Whether you’re starting a new business or looking to branch out from your home office, choosing a coworking space is a big step. As of 2022, more than 6,200 coworking spaces existed in the US alone with around 933,000 people using them1. With those numbers, it’s clear that business owners and employees find a lot of value in having a dedicated working space outside of their home.
However, we also know that not all coworking spaces are the same, and amenities that are preferred among some people can be downsides to others. To help with deciding among the thousands of shared workspaces in the country, here’s a series of questions to ask yourself when choosing the type of coworking space that’s right for you.
1. Can I Afford a Coworking Space?
It’s 2023 and money is on everyone’s mind. Corporations and small businesses are tasked with cutting costs wherever possible. The idea of a coworking space may be easy to dismiss due to tight budgets, but first consider the options available to you and evaluate the potential benefits. Many coworking spaces also offer different membership levels that vary by level of access. Ask yourself if you need to have access to the space 24/7 or if it would be better to start with limited access and increase your monthly spend once you’re ready.
For startups that need funding, it can be difficult to find a place to meet with potential investors or other stakeholders. Having a conference room that you can reserve for special meetings can give your business the upper hand when you need to deliver a pitch. Once it’s time to hire employees, you may even be able to pay for a monthly team membership, which is much more feasible to a new, small business than paying for a lease, office equipment, and supplies all up front.
2. How Would I Like to Network? And Can a Coworking Space Help Me?
A major draw to coworking spaces is the ease of networking when you are surrounded by like-minded people. When you put yourself in a space that’s outside of your comfort zone, away from friends and former colleagues, it enables you to strike up a conversation with strangers. The face-to-face interaction makes connecting feel much less awkward, especially when bonding with other business owners in your coworking space. You will be drawn to individuals with similar experiences and will have the opportunity to tell your own story about yourself and your company.
Did you know that some coworking spaces offer access to exclusive events? Whether it’s knowing which food truck will be parked out front tomorrow or when the next startup study hall is, coworking spaces within innovation districts help keep you in the know about what’s happening around the area. Getting involved and attending events in the area can be an excellent way to network and grow your new business.
3. Does Location of the Coworking Space Matter? How Do I Choose?
Location can certainly be a critical factor when deciding on a coworking space. Picking the right location can offer some great benefits, including opportunities to meet with mentors and access to resources that are unique to the area. It can even expand your lunch options!
Think about where your ideal clients are located and where would be convenient for them (and still reasonable for you). Consider the perceptions that people will have when they see the address (for example a suburb town instead of the city). For some types of businesses, there is greater credibility by having a city address.
If commuting is a deal-breaker for you, then look into nearby apartments available for lease. This can also be an ideal option if you’re working from home full-time and looking to ramp up your side hustle. A distinct space outside of the home office can create a sense of differentiation between the two.
4. What Coworking Amenities Do I Care About?
Amenities can really set one coworking space apart from another. Beyond desks, access to printers, seating arrangements and other equipment that is essential for startups, coworking spaces can offer conference rooms and office hours to meet with mentors. Workshops can also be very beneficial if you’re looking to develop new skills or boost existing ones. Some coworking spaces offer special discounts or member-only perks like special events and access to other office locations in the network when you need to travel. Adding up the value of the amenities that you will use helps to complete the picture of cost and value.
5. Am I Ready to Grow My Business?
Connecting with other business owners and successful leaders, even in other industries, can help boost your confidence in making difficult decisions as you are getting your business off the ground. Having a network of people around you who can offer advice on your business plan is extremely valuable, particularly if you’re looking to have the business acquired one day. If you plan to achieve growth and hire more employees, space to meet and cultivate relationships is irreplaceable for a successful startup environment. Also, since coworking space contracts are usually month-to-month, you can add more desks, reduce your space, or move to a new space at whatever time you need to.
Why Choose a Coworking Space in Winston-Salem?
Regardless of the industry your business is looking to get into, having access to the right people and resources can help lead you down the path to success. Here are a few reasons entrepreneurs, business professionals and researchers choose coworking spaces in Winston-Salem:
- Winston-Salem is known for being more affordable than other cities in the state.
- The Innovation Quarter offers several event spaces fit for networking, presentations, demonstrations and more.
- Nearby coffee shops, restaurants and public spaces mean you’re only a few steps away from a quick reprieve when working in the Innovation Quarter.
- There are plenty of affordable apartments, some within walking distance of the Innovation Quarter’s coworking space.
By asking yourself a few key questions about location, budget, networking, amenities and growth opportunities, you can equip yourself to select the best coworking space for your needs.
Try it for yourself
Visit Sparq in Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter to discover the opportunities that this community has to offer.