The very first space you choose to use for your startup or business can have a major impact on your culture and workflows. In 2016, 69 percent of entrepreneurs started their businesses at home, but that trend is shifting. Many of today’s entrepreneurs are also looking at co-working spaces, accelerators and incubators as a startup workspace for their business.
Before choosing where to house your business, we at HJR Global recommend you examine each type of space to determine affordability and explore to see which one is the right environment for you. Here is a rundown of each option and why they are increasingly becoming popular among entrepreneurs.
Incubators are likened to “startup hubs,” offering entrepreneurs startup workspace, along with other valuable resources. This structure is usually reserved for entrepreneurs in the earliest stages of a startup, and applicants must disclose their business plan before being selected as an incubator member.
- Mentorship – Guidance from experienced and seasoned entrepreneurs.
- Seed money – Usually given in exchange for a small amount of equity in the new company.
- Credibility – Membership adds a level of standing by association.
- Legal counsel – Access to expert advice and information.
- Accounting assistance – Members can learn this important aspect of running a business.
While there are many benefits, there are some drawbacks. For instance, there may be limited access, depending on location, and this space option is short-term. However, due to the many benefits, incubators have significantly grown in popularity over the past 37 years.
Accelerator programs share most of the same attributes as incubators, such as mentorship and funding (again, in exchange for some equity), but with some slight differences. Usually, entrepreneurs who look to accelerator programs have already passed the initial stages of their company and are looking to mature.
The advantages include:
- Access to experience – Entrepreneurs are typically expected to be showing some level of profitability when they apply.
- Networking opportunities – Capacity to connect with the right industry connections.
- Early publicity – Through events, such as “demo days,” startups can generate early buzz around their service or product.
An important drawback you need to understand is these programs are highly competitive and a small percentage of applicants are accepted. Options may also be limited depending on location. Additionally, accelerators are designed to be temporary in nature, approximately three to four months.
With that said, even though accelerators are designed to be short-term, as an alumnus, you’ll make long-term valuable business connections and relationships.
If you’re looking for a longer-term solution for your startup workspace, you might want to consider other types of shared locations, such as co-working spaces. These workspaces are flourishing in our economy, with some statistics saying the concept has grown by a whopping 300 percent since 2010.
It’s easy to see why so many entrepreneurs are turning to shared spaces.
- Flexible – Wide variety of space options, including meeting rooms.
- Affordable – Extensive options when it comes to price points.
- Convenient – Many shared spaces offer 24/7 access (but definitely check before making the commitment).
- Camaraderie – Shared spaces foster a sense of community, reducing feelings of isolation.
- Scalable – More space can be rented as the business grows.
Co-working spaces are highly collaborative and offer great networking opportunities. A significant attribute many entrepreneurs find appealing is co-working spaces can provide many of the same benefits as accelerators. But this, of course, depends upon on who is currently sharing the space.
Other Viable Options
What do you do if your region is lacking incubator, accelerator or co-shared startup workspace options? If you run into this hurdle, you can look at other opportunities.
- Desk rental in a facility.
- Meeting room rental.
- Community workshops.
- Networking in the community.
That last bullet is important. If you are having a hard time finding startup workspace for your new company, you’ll want to make an effort to network at local events. Additionally, attend local council meetings and be sure to have your voice heard about how startups can help the local community.
Another alternative is to reach out to your city’s Chamber of Commerce to see what options they may have to offer startups. By getting involved locally, chances are along the way you’ll meet someone who can help you find space or is willing to work on developing local options and startup-friendly ecosystems for budding entrepreneurs.
If you’re looking for space for your startup, HJR Global can help. We pride ourselves on our commitment to helping businesses grow. Our focus is on providing startups and entrepreneurs like you with the knowledge and resources you need to succeed in your industry.
To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today. We’d love to chat with you about your situation and help you to find the solutions you need.
Click here to read more from HJR Global.