Don't Do It Yourself

5 Benefits of Coworking

One of the issues involved in being an entrepreneur is that it can get a bit lonely sometimes. The isolation involved when you are trying to get your home business off the ground can be discouraging — especially if you are a social person who enjoyed some of the interaction of a “regular” job.

Coworking is one way that you can connect with others as you work on your business. If your business venture is ideal for coworking, consider participating in this activity. Here are 5 benefits — other than getting you out of the house for a few hours — that can come with coworking:

1. Networking

Being social while you work isn't just about satisfying your need for a little interaction. A home business owner can also find it beneficial to network. Coworking provides you with the chance to meet others who can provide you with useful connections. Meet potential partners, or just get to know someone with influence who can help you move forward. (Of course, you should also return the favor and help others when you can.)

2. Brainstorming

Sometimes, as an entrepreneur, you get stuck. The coworking environment can help you stimulate your creativity. First of all, sometimes all you need is a change of scene. On top of that, you can get ideas from others who are located in your coworking center. If you get to know some of the other “regulars” at your coworking center, you can have brainstorming sessions with them. Get input on your ideas from others, and share your own ideas to help your new associates.

3. Bartering

When you have a startup, you need to save money. One way to do that is through bartering. Think about what you have to offer. Then, think about what you need. There is a good chance that you can meet someone through coworking that can provide you with needed services. And, if you can offer something in exchange, you can both get what you need without paying out any actual money.

Through coworking, you have the chance to meet many different people with various skill sets. This can lead to bartering arrangements that work well for everyone, and that can get you help for your startup.

4. Professional Meeting Place

There have been a few time in my life that I have met with clients in person. However, I certainly didn't invite them into my home. Instead, I met them at a neutral location. Many coworking centers provide professional meeting rooms. You can hold meