September 15, 2016
Look hard enough and you’re sure to find successful entrepreneurs who’ve built diversified businesses from the ground up. But when you’re launching, it’s hard to find the funds for office space. And working out of the home isn’t always feasible—or fun.
That’s why more and more entrepreneurs are choosing coworking over office spaces that might be considered to be isolated home offices or spendy commercial suites. Coworking offers a great compromise between the two, bringing all the collaborative, synergistic benefits of traditional offices with none of the cost or cultural issues.
In fact, there’s probably a solid coworking space within easy commuting distance of your house. Is it on the cutting edge of the coworking movement? That’s another story.
Some just do it better than others. The country’s best coworking facilities and virtual offices have a slew of in-demand amenities, like high-speed Internet, answering services, spacious conference areas, and frequent networking events.
“These amenities help aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs handle the logistical demands of their growing businesses while projecting accomplishment and success,” says George Otte, a Miami-based tech entrepreneur who provides logistical tech services often found in these offices.
Which coworking spaces are at the forefront of the professional revolution? These four are arguably some of the hottest:
The Hive 2.0 (Washington, D.C.)
The HIVE 2.0 is a diverse, fearless coworking organization in the heart of D.C.’s resurgent Anacostia neighborhood — just a stone’s throw from the National Mall, but worlds apart in so many ways. Proof positive that there’s more to the nation’s capital than political gridlock.
WELD (Dallas, TX)
WELD is built by and for creative professionals: designers, photographers, illustrators, writers. Arguably the hottest place in Dallas for creatives, WELD’s simple membership plan ($400 per month for unlimited, 24/7 access) is a steal compared to the competition, too.
Gangplank (Multiple Locations)
Launched in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler, Arizona, Gangplank isn’t your typical coworking space. Unlike most of its competitors, it’s totally free for users — financially, that is. Members are expected to pay their way through in-kind donations that leverage their professional strengths. When you work at Gangplank, you work for Gangplank. Choose from three locations in Arizona and one each in Virginia (Richmond) and Ontario (Sault Ste. Marie).
Impact Hub (All Over)
Impact Hub has more than 70 local chapters all over the world. It’s, frankly, a touchy-feely kind of place — one where the person at the desk next to you is more likely to be working on a solution to the African clean water shortage than the next social app for yuppie pets. But hey, someone’s gotta do it.
Start Your Own?
Launch a coworking hub of your own? Sounds like a crazy idea, you say.
Perhaps. Just don’t tell that to the hundreds of entrepreneurs who’ve launched independent coworking spaces in their cities in towns over the past decade.
To start a coworking hub, you need a big hunk of commercial space, preferably with an open floor plan and a malleable design. You can probably think of a dozen spaces near you that fit the bill.
Actually building buzz around your space and driving prospective members to your door is another story entirely. As with any new business, there’s no guarantee of success. But, given coworking’s vast, untapped potential — especially in smaller markets that tend to lag the tech world’s leading edge — it’s safe to bet that someone you know is willing to buy what you’re selling. You just have to convince them that they want it.
Do your office out of a coworking space? What’s your favorite thing about working in a collaborative environment?
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