Coworking Space Are The Offices Of The Future

Just a decade ago, none of us ever thought about coworking spaces. Even the term coworking at that time wasn’t even coined. A few years ago, coworking space came into existence when coffee shops expanded and became popular hang outs to catch up with clients or to hold a business presentation.

However, the friendly coffee house meetings or offices on rent become a costly affair. This was the time when coworking spaces took a different turn. Businesses owning large spaces or warehouses were turned into office spaces on rent, which were termed as coworking space.

Driven by technological advances, the way we work and the ways in which businesses are organized is emerging rapidly. As a result, the type of workspace businesses need is also evolving.

Initially, there were few takers of coworking spaces, but the trend is changing. Sparked by technology and stoked by the entrepreneurial movement, coworking space is now gaining steam in urban centers across India. Especially in cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and New Delhi.

Most coworking spaces have an environment with all of the basic work amenities such as desks, chairs, proper lighting, and access to internet and electricity. The best coworking spaces offer tables for small and large groups, quiet spaces for concentration, free snacks and coffee, and clean & trendy designs.

Freelancers and start-ups are the ones who use coworking spaces but there are business teams who enjoy the simplicity and flexibility of a coworking space. It’s common for individual workers to meet one another and even do business together in a coworking space.

So, why Coworking Space Are The Offices Of The Future?

Simply because coworking trend is rising and going to continue. Traditional workspaces haven’t changed for decades but rather underwent a minor disruption with the proliferation of co-working spaces. Employees nowadays want freedom and flexibility. The flexibility coworking spaces offer is most sought in today’s business environment.

Coworking spaces providers will compete to provide a work culture that is comfortable, functional, social, and touches lifestyles of people. Entrepreneurs will drive the trend of coworking space because it will favor the results over physical presence. Also, they will be able to put coworking spaces to their advantage by using technology and set up branch offices wherever talent can be found.

The percentage of coworking space around the world is very less but that small percentage represents a majority of shared workspaces that exists around the globe which is bound to grow. Coworking environment has proved to be perfect for the shared work model, which is why it is gradually becoming a part of India Inc.

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Virtual Office Now A Reality For Startups

You coined a conceptual business idea and launched a startup, so are you ready for the take off with your business? Are you ready to make your dream of creating a grand startup come true?

But you are at the crossroads of deciding whether to buy an office or opt for a rented office space. Right?

You are aware of the costs of office space and office services in medium to large scale cities influence your decision on either of them. The costs are too high and you see your hopes of kicking off to a great start diminishing.

But there is hope. Have heard about the trending concept of virtual office? A remarkable trend which is turning into reality for diverse start-ups. Read on.

What is a virtual office?

A virtual office allows occupants to enjoy a legitimate corporate address without actually occupying physical space. This trend is becoming increasingly popular among start-ups and companies as well. It is ideal for start-ups or businesses which are not yet ready or for a long-term commitment on lease, subleases or even temporary space by renting space.

If you are unclear about expanding your business, stepping into a new region can prove risky, but you can minimize risks with virtual office space, which offer ready-made office space in a very short time. You can save time, effort, and costs of hiring staff. You get a new business address at a prime location and it is advantageous for your startup.

Under virtual office space, the benefits are many – you can arrange meetings with your clients, see them in private rooms, arrange conferences, plus you get the bonus of getting your calls answered by a professional receptionist even without owning an office or use rented office space.

Startups can try different locations and markets easily, as virtual offices can be set up anywhere and at any time.

There is no doubt that Virtual Offices are becoming a reality for startups and it is proving as an excellent solution to keep operating costs low whilst forming a professional corporate image.

While there are many companies which provide virtual office spaces, take your time to identify a budget-friendly and inexpensive solution provider.

If you are seriously looking for virtual office space, do check out multi-beneficial services offered by DBS India in 5 major cities across India and globally through a tie-up with Alliance Business Centers Network. Wait no further, dial +91-22-4077 9100 or +91-22-4050 9200.

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Guide to Starting Your Own Freelance Business

Freelancers are often the envy of salaried employees. Imagine working when and where you like. Imagine not having to ask permission to go on leave. Imagine being your own boss.

While all this sounds great, freelancing also has its challenges. The most important thing is that you need to be at the top of your field and reliable. If you are confident about these two requisites and really want to launch into the world of freelancers, here’s a step-by-step guide that will help you get started.

  1. Build your personal brand – You should be able to communicate as compellingly as possible, who you are, what you can offer in terms of expertise and what makes you different. To do this, create a domain name that’s easy to remember, easy to spell and pronounce, and appropriately descriptive – it should say something and preferably tie-in with what you do.
    Your domain name should be accompanied by a 150-word explanation of what your business is all about.

  2. Create a logo –  This should be a memorable encapsulation of your domain name—something that stands out. A professionally-designed logo is a good investment.

  3. Create a website –  A website is essential for freelancers in this competitive world. It should be professional-looking. Get the best website designer you can afford. Your website will have several elements but the most important are: an introduction, which is a statement about yourself and your vision; your services; examples of your work and references from previous clients; and contact details.

  4. Optimise your network presence – Make sure you are active on LinkedIn and other professional sites so people who are looking for freelancers in your field can find you. Regularly get referrals from clients to post on your LinkedIn profile.

