How to Find a Coworking Space for Your Small Business
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For entrepreneurs just getting started, a coworking space could be a convenient and affordable alternative to a small business office space.
Rather than working in solitude at home or blowing your startup budget on office rent, you could work next to other professionals at a coworking space. Whether you need one desk, multiple desks for your employees or a private office for your whole team, these spaces offer flexible choices for small business owners.
Continue reading to determine if a coworking space would be the right solution for your small business, as well as how to find a space that fits your needs.
- What is a coworking space?
- When to join a coworking space
- 7 coworking spaces for small business owners
- Is a coworking space right for your business?
What is a coworking space?
A coworking space is a shared office space for professionals like freelancers, remote workers and entrepreneurs. Besides a desk, coworking spaces can provide a sense of community, offering ways to socialize and brainstorm with others.
Coworking spaces usually charge you as part of a membership model, offering several tiers at various price points. The lowest tier typically grants you the ability to reserve a permanent desk space or use an open desk — called a hot desk — available on a first-come, first-served basis. Basic amenities usually include high-speed internet, IT support, office supplies, 24-hour building access and daily cleaning services. Each tier would come with incremental benefits, such as private office space or access to conference rooms.
Your monthly costs for a coworking space will depend on the location and the company (much more on this later). Memberships are often flexible, which means paying a monthly or yearly coworking space membership could be a less permanent option than signing a lease agreement on a full office space.
Coworking spaces can be designed to attract a particular niche of workers. While some may be community-focused and encourage collaboration, others could take a more corporate approach, creating a more traditional workplace atmosphere. You may be able to find a coworking space that caters to a specific demographic, such as The Wing in New York, which focuses on women.
In 2018, 991 coworking spaces were estimated to have opened in the U.S., according to a recent study from CoworkingResources. California tops the list of yearly openings with 111 new coworking spaces, while Texas was close behind at 100. Although industry growth is slower in 2019, nearly 700 coworking facilities are expected to open in the U.S. this year.
When to join a coworking space
Coworking spaces can be ideal for entrepreneurs on a budget. If you’re bootstrapping a startup, for example, paying for a membership at a coworking space could be more cost-effective than renting an office space, at least while you grow the business. Besides rent, you would likely have to pay for utilities and cleaning services, among other things, on a lease with a multiyear agreement. You wouldn’t need to worry about any of those factors at a coworking space.
If you’re looking for a community of like-minded people, a coworking space could provide opportunities for networking and collaboration. Business owners who work alone, such as solopreneurs, could fill a personal need for workplace companionship at a coworking space.
As your company grows and you add employees, it could be easier to scale in a coworking space. You could simply pay for more desks or office space as you need it.
7 coworking spaces for small business owners
As coworking spaces grow in popularity, many are popping up in cities across the country. Here are a few large coworking companies that may have a presence in your city.
WeWork offers flexible workspaces for people across the globe. From single desks to full offices and floors, it provides a variety of coworking options to members. Startups and small businesses can use a shared workspace or opt for a permanent desk or private office. WeWork’s amenities include internet, 24/7 building access, printing services and front-desk service, depending on which membership you choose. You could also have mail and packages delivered to your space for a fee. Memberships are month to month, although you could make a longer commitment. And depending on the location, you may be able to bring your pet to the office.
- On-demand memberships start at $45 a month and include two credits to book conference rooms or a private workspace each month
- A permanent desk varies by city; for example, a dedicated spot in Charlotte will cost between $400 and $550 a month, while a similar space in New York City could be as much as $800
- A private office, which is best for up to 100 team members, also varies by city; for example, an office for one in Philadelphia would start at $1,300 a month, but that rises to $11,200 if you have 15 team members
Number of locations
- 790 in 124 cities (includes locations set to open)
Regus also has coworking spaces worldwide. You could rent a desk for an hour, a week or a month, allowing you to pay for what you need. Regus offers members high-speed internet, a kitchen area, networking events, office cleaning and maintenance. You could also rent meeting rooms for an hour when needed. While desks are available on a first-come, first-served basis in Regus’ business lounges, you could purchase a membership to secure a spot in the separate coworking area for a set period.
