Solo business owners and professionals often seek an alternative to the home office. The obvious benefits of a virtual office or co-working space include access to technology and a location to meet with clients. But there’s so much more to gain. Besides these “customer-facing” advantages, co-working spaces help you build your business from the back end. It’s where you can find like-minded people and get an on-the-ground perspective of what’s happening in your local business community.
Co-working spaces provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to engage with other people in business. It is a hub for networking. Best of all, it’s networking on your terms—you’re not lost in a LinkedIn algorithm or forced to make awkward conversation at a cocktail party. Here’s a little more about how a co-working space or virtual office can help you find that networking sweet spot.
The Value of Networking to Entrepreneurs
Networking is an old buzzword that is pushed on job seekers and startup founders alike. It is apparently a key component of success—but what exactly do you do again? According to Chicago Booth Review, networking offers three distinct advantages:
- Verify opportunities
- Access resources
- Gain information
Those three actions are fundamental to a successful entrepreneur. You have to assess whether a new opportunity is a safe bet—or risk you’re willing to take—before forging ahead. You need to find financial and human capital to grow and scale. Finally, information is the starting point for both. It’s the data you need to know what’s out there and how to make the best use of it to expand your business.
Use Co-Working Spaces to Expand Your Business Circle
If you’re a solo entrepreneur, networking is a challenge—it takes time to get out and meet people. Co-working spaces solve that problem by welcoming professionals and entrepreneurs to gather in one location. In this environment, people in diverse industries can connect and share skill sets. The up-and-coming tech entrepreneur might meet a patent attorney or learn about a lawyer who can provide essential services as the company grows.
It’s not just about people. Co-working spaces can give you the inside track about industry trends. No one business works in isolation. The contracts lawyer whose main clientele is small restaurant owners can learn about stresses those clients face—city zoning changes, supply shortages, changing customer tastes, as just a few examples. In a co-working space, people chat, and people learn. What they learn benefits their business.
Develop Your Sense of Community
Co-working spaces offer something more. Networking helps your business. But feeling part of a community can increase your personal sense of satisfaction. Harvard Business Review notes that people in co-working spaces feel connected to that space as if it were their own community.
That stems in part from interactions between people in the co-working location, both formal and informal. People don’t always talk about business while they’re at the office, so the interaction around coffee or food—many co-working spaces have kitchens or lounges to encourage socializing—can feel like spending time with friends.
Interaction also happens on your terms, as with a traditional workspace. So a sense of community can come just from knowing the potential to chat with others is there if you want to take advantage of it. That’s in addition to the virtual office services that your co-working space provides.
Increase Your Motivation and Improve Your Professional Image
There are a couple of more reasons why co-working spaces are so valuable. If you work on your own, you can sometimes suffer from a lack of motivation. Getting out of the house into an environment where everyone is engaged with business can help you regain your enthusiasm.
Not to mention, it is much easier to impress a client with a meeting outside of your home. You can maintain a professional demeanor and virtual business address without having to rent out entire offices on your own. Co-working spaces often have areas designed for important meetings so you can fully engage with your client’s needs—and keep your home and work life separate.
Virtual Offices are a hidden gem of the professional world. It’s a significant way for solo entrepreneurs and professionals to gain traction within the business community. Networking and resources all flow from a thriving co-working environment, which leads to a more successful business for you. Want to learn more? Your answer to “where are virtual offices near me?” probably includes Allied Offices. Check us out today!