Help Your Business Grow with Coworking Spaces

How Coworking Spaces Help You Grow Your Business

In the US alone, coworking spaces jumped from a grand total of one in 2005 to 781 in 2017, with no signs of slowing down, according to Inc.com. Originally geared towards startups and entrepreneurs as a solution to working from home or brainstorming at a coffee shop, coworking spaces are now changing the face of the traditional office. Even corporations are getting in the game, using coworking spaces as convenient, cost-effective satellite offices. Besides the built-in social networking, community spirit, and collaborative nature coworking spaces offer, the new normal in office environments can actually help you grow your business.

Coworking vibe motivates like-minded professionals

While you might think the energy level, the social element and just working around a lot of other people may be distracting for individuals, as well as businesses using coworking spaces as branch offices, the truth is, studies have shown that the open coworking space vibe increases members’ productivity and success.

A February 2017 Business.com article reported that research by DeskMag and Deskwanted revealed that:

  • 74% of coworkers are more productive
  • 86% have a larger business network
  • 93% have a bigger social network
  • Over two-thirds feel more creative and collaborate more on projects
  • A third reported an increase in income

Also, a Harvard Business Review study showed that people who were members of coworking spaces reported levels of thriving that approach an average of 6 on a 7-point scale. That’s at least one point above folks working in traditional spaces. “Unheard of,” said Harvard Business Review, as they double-checked their data just to be sure. Along with working in motivating, inspirational spaces, businesses, and individuals like the idea of saving money and avoiding the pitfalls of setting up and maintaining an office space.

Getting right down to business without overhead expenses

When you’re just starting to grow into your success, fledgling businesses often take a hit to their productivity and overheads by setting up an office. Skipping the stress that goes along with long-term leases, outfitting a space and setting up technology keeps your business on track. Coworking space members enjoy all of the appointments of an upscale office space, with laser fast Wi-Fi, plus all of the services and amenities you need to keep on, keeping on, towards more success at a fraction of what it costs to maintain a traditional office space. According to a MakeOffice.com article, “coworking spaces have been proven to reduce expenditures of small companies by as much as 75 percent.”

Coworking spaces equal flexibility

Another coworking space perk that helps companies grow revolves around the fact that whatever space needs your company encounters during different growth phases, coworking spaces deliver. You might need to rent a large space to brainstorm ideas with remote team members once a month, or you may want a private office for yourself and semi-private spaces for other team members.  Short term rentals are available whether you need to rent a conference room for a product launch or for training sessions on a new system. Coworking spaces redefine flexibility.

Most coworking spaces feature boutique hotel lobby-like community areas, with sofas and chairs that make an ideal place to meet with new clients or just to take a break from it all. Flexibility means that you aren’t stuck in a space that doesn’t fit the needs of your company as it grows. Speaking of stuck, the intrinsic, collaborative spirit of coworking spaces can help you hurdle business obstacles, as well.

Consulting, conversing and collaboration

The diverse community of coworking spaces lends itself to helping other members out. You may find answers to your specific hurdle by consulting with a business owner who’s been down the same road already. When creative ideas start bouncing around from one coworking member to another, the synergy can create new ideas, new business relationships, and new businesses. Not a bad perk.

Also, a number of freelancers working at coworking spaces can provide the support your business needs in the way of websites, marketing, photography, and other components of your business that may not be your specialty. Saving time choosing a web designer or an IT guy to set up your e-commerce site saves money and allows you to do what you do best, keep growing your business . . . even when you’re not feeling so productive.

Coworking energy is contagious

Working from home can present a plethora of distractions that can easily take a big chunk out of your work schedule and result in frustration with further distractions and down the rabbit hole your day goes. Coworkers often surprise themselves when they show up for work, not really feeling it that day and can’t help but get into their business goals because others around them are so jazzed about what they’re doing that it just rubs off on them. Then, maybe there’s a community event that day that addresses something you’re trying to figure out and . . . there it is, problem solved. Or maybe you attend a community event that day where you meet someone with an idea that grows into a new business opportunity. You gotta be in it, to win it.

