A Business Incubator –Shared Office Space
Does a space where you can throw ideas around, focus on the ultimate goal of your business and speed up growth, sound like a good idea? Business incubators are fast becoming very popular amongst start-ups and established businesses looking to refresh and grow.
What is a Business Incubator?
Generally, an incubator is established to assist a start-up who is struggling to either get off the ground or who wants to speed up their growth path. Most incubators are already established organisations who offer services such as training, funding, mentorship, business development and a space to work.
How can a Shared Office Space become an incubator?
Most businesses start off in a shared office space environment, with a view to keeping costs as low as they can but still moving in a professional arena, i.e. dedicated office space for self and staff, an office telephone number (with often a receptionist) and a place to hold meetings with customers and suppliers.
Given that there are many types of businesses that make up a shared office space, it makes sense that there can be opportunities to collaborate, share ideas and even co-opetition possibilities. In the mix, you may find contacts for funding as well as those with the know-how on giving you focused and valuable advice.
You have a certain set of skills but often you will find you need assistance with various aspects of your business in order to grow and reach different markets. The same can be said for other start-ups, however, they may just have those other skills you are in need of, and visa versa. Reach out and find out who you can collaborate with in your shared office space – maybe even for a trade exchange.
You are living in your little bubble and just speaking to others about your business, your future, your plans and ideas, can spur other ideas to grow. Further, an objective view can help you see things differently and even come up with amazing ideas you never thought of before.
Not a new term, but refers to working with those who would normally be in competition with your business, bringing your strengths together, and actually growing each other’s businesses. You may offer the same service or products, but someone else may have contacts in markets you have yet to get into, and visa versa. Don’t be shy of co-opetition.
You may not think that there would be opportunities to find funders or investors within a shared office environment, but you never know who has been looking to expand or invest, or who someone knows that is interested. Very often, those that go for the co-working space are not short on cash, they simply have chosen this route because it works with their business needs or future plans.
Finding someone who can be your sounding board isn’t easy, but within a shared office environment you are more likely to find that special someone than when you are all alone at home or even in an independent office rental arrangement. Mentorship is key to growing both personally and within your business.