Let’s face it, one of the biggest challenges for many solo-preneurs in the early days is managing to keep the momentum going, particularly when it comes to instilling a sense of work scheduling discipline in our daily lives. Without the familiar routine of going to the office at a set time each day, sitting at a desk, and going through the daily grind, many of the factors that motivate people to become solo-preneurs in the first place, there is often the danger of not really achieving the level of productivity that we need if our solo-businesses are to be the success they deserve. So, what is the solution?
Well, if global trends are anything to go by, then co-working spaces could provide the answer. Increasingly in Africa, these trendy and buzzing spaces for young, up-and-coming entrepreneurs are popping up in vibrant urban environments – so, what is the attraction? Here are our 9 great reasons for solo-preneurs jumping on the current co-working space trend in Africa….
1. Like-minded people
In a co-working space, you are likely to be surrounded by lots of like-minded people, solo-preneurs just like you - independent creatives, free thinkers, ambitious and talented people, all chasing a business dream. So, a co-working space provides a stimulating environment in which to work independently, or in a collaborative environment.
2. Idea Brainstorming
How often do you have a germ of an idea that you need to bounce off other people, but as a solo-preneur you don’t necessarily have them close to hand when you need them? In a co-working space, you will have opportunities to network with others and gain insight and free advice on your own initiatives and projects, whilst at the same time giving others the benefit of your own unique experience. There is no doubt about it, co-working spaces can be a positive place in which to develop and stimulate new ideas and get them to the launch-pad stage.
3. Collaborative Opportunities
Co-working spaces are an absolute hub of creativity where individuals can get together and support each other’s ideas, often finding ways in which to collaborate for even greater innovation or success. They are also great environments in which to access particular specialist skills sets that might be needed for projects or concepts to be realized. For example, you could team up with a graphic designer or an IT specialist, or perhaps a creative copywriter on delivering an important client brief.
4. Meeting Rooms and Presentation Facilities
The great thing about co-working spaces is that they often have really professional meeting rooms available, often equipped with presentation facilities. This means that for those really important meetings or project pitch sessions with clients, you have great surroundings in which to make an impression.
5. Client Sharing
Co-working office spaces are great places to team up with other specialists in related industry sectors and to share resources in order to deliver to larger clients than would be possible for a solo-preneur.
6. Productivity Impact
It is often said that your working environment directly impacts on your productivity levels. If you are in a positive, buzzing, proactive environment filled with lots of like-minded people all working hard to achieve their goals, then this atmosphere will undoubtedly spur you on in your own project environment and your productivity will increase as a result.
One of the primary reasons that solo-preneurs often choose the option of co-working spaces for their businesses is affordability. Many of these spaces not only offer a great working environment but also a range of additional services such as secretarial support, telephone answering services, and access to technology.
Co-working spaces are great places to meet new people, get access to potential future clients, and importantly to network with like-minded fellow solo-preneurs and micro-entrepreneurs. Many co-working spaces often hold great professional development and formal networking events on a regular basis, which is a great way of individual entrepreneurs getting to know and potentially do business with one another.
9. Work/Life Balance
One of the most talked about challenges facing the solo-preneur is how to achieve a better work/life balance, particularly in those difficult early days of building a new business. Working from home can often blur the lines between home and work life, making you feel like you’re in the office and at your desk 24/7, without any relief. By taking the decision to use a a co-working space, it can be the solution and provide you with a much needed distinction between the two places.