Hone your skill sets

Because coworking lets you network at the business level in a professional environment, you are ideally positioned to learn how to expand your business skills and learn new skills you may not have deemed necessary before. Your whole day could turn into a series of learning opportunities that inspire you to break through the barriers that affect your progress moving forward.

Venture X Naples offers everything you need to save money while growing your business in today’s marketplace. Affordable, upscale digs with flexible monthly contracts, an open, welcoming community of like-minded professionals that motivates you and promotes productivity, with the same goal of continuing success. Visit Venture X Naples to schedule a tour of your new office space. Located in the heart of Naples, the Mercato neighborhood features top of the line shopping, dining, and entertainment venues. Take a client to lunch or take a walk on the beach in the morning – a mere five-minute bike ride away from our location. Just another perk.

Why Major Companies are Moving to Coworking Spaces

Benefits of Coworking Spaces

Initially, coworking spaces offered a professional, flexible work atmosphere for young creatives, startups, and freelancers who were looking to bridge the gap between working from home and investing in an office space. With so many of today’s business leaders starting up their careers in coworking spaces in the mid-2000s, the idea of using coworking spaces for a large company’s temporary or remote office space needs is more appealing than spending a bunch of hours and money flying employees to their corporate headquarters to attend meetings in person when using today’s technology allows for other, less expensive options.

Moving directly into coworking spaces, attractive for the convenience and amenities

Coworking spaces made a lot of sense with immediate access to upscale workspaces without going through the process of setting up shop on your own. Sidestepping the expense and time required to lease an office space, never mind purchasing office supplies, office equipment, office furniture and who knows what else in order to just get up and running, coworking spaces offered all of the amenities of a well-appointed office space without taking your focus away from developing your business. Also, for startups with uncertain futures, coworking spaces offer a professional environment that scales to your office space needs as your company evolves.

Some of the largest tech companies began in coworking spaces

While some of the largest tech companies today got their start in coworking spaces – Spotify, Instagram, Uber, Wanderfly, Charity:Water and IndieGoGo, among others –  coworking spaces haven’t really been able to shake their association with young entrepreneurs and tech startups . . . or have they?

Corporations now account for 40% of coworking space membership

It seems large businesses are finding coworking spaces preferable to establishing their own physical presences in some places. Even though we all know that large corporations possess the resources to expand into their own new spaces, coworking spaces offer instant connectivity, polished surroundings, amenities and so much more.

Perhaps, as businesses grow more mobile and global, the impact of a physical footprint on communities doesn’t mean as much as it did in the past. However, it’s not just the convenience of monthly leases or the free coffee and water that are drawing large businesses to coworking spaces, it’s . . . well, it’s everything.

Instant temporary digs

Coworking spaces come in handy for major companies as they work out the particulars of an expansion into a new geographic area. Bringing staff together or interviewing for positions at a new location can be easily accommodated at coworking spaces. With flexible contracts, coworking spaces offer semi-private offices for recruiting as well as boardrooms for brainstorming. Semi-private office spaces are ideal when teams need to convene and tech-savvy virtual office spaces work for conference calls and Skype meetings with corporate.

A community atmosphere

Many coworking space studies, like these in business.com or Harvard Business Review, have shown an uptick in productivity among professionals working in coworking spaces. Not unlike going to the gym on a regular basis, when you work out around other people, some people find motivation and focus, while others naturally switch into competitive mode, working harder than they would on their own. Just a little bit of healthy competition can keep eager business professionals working steadily towards the same goals of success. Survey subjects said coworking spaces not only helped with productivity but with confidence, self-esteem, and motivation.

Major companies can save some money that they can invest elsewhere

Why not save some money when venturing into new territories? Corporations can cut outfitting costs and the overhead required to acquire and maintain an office by setting up shop at coworking spaces in different locations. Major companies also save time by instantly getting their coworking spaces up and running. With monthly leases tied into one payment, corporations save time and money on accounting services as well as other ongoing expenses corporations incur in the day-to-day of office management. And, there’s more.