- Business lounge memberships start at $84 a month
- Coworking memberships start at $93 a month
- Private office memberships start at $207 a month
Number of locations
- More than 3,000
TechSpace has four coworking spaces in California, as well as single location in New York, Houston and Austin, Texas and near Washington, D.C. TechSpace caters to businesses of all sizes, including startups, small-to-midsize businesses and corporate enterprises. You could purchase a monthly membership that grants you access to a desk in the coworking area, a private suite or a fully furnished office space. You could also buy a virtual membership if you simply need an address for your business.
Prices are based on location. For example, San Francisco members could expect the following prices:
- Virtual services for $50 a month
- Flexible desk for $300 a month
- Private office for four to eight people for $2,400 a month
Number of locations
4. Impact Hub
Impact Hub is an international coworking company that serves entrepreneurs looking to be part of a larger community. It provides members with a physical workspace, opportunities to connect with others and programs to help you develop your business. Coworking memberships vary by location, though you would generally be able to choose from a hot desk or a dedicated desk. You would also have access to conference rooms and printers. The Connect membership includes discounted event tickets, as well as an after-hours meeting space.
Monthly memberships vary by city. For example, prices in Seattle are as follows:
- Unassigned desk for 2 days each month costs $45 a month, while 10 days cost $150 a month
- Full-time access to a desk starts at $300 a month, with the ability to buy a private seat for an extra $100
- Unlimited access starts at $350 a month, with the same $100 add-on for a private desk
Number of locations
- 100-plus in 50 countries
Industrious provides suites for large teams and desks for individual members. Month-to-month leases are available for workspaces in more than 40 U.S. cities. Community memberships are available for those who want either a dedicated desk or a flexible seat in a shared workspace. For more privacy, canvas suites and private office memberships are available. Amenities include conference rooms, coffee and weekly event programming. For startups, Industrious offers a free week of coworking at any location.
Costs vary by city. For instance, at the Monarch Tower location in Atlanta, the price of a private office begins at $779 a month, while Boston’s Back Bay location starts at $1,598 a month. For community membership pricing, consult your preferred location.
Number of locations
6. Venture X
Venture X provides a number of workspace solutions on a monthly basis and does not require members to sign leases or long-term contracts. The base Community membership provides access to common areas for a day each month. Venture X also offers memberships that grant full-time access to shared or dedicated desk space and conference rooms, and a private office membership is also available for teams or individuals. Amenities at Venture X include unlimited coffee, high-speed internet, a café and lounge, cleaning services, networking events and party spaces.
Membership pricing varies by city. Here’s a look at pricing at Venture X in Richmond, Va.:
- Community memberships start at $40 a month
- Shared desk memberships start at $250 a month
- Dedicated desk memberships start at $350 a month
- Private office memberships start at $500 a month
Number of locations
- 20 (additional openings at other locations are pending)
Galvanize caters to businesses in tech hubs across the country. Galvanize coworking spaces include open seating, reserved desks and private suites, as well as amenities such as conference rooms, on-campus restaurants and private phone booths. Members can solicit advice from industry experts on call at all Galvanize campuses. Galvanize also hosts workshops to help members grow and scale their companies.
Pricing is location-specific. Here’s what members in Austin can expect to pay:
- Open seating is $349 a month
- Reserved desk is $595 a month
- Private suites start at $4,200 a month
Number of locations
Is a coworking space right for your business?
A coworking space can give you room to develop and grow your business, as well as an opportunity to network with other professionals. But coworking spaces can be costly, depending on your location and the amenities you prefer. If you’re on a tight budget, make sure the extra space would be worth the expense. You may find that you can accomplish just as much at home.
Consider these benefits and drawbacks before settling on a coworking space:
|Affordability: Low membership rates are often available||Limited locations: Coworking spaces may not be close to your residence|
|Flexibility: Month-to-month memberships allow you to come and go as you need||No customization: You likely won’t be able to personalize your temporary space|
|Networking: You could make valuable connections through the entrepreneurial community||Distractions: Noise or other distractions may hinder your productivity|
Although coworking spaces can be an affordable option for startup businesses, you could find it costly over time compared to leasing an actual office space. When renting or buying an office, you could pay less per square foot than you would at a coworking space. However, an office lease or mortgage would likely require a down payment, which you wouldn’t have to pay at a coworking space.
Because most coworking spaces offer monthly memberships, you wouldn’t be tied to a certain location. Be sure to look for a coworking space that offers the services, amenities and atmosphere that work best for your small business.
Prices listed in this article are accurate as of August 20, 2019.