Inside Launch Academy. Photo Credit: BetaKit
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Is your business ready to move to a co-working space?

The practicality and popularity of shared work spaces for SMBs in Vancouver.

July 28, 2015

You can’t wear your PJs every day.

Run your own business, work at home?  Small businesses are a large component of the BC economy with many starting up in one’s own home.  However, the home is not always suited for work and having client meetings in your living room can become problematic.  But committing to a long-term lease for office or workshop space might not be financially feasible.  Fortunately, there is a middle ground in shared workspaces.

As a component of the sharing economy, these workspaces provide many benefits over working at home: meeting space, reception, a shared kitchen and the opportunity to connect with other small business owners.  There is also the advantage of not being locked into a long-term lease.

Photo credit: The Network Hub
Photo credit: The Profile

There are different types of shared working spaces for those seeking space away from home – accelerators, maker spaces and coworking spaces.  Accelerators, like Venture Labs, provide support for entrepreneurs with access to mentors and training.  Maker spaces such as Vancouver’s Maker Labs, provide access to equipment such as 3D printers and laser cutters for those that have businesses that are a bit more hands on.  While coworking spaces like the HiVE, Network Hub, and AMP Vancouver, provide desk space and meeting rooms for a variety of enterprises.

Whatever your small business, if you are looking for an alternative to working out of your garage or spare bedroom, consider one these options as it can save you money while connecting you with other small business owners.  The users of these spaces often get together to work on projects together and share resources.  This collaboration can lead to new clients, new markets and an expansion of one’s network. So, put on your day clothes and check out one of these spaces – you’ll be surprised who you might meet.

 

Wes Wong is an SFU Public Square volunteer.  He works as a research consultant with interests in sustainability, citizen science, home schooling, and the environment.