Coworking vibe can’t be found in most corporate office spaces

While your company may have the hippest vibe in town, dedicated office spaces can’t really generate the same electric atmosphere that’s palpable in most coworking spaces. A sense of creative innovation and the capacity to change the world underlies the excitement of turning professional passions into lucrative realities. The creative process hums like a pulse in coworking spaces, igniting ideas and fostering collaboration. New ideas evolve into new projects.

Connecting with the larger community

Networking and collaboration are built into the very definition of coworking spaces; they offer ties to a larger community than traditional office environments. Not just a number, a common downside of the traditional corporate structure, coworking members get to know other members and discover resources they can bring to their specific corporate cultures. Social activities and networking events lend themselves to finding new talent for large companies as corporations take advantage of recruiting the talent they need from coworking members they already know they’d like to hire.

At Venture X Naples, we welcome major companies as part of our diverse, growing membership. In the up-and-coming North Naples area, the Mercato plaza is home to many popular dining, shopping and entertainment venues that offer many options for Venture X Naples members to impress clients, celebrate team successes or to just take a break from their business days.

Contact us to schedule a visit or reserve a workspace. Large companies, small companies, startups, and others can all find the right working space for their business needs at Venture X Naples. Join us and experience the excitement of interacting with other business professionals, as well as exploring the many options for grabbing a bite or taking a well-deserved break such as heading to the beach that’s just a five-minute bike ride away!

Why You Need to “Show Up” Every Day

Why You Need to Show Up Every Day

Seems like a no-brainer, right? You show up because you need to work so you can eat, pay your rent and buy stuff that makes the end result of showing up worthwhile. However, when you’re the boss and possibly the sole employee of your company, so far, you can get sidetracked by other things in your life or periods of time when you can’t seem to work out any aspect of your business plan. Sometimes, you don’t even know where to start to get past a hurdle so you can move forward. It’s at these times that you could use some handy tools to help you show up and account for something, every day.

Matt Mayberry says showing up is essential to winning ball games

In CEO and strategist Matt Mayberry’s Entrepreneur article, the former Chicago Bears linebacker compares how underdog college football teams show up, upset highly ranked teams and shock the heck out of people who are amazed because they never saw it coming. Mayberry says that in football, as in “building businesses, organizations and whole cultures” you need to show up every day. He went on to say that the reason we see these upsets in sports, as well as in business is due to the fact that sometimes people forget to show up. First- and second-ranked teams can lose their edges and not show up on particular days when hungry, lower ranked teams show up ready to win.

Mayberry says that the highly ranked teams “will have let their record, their past achievements and the praise heaped on them by the media get in the way of their executing and treating that specific game as if they were 0-0.” In showing up “every day and treating each new day, project and task as if your life depended on it,” Mayberry offered two suggestions for surefire ways “to make sure you get better at what you do and move in the right direction to where you want and need to be.”

  1. Sign a contract with yourself

    Psychologically, taking the time and effort to compose a contract with yourself works wonders for your work ethic. Like an affirmation statement on your refrigerator, you just need to remind yourself daily of the important objectives for your business, including showing up every day. As a matter of fact, Mayberry suggests laminating your contract and placing it somewhere where you will see it numerous times a day. While Mayberry says the way you word your contract is up to you and he offers University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino and Eric Crawford’s book, The One Day Contract: How to Add Value to Every Minute of Your Life, as an excellent resource for writing that contract with yourself. “It’s a phenomenal book,” Mayberry says, “that chronicles how Pitino started using a one-day contract for himself and his team before they won their national championship.”

  2. Focus on one aspect of your business daily

    From his football training, Mayberry borrowed the idea of focusing on one key area each day. “After a couple of months, I noticed what a great impact this was making on me in becoming a better player overall.” Adopting this practice in his personal life, Mayberry maintains that he still uses this approach today. Focusing on one key area can improve your overall productivity level and work wonders in a myriad of ways. Practice things that you aren’t comfortable within your business. “For example,” Mayberry says, “if you’re in sales, maybe you are working on getting better with cold calls one day, and then the next day you are working on improving your communication or prospecting skills.” You might want to work on presentation skills if your business requires numerous live presentations or videos. Compartmentalizing tasks into focused pieces that you can work on one day and move to another task or area the next day works because, “It’s not overwhelming yourself with 1,000 different areas you need to work on, combined with your already hectic schedule,” Mayberry says.

