditional route, and many small businesses may be tempted to follow suit. It means having a fixed address a local presence in a business community. However, it also means tying up a staggering amount of money for the duration of the lease, which new businesses can ill-afford.

Today there are numerous alternatives like working from home or the nearest coffee shop. These options are cost-effective, which will help the bottom line. However, most people tend to want to keep their home address out of the public realm, and if a client googles you, you want to make sure your business gets the professional image it deserves and needs.

Thankfully there is a happy medium: co-sharing.

How does co-sharing office space work?

Referred to as co-working or co-sharing, a person can come in (either on a hot desk or fixed space basis) and work alongside others in the same situation. Initially, co-sharing spaces were mainly for freelancers and solopreneurs who only need a hot desk. Today, the service has grown to offering dedicated space for small businesses along with a myriad of other ‘add-on’ type services.

These spaces are often modern, well-designed offices with strong physical infrastructure like internet, phones, and printing in place. Most of them offer dedicated meeting or conference rooms which can be rented by the hour or on a daily basis. There is usually the option to have a dedicated call answering service, along with being able to use the space as a registered office.

For small businesses, this means they can get straight into business, quickly and with a lot less hassle than ever before. No more trying to locate a space, sign the lease, and set up an office from scratch. Co-sharing an office space often is more cost-effective than a traditional lease. The potential for savings means greater financial stability for the business.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of co-sharing an office space is that you will be in the company of like-minded people. There is often a sense of community within these spaces, and the opportunity to collaborate with others is high. Some co-sharing spaces offer scheduled networking, mentoring, and seminar sessions as part of their service.

What shall I look out for in a co-sharing space?

Before you jump into co-sharing a workspace, it may be worth your time to consider what sort of space would be right for you. There are many types available for you to choose from and you will have to think carefully how your business will be reflected in the office you chose.

A client who comes for a meeting should be able to grasp what your business stands for by choice of co-space you hire. If your business is in the creative field, you may want an energetic, colorful space with room for brainstorming and collaboration. If you are offering a service in financial planning or accountancy, it may be better if the co-share space you chose has dedicated meeting room with a bit more gravity.

For more information about how your workspace reflects your company’s image, read my blog post titled Workspace Design: A Reflection of Your Company’s Core Values.