  5. Leverage social networks – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will help you build trust and credibility with your audience.

  6. Invest in good financial management – Freelancers often lose out by not managing their finance properly from the beginning. It is important to get an online financial management tool to enable you to receive payments and also manage your invoices and monthly cash flow.

  7. Track where your time goes – Many freelance jobs are charged according to the time spent on them. It would be wise to get a time-tracking tool that will enable you to do this accurately for every project.

  8. Set professional rates for your work – Your work and the service you offer have to be top-notch so you can command the right fee. It’s good to get a benchmark of what others at your level of experience and expertise charge. You should be competitive in your charges and also keep in mind what the market will bear.

  9. Invest in legal services – There are contracts and other documents that need to be looked at by a legal consultant. It makes sense to have one on board to deal with all legal issues.

As a freelancer, you are a one-person team. You need to build your business around your talents and skills. You need to be a sought-after expert in your field to succeed as a freelancer and you need a tremendous amount of drive and determination. Make yourself familiar with every aspect of the job –from branding to rates, client liaison and the mechanics of accounting.

You have the freedom to be your own boss and chart your own destiny – but with it come hard work, responsibility and discipline.

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How Coworking Spaces Are Beating Coffee Shops For Work

Times are changing. Coffee shops once considered an ideal place to talk business or crack deals or even conducting business events is gradually shifting from business-cum-fun hang out to just hang outs.

A coffee shop can be a great place to talk business with a client or get some work done, but the question that arises today is – Does it help working in a Cafe? The answer depends on what kind of work one is trying to get done and what kind of environment is suitably available.

With the advent of coworking spaces, people who frequented to cafes for work have dwindled. The probable reason for less work related visits can be attributed to following factors:

  • Noisy surroundings

  • Other distractions

  • Limited desk space

  • Unreliable internet connection

  • Security of belongings

  • Cost of buying food and drinks

Considering the above factors, people have gradually started accepting coworking facilities over cafes because the benefits of coworking are far more than operating at cafes.

So, how are coworking spaces beating coffee shops for work?

Let’s check the major causes:

  • Work environment - It is generally easy to focus on work when other people around you are doing their work. The place is set up to be favorable to work even for long hours.

  • Designated meeting space – Coworking spaces usually have meeting rooms. These can be used to conduct one on one meetings or a group meeting.

  • Reliable infrastructure – The purpose of coworking space is to make sure people have great space to get their work done. Dedicated internet, printers, power outlets, etc make working easy.

  • Availability of food and drinks - Coworking spaces usually offer free coffee and tea to members. Plus, they also provide a fridge. This works well for those who want to pack a meal and save money on eating out.

  • Business networking – Coworking spaces often hold good for business networks. People can meet experts in their respective field, who are happy to offer feedback and help the business community to grow.

Looking at the advantages mentioned above, coworking spaces beating coffee shops for work is quite natural.

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Funding Your Small Business

So, you have a million-dollar idea! But before you can turn it into a profitable business, you need funds. Getting funds seems like an uphill task. How can a small business without capital or credentials get the required amount of money to even get started?

But nothing is impossible. Here are some proven ways to get small businesses the funding they need:

 

1. Do it yourself: Self-funding (also known as boot-strapping) is worth considering if you can leverage your personal assets. What is crucial here is self-belief. You must have absolute confidence in your vision and be certain of winning. You must absolutely refuse to accept failure as an option. You are investing your own money and, literally, going for broke. Potential investors will see this as a positive sign and have more confidence in you and your idea.

 

2. Borrow from friends and family: You could round up some capital by approaching friends and members of your family. Whether they believe in your idea or not, they are doing it for you. So far so good. But however close the personal ties, you need more than a handshake. It is always advisable to put the loan on a business footing. Get legal help and draw up a contract. That way it becomes a business deal and you do not risk endangering the relationship.

 

3. Get a small business loan: This means having a good business plan in place, making profitable projections and putting some of your own money in the game. The thing to watch out for is not giving away a piece of your business or control over your business.

 

4. Angel investors or venture capitalists: They will be investing in you as well as your idea. Getting funds through this route will help you over those initial hassles of constantly having to pay money out without seeing anything coming in. However, be prepared to spend a lot of time with the angel investor or venture capitalist before the investment can be finalised. It may mean having a member of the team focussing only on this as every aspect of your business plan is gone over in detail. It’s important to be transparent, back up valuations with real projections. You need to build a relationship with your investor and create trust. Investors generally give funds in exchange for equity. Entrepreneurs would do well to get experienced mentors on board to give the idea the maximum chance to succeed and to accelerate the development of your start-up.

 

5. Crowdfunding: This is a means of funding that raises money from a large number of people. It generally harnesses the power of social networking to raise awareness of your project and draw contributions from a host of people. Start by connecting with people you know—family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances and build from that base online. You need a compelling pitch that talks about the uniqueness of your idea and inspire people to invest in it. Done properly with professional advice, crowdfunding is a good way to raise funds. Make sure you have all the legal angles covered.

No single source of funding is better than another. It all depends on your business model projections and how you can sell yourself to potential financial partners. Whether you are a start-up seeking initial seed capital or a small business looking to grow, you have to be flexible, remain positive and have staying power. Your vision, your total belief in your idea whatever the odds, will be the ultimate deciding point.

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