Coworking spaces keep workers on their toes

A September 2015 Harvard Business Review article revealed that workers who were members of coworking spaces “reported levels of thriving that approached an average of 6 on a 7-point scale” – at least one point higher than employees who work at traditional firms in regular offices. Researchers did a double take, as this data couldn’t be right. But it was, because of a number of factors that come together in coworking spaces:

  1. A feeling of community inspires business owners and freelancers to show up every day

    Working in an environment, alongside entrepreneurs and like-minded professionals motivates business leaders towards results. Whether you need a cheering squad or a trusted colleague to consult on your project, coworking spaces foster these activities.

  2. Coworking spaces have a built-in network that fosters a collaborative spirit

    Not only for the social aspects of coworking spaces but the intrinsic networking effect in coworking spaces encourages members to seek help from other members. When you need help for those hurdles you can’t wrap your brain around, to hone in on a technical issue or resolve other issues that might subconsciously keep you from giving your business all you got some days. Much like a college course, say a creative writing workshop, where everyone has to read everyone else’s short stories and critique them, coworking members are willing to help someone else through an issue that may have held them back in the past. Who knows? Working alongside someone can lead to new ideas, which lead to new ventures with new partners you already know.

At Venture X Naples, we think there’s something special about coworking spaces. Working in an upscale, well-appointed facility in the heart of Naples, the Mercato neighborhood buzzes with popular shopping, dining and entertainment options, just minutes away. Our diverse community of coworking members thrives in a variety of different types of spaces, from our community spaces to semi-private or private offices with your own business address. Technically proficient conference rooms are available for meetings and presentations, as well as our community area that can be rented for your launch or as a networking tool.

Like Matt Mayberry tells us, “Showing up every single day of your life is critical when it comes to the success of your business, organization and individual success.”  To keep from sliding into a comfortable zone of thinking, “you’ve made it and don’t have to work as hard, someone, somewhere is already gaining an advantage over you and working to surpass you.” Mayberry’s take away goes like this: “Champions show up every day, whether that occurs on the field, on the court or in the boardroom. Showing up may help you be one of them.” Showing up at Venture X Naples can keep every single day moving forward with your business goals solidly intact, in one of the most exciting ways. And then there’s the beach nearby when you need to focus on your sunny disposition. Contact us to schedule an interview at (239) 300-9601 or request a tour online.

Delegate and Ask for Help: 5 Reasons Why

5 Reasong Why You Should Delegate

As a business leader, you can’t take everything on or you’ll burn out. Asking for help is essential. Successful business leaders have learned, probably the hard way, that you can’t produce the show, direct the show, play all of the parts, and take the tickets all by yourself. Yes, you’re stressed about labor cost and now, just as your visions are starting to click into reality, you think you can’t afford the extra help. The reality is, if you spread yourself too thin, you risk not being able to wrap your brain around progress. Asking for help, as Lizzie Needham admits to Dylan Reinhart in an episode of NBC’s Instinct, “I learned that asking for help is not a weakness; it’s a strength.” If business leaders try to do everything themselves, they can’t get above each little issue to taking charge of the big picture. Here are 5 reasons you need to feel good, or at least okay, about asking for help:

  1. Spending too much time learning something that others do for a living

    Building a business involves developing aspects that might not be your forte. You can’t be good at everything. Okay, so you can put up a basic WordPress website, but is that what you want, a rooky-looking representation of your business? Hire a professional web designer who can assess your site’s needs and deliver a polished website, with all the bells and whistles you need to be competitive in an environment where consumers have little patience. With such stiff competition, online consumers will abandon their carts and move on to the next available vendor if your site isn’t easy to navigate, or your products and services are hard to find.

    The learning curve

    Are you wasting a good portion of your day on the learning curve when you try to do everything yourself? The content on your site, press releases and other important content can be effectively implemented by writers and marketers to effectively launch your site. Hire a freelance writer or a creative agency to help you with deliverables to start out on the right foot.

