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How a Coworking Office Space Can Improve Your Startup

The past few years have been remarkable for the technology industry. It seems like every week that another tech startup is valued in the billions of dollars. With private market valuations of technology companies continuing to grow, more and more entrepreneurs are looking to get in the startup business. How many entrepreneurs would rather have a monotonous desk job than own their sure-fire startup?

A “Unicorn” is a startup company with a valuation exceeding $1 billion. In the past decade, unicorn startups like Airbnb (Founded: 2008, valuation: $25.5B), Uber (2009, $68B), and Snapchat (2011, $17.8B), have all seen a massive inflow of funds from private tech investors.

California is home to numerous technology corporations, and Silicon Valley is probably the first place that comes to mind when you think about startups. Venture Beat pointed out that almost half of the startup “unicorns” are in California. They also show, however, that unicorns are scattered across the globe, with headquarters in China, Germany, India and Canada.

These days, an entrepreneur can open his own startup anywhere. Email and phone forwarding enables you to run a business effectively from anywhere in the world. As a result, coworking spaces have popped up in major cities around the world.

Where Can Entrepreneurs Find Cheap Alternatives to Office Space?

Deskmag gives a great definition of a coworking office: “Every workspace with flexible structures that is designed for and by people with atypical, new types of work – that is not exclusively for people from one certain company.”

Before the rise of coworking spaces, entrepreneurs had very few options apart from leasing office space. Sure, you could set up shop in a (cramped?) home office, but every business needs an address. Nowadays, entrepreneurs can occupy coworking spaces on a membership basis.

The major economic reason why an entrepreneur will use a coworking space is to save time and money. Coworking space operators will usually offer flexible terms that allow renters to move in and out and upgrade or downgrade their pre-furnished offices as the renters please. But a coworking space has value that extends beyond what a business can save on rent.

Coworking spaces deliver value-added benefits that are difficult to quantify in dollar terms. The first benefit is the networking opportunities. The second benefit is helping your business project a more professional appearance.

The first major benefit of a coworking space is the opportunity to network with like-minded people. In the entrepreneurial world, who you know can be equally important as what you know. A great coworking space is a congregation of minds who share similar aspirations. Every person who walks in the door is a professional, and a coworking space is an ideal place to bounce ideas off your peers and create long-lasting business relationships

In addition to networking, a coworking space can help entrepreneurs project a more professional image for their business. Just like a toll-free number is more effective as a branding tool than a personal phone number, a coworking space will make a business look more established than a home office. A business address and phone number will show clients and investors that an enterprise is well-established.

Coworking Trends

These days, it is the small customer, or small group, that supplies the highest amount of demand for office space. There are more small groups looking for office solutions than there are large groups looking to lease an entire building or entire floor.

We look for this trend to continue as large corporations downsize. In addition, we expect coworking operators to modify their approach in order to attract more clients.

We expect four themes to emerge during 2017 with regards to coworking: niche communities, corporate partnerships, around-the-clock renting and added services. First, operators will appeal to specific groups and professional sectors to create a stronger community. Second, coworking providers have started to form partnerships with corporations. Third, the shared-space concept will be extended into living arrangements. Finally, look for some operators to experiment with concierge services, travel offerings, etc. in order to entice renters.

How to Choose the Right Coworking Space

The coworking market currently has thousands of players. Locations have sprung up in huge numbers in cities like New York, Hong Kong and Singapore while operators are designing new service offerings and rental models. Entrepreneurs, especially those with web-based businesses, are able to work in whatever country they choose thanks to virtual phone numbers and offices. No matter which country you reside in, there are several important factors to focus on when choosing a coworking space.

  • Focus on community

Networking is one of the greatest benefits that come with a shared office space. We advise you to consider the types of businesses that occupy the space and decide if these peers will help your business grow

  • Focus on function

What goals does your business have for the future? Some coworking providers have programs to accelerate the growth of occupants. For example, StartHub in Miami offers an incubator for global ventures launching in US markets, along with other great programs. You want a coworking space that will support your business.

  • Focus on location

If your virtual office is far away from where you live, chances are you won’t spend much time there. We recommend choosing an office that is close to your home.

  • Focus on utilities

High-speed internet is a requirement for doing business in today’s internet environment. The facility should come equipped with Wi-Fi, a fax machine and conference rooms. Some locations have a kitchen and free coffee and snacks. Others offers 24/7 access to the office. The utilities you want to look for will depend on the needs of your business.

 

Do you have experience with coworking? How did your business benefit from joining a coworking space? Do you recommend any particular locations? Share your comments below.

What is a Virtual Phone Number?

Do you own a global business with customers across the world? If so, you might have heard of virtual phone numbers.

A virtual phone number is a local or toll free number that is not directly associated with a telephone line. It doesn’t look any different from a regular phone number and it is dialed the exact same way. Virtual numbers are typically used with a call forwarding service so that callers do not incur long distance charges.

If you don’t already use virtual phone numbers, you should start taking advantage of this great marketing tool. Hopefully this blog gives you the information you need to unlock the true potential of your business with a call forwarding service.

What are the benefits of owning a virtual phone number?

A virtual phone number is a cost-effective way to make your business more accessible and more scalable from anywhere in the world. When you get a virtual number, you take strides towards realizing the true potential of the business.

The main reason to own a virtual phone number is to make your business more accessible. When you have a virtual number in the same country as your clients, it will cost them nothing to call you. This will make existing clients more comfortable and will encourage prospective customers to call your business.

International growth is another major benefit associated with virtual phone numbers. Virtual numbers enable you to operate remotely because they are not tied to any landline. A business can buy a virtual phone number in almost any market while still operating from its headquarters.

Establish a virtual presence for your brand

Most scalable businesses will understand that their target markets are not confined to any particular region. Rather, its employees are constantly seeking out growth opportunities in different countries. A virtual phone number enables you to establish a virtual presence in any potential market.

Establishing a virtual presence does wonders for your brand. People around the globe will become familiar with your company and the services you provide when you advertise in new regions.

Branding is a valuable marketing component and a professional image can propel the success of a business. A known brand can build incredible value for companies and corporations. One of the most effective branding tools is a virtual phone number.

Cheaper than opening a new physical office

There are several issues that need to be considered before opening a new office. One important factor is performing market research focused on the proposed new location. This means identifying new target markets, measuring demand and measuring competition. Ideally, your market research will include test marketing, according to Entrepreneur.com.

Another important factor to consider is funding for the new location. There are many expenses associated with opening a physical office in a new country. You will need to pay rent, hire employees and cover additional operating expenses. Further, there are accounting and foreign exchange issues to consider.

Before opening a new office, it is important to consider all appropriate growth alternatives.

Operate remotely – from anywhere in the world

There are countless business opportunities that exist globally. Luckily, virtual phone numbers are offered in more than 120 countries around the world. This means that you can seize any opportunity no matter where you are located.

We provide local and toll free virtual numbers in over 120 countries and in thousands of cities. Entrepreneurs should take advantage of this great marketing tool and start growing their business today!