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.

Upper Level Management: Simple Tricks that will Do Wonders for your Business

Upper Level Management: Simple Tricks that will Do Wonders for your Business

As an upper level manager of a growing business, one of the most important things you can do, in order to lead or grow your business properly, is to get feedback from everyone. You want to know how to best serve your workers, keeping them happy and productive and also how to keep your clients coming back to do business with you.

Successful leaders rely on feedback from their talented hires to keep them on track

When you’re the head of a growing company, you’re under a lot of pressure to bring that company to scale, without too many hiccups. What a great many company leaders realize is the resources, or intellectual capital, for expanding your business is the people you employ. Asking for feedback from everyone can be a slippery slope at times, but in order to meet your business goals, according to LinkedIn co-founder and Greylock founder, Reid Hoffman, in his Masters of Scale podcast, “you have to be as skilled at abandoning plans as you are at making them.” Your employees and coworkers can help keep the big picture in focus, even if sometimes you can’t see the relevance of some feedback at the moment. Instead of blowing off feedback when someone disagrees with part of your vision, try getting onboard with initiatives that allow employees to voice their opinions.

In one episode of Entrepreneur’s Masters of Scale series, Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandburg, commented that it’s her failure if her teams are unwilling or afraid to criticize her policies or performance. Learning how to graciously take feedback and effectively process it so that your people know they can trust you to appreciate, or at least consider their input.

Here are some tips for taking a look at how to turn feedback into your most valuable tool in bringing a company to scale.

Let your team know you want feedback

Openly ask for feedback and remind your team that you want feedback. Allot time for your staff to come to you. Make sure everyone understands when they can approach you with feedback about specific projects or policies in addition to general feedback.

A positive feedback loop will let workers know you respect their opinions

All feedback won’t be something you can implement and might not apply to the project or policy at hand and some feedback you’ll simply disagree with. If you do disagree, genuinely express your thanks for the feedback and then explain your position on the issue at hand. This prevents dissenting attitudes and frustration when you proceed with the project or policy in question without incorporating the feedback. This gives you  a training moment and your staff member may glean something positive out of the feedback loop by understanding how you arrived at your decision.

Let employees know you appreciate their views

Graciously receiving all feedback is an art. It’s not always convenient to stop what you’re doing and listen to feedback that you may not find relevant, or helpful, in the heat of battle.  Some executives set aside a block of time during the workday and share that window with their staff to avoid impromptu feedback interrupting the work flow.  Even feedback that arrives at inopportune times, take a breath, invite the employee to share feedback at a more appropriate time and thank them for going out of their way to share their thoughts with you.  Easier said than done….

As employees may feel vulnerable giving feedback to a boss, the more gracious you are, the more willing they will be to share feedback in the future. An accepting environment may also inspire employees in creative and productive ways.

Humility, what a teacher

Ok, so everybody makes mistakes, plans change and maybe you find yourself wishing you’d taken a colleague’s advice or feedback. Oops. The best thing you can do in this situation is own up to your oversight or mistake. Telling your employee that they were right, and you were wrong, speaks volumes. Humbling yourself proves that you can be trusted with sensitive information. Give credit where credit is due, acknowledge your team member’s idea was better than the one you proposed. Others will be encouraged to provide honest feedback in a trusting environment.

Employ talent who aren’t afraid to say “no” to you

CEOs and bosses who hire “yes” people are generally more interested in stroking their egos than in effectively bringing their companies to scale. Many successful people admit that they hire more talented and more skilled people than themselves when starting a company. Even with equal or less skill and talent than you have, other people on your team can usually afford to spend more time focusing on and analyzing projects to find better and more innovative solutions to than you can.

Trust fosters feedback

Trust is a powerful thing. In order for your business to grow to scale, owners and managers need to be able to take feedback and trust their team’s abilities to deliver, so they can delegate tasks. Hiring the right team that you trust to give you insightful input, and provide you with valuable feedback, creates a healthy environment for creativity and collaboration.

Perfection is overrated

Because businesses can’t grow in a vacuum, upper-level managers that reject the idea of opening up to feedback can only grow so much. Admitting you’re not perfect and that sometimes you fail opens the door to “failing, the path to success”. Failure is a great teacher and often, the more you fail, the faster you succeed. Trying new approaches and giving your team opportunities to resolve issues is a great learning experience for your team.

As a strong, effective leader, you know the value of trusting your employees to give feedback that resolves issues, solve problems and propels your business forward. The more open you are to accepting feedback, the faster you can bring your company to scale, seamlessly.

Venture X Naples, offers an upscale, professional environment for all phases of your business’s growth. With flexible workspaces, including shared desks, dedicated spaces, and private offices, where you can gather your team for brainstorming sessions or work sessions. Located in the hip and happening Mercato, the heart of Naples, Venture X Naples is close to many dining, shopping, and entertainment venues. Contact us for more information at (239) 300-9601 or schedule a tour online. At Venture X Naples you can grow your company to scale in an inspiring, collaborative environment that’s only a few minutes from the beach. We welcome all feedback at Venture X Naples.