  2. Develop a support system

    As an entrepreneur, you don’t shy away from new adventures and challenges. The freedom to do your own thing attracts you, and even defines the entrepreneurial spirit. On the flip side, doing everything yourself can lead to burning out if you don’t have systems in place to see you through stressful situations.

    Hire some folks to help

    Maybe you need a full, or even just part-time, personal assistant to keep things organized and handle administrative tasks or a virtual assistant to help with scheduling and managing emails.
    Productivity coaches can show you how to optimize your workflow and you can hire experienced extra hands to help fulfill large orders. You lose focus packing and valuable time shipping your orders yourself. Planning for success makes each project more manageable.

  3. Financial management is taking up all of your time

    As a business owner, your financial health determines most of your company’s decisions. While watching the bottom line is crucial to running your business, you can easily get caught up in managing your daily financial processes to the point that you don’t have time to focus on anything else.  This is where according to Entrepreneur.com, “a trusted adviser” is a must.

    Business banking frees up time

    Managing your merchant services through a business banker allows you to automate your check deposits, as well as accounts receivable and payable functions. A business banker can free up your time to run your business, in addition to giving you the assurance that your finances are being handled properly by professionals. With access to business loans, credit lines and real time digital resources, such as cash flow insights, QuickBooks and other financial management tools, business banking can help you automate otherwise time-consuming tasks like invoicing and paying your vendors on time.

  4. Overwhelmed by menial tasks

    Whatever needs setting up, fixing or troubleshooting, as a small business owner wearing the jack-of-all-trades hat, menial tasks can really suck the life out of your day. Consider those days when boxes of things that require assembly start arriving at your door, while you’re trying to reach tech support because something’s gone terribly wrong with your e-commerce site and your printer seems to have been taken over by aliens. Which fire do you put out first to get back on track and back to making strategic decisions about your business?

    Delegate, delegate, delegate

    Instead of spending your entire day trying to figure out how to fix your tech issue or assemble some intricate piece of cabinetry, reach out to freelancers and temp agencies that can supply you with skilled personnel who can take care of these things so your day doesn’t just fly by with no progress made on the management side.

  5. If you look at other businesses and say, “How does that work?”

    It’s like visiting an upscale home, where nothing is out of place, the interior spotless and coordinated and the exterior perfectly manicured. You wonder where people find the time. Then you realize it takes a small army of cleaning people, a lawn care service, a designer’s touch, a housekeeper and any number of other people to facilitate this spot-on look. Well, chances are, those polished-looking businesses that you’re wondering about probably used the services of several professionals to tackle different tasks for each component of their success. It takes a village to grow a small business into a successful venture that keeps on growing.

At Venture X Naples, a wealth of support comes with the territory. With monthly contracts and flexible office spaces for each phase of your development, Venture X Naples’ diverse community represents many industries and professions. Need a website, tech support, SEO content or legal advice? Venture X Naples’ open and welcoming atmosphere inspires collaboration among like-minded professionals. Located in the heart of Naples, Venture X provides the village you need to keep your visions on track.  It doesn’t hurt to be right by the beach, either. Contact Venture X Naples at (239) 300-9601 or make an appointment online!

Want to Remain Relevant? Want to be an Effective Leader? Do These Things!

Do These Things and Be an Effective Leader

Career development expert, Soulaima Gourani, says emotional intelligence (EQ) is the most powerful predictor of professional success, ranking higher as a successful business tool than mental intelligence and personality. In her book, Take Control Over Your Career, Gourani explains emotional intelligence as “understanding yourself and others. To be able to read and understand, control thoughts, emotions and actions.” Pretty sure she’s talking about controlling our own thoughts and not getting your Svengali on. A trending topic among business writers today touts the benefits of fostering Emotional intelligence (EQ) in the workplace.

Whether you work in a traditional office or as an entrepreneur, turning your vision into a successful business, researchers are finding that people with strong emotional intelligence skills do well in their personal lives, as well as in their professional lives. Practicing emotional intelligence enhances your team skills, allows you to seamlessly adjust to change, thinking rationally on your feet and working wonders in problem-solving areas.

Emotionally intelligent CEOs lead to engaged and loyal employees

Businesses with emotionally intelligent leaders can keep their employees engaged, which in turn leads to loyal employees producing better results, towards more profitable outcomes. Especially, in today’s ever-changing job market, performance and productivity go hand in hand with emotional intelligence, in a landscape that requires learning and adjusting to new technologies on the fly. Leaders who model emotional intelligence may wish to get their staffs on the EQ train, as well, ASAP.

Self-regulation or Keeping your head when all around you are losing theirs

How you control your own thoughts and opinions will help you focus on how to lay the groundwork for the best possible outcomes each business day. In the US, we tend to take our freedom of speech rights for granted and are prone to telling it like it is, often to our own detriment. In the heat of battle, when frustrations and tempers run high, leaders can keep it all cool and constructive, by setting a calm and problem-solving tone. Self-restraint involves diffusing uncomfortable situations instead of lashing out, throwing tantrums, finger pointing or other ineffective and alienating reactions that add stress in uncomfortable moments.

Take a step back

In order to act responsibly, controlling our responses and tolerating uncomfortable feelings, we need to take a minute or two to slow down and detach from the situation at hand.  Take a step back, absorb the big picture and find a response that will restore a productive and progressive workspace. This means taking stock of your physical responses, as well as controlling your emotional responses. Take a walk, take a few deep breaths, take a yoga class or just have a relaxing cup of coffee or tea. Take a break to consider the most effective way to respond, preferably one that offers a solution.

Self-awareness: Developing the ability to listen and alter your behavior based on feedback

It’s like not having a mirror to see what your face is up to in terms of hair gone wild or food in your teeth, etc. We can’t truly see ourselves from a totally objective perspective. “You have blind spots” Gourani explained, “and it is like ‘you’ve got broccoli in your teeth …’ You need people to tell you that, because you can’t see it.” We can learn to understand our strengths and weaknesses, internally, as well as discover how we affect others and how they perceive us, externally.

Interestingly, in a Harvard Business Review article, Tasha Eurich, an organizational psychologist said, “According to our research with thousands of people from all around the world, 95 percent of people believe that they’re self-aware, but only about 10 to 15 percent really are.” Cultivating self-development skills involves opening yourself up to feedback. “Feedback is not easy to a lot of people,” said Gourani, “and it is an essential component of change.”

When you develop a healthy and positive sense of who you are, says Entrepreneur.com, “Constructive criticism may sting but it isn’t a huge blow to your sense of self.” Self-awareness helps you to make smarter decisions and use constructive criticism as learnable moments. Also, it’s a good idea to surround yourself with what Gourani termed, “your loving critics,” people whose opinions you trust, so when you get feedback or criticism from someone you don’t know or trust, you can run it by your loving critics. Own your perception of yourself and the way other people perceive you towards constructive outcomes.

Empathy: Learn how to listen

Seeing things from another’s perspective or putting yourself in their shoes can inform you about how to work with people whose opinions may conflict with yours. The capacity for compassion and understanding the human condition can empower you to connect better with others and inspire better working relationships that build morale. Often, leaders in the role of giving orders and towing the bottom line don’t take the time to listen to their employees. Opening up to your team’s ideas and opinions instills loyalty, cohesiveness and a sense of being heard and understood.

Resilience: Bouncing back from adversity

Self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy all come into play in full force during a setback. Leaders didn’t get where they are by running from challenges and diversity. Developing a strong mentality will enable you to successfully navigate through stressful times that could range from hacking embarrassments to issues with vendors. In a Mental Floss article, Arizona State psychologist, Frank Infurma said that two key variables have been noted in those who demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity:

  • strong social relationships
  • a strong sense of purpose

Just one person who can guide you through a setback can keep your resilient nature intact. A sense of identity and purpose can be cultivated through parenting, your work, social advocacy or anything that gives you purpose. Just find something meaningful and keep at it.

At Venture X Naples, our welcoming, collaborative vibe attracts business owners across a wide spectrum of the community. From startups to established brands, like-minded professionals take advantage of flexible workspaces and a workplace where leaders are inspired to develop their EQ skills and so much more! Contact Venture X Naples today at (239) 300-9601 or schedule a tour to check out our coworking facility in the heart of Naples and just five minutes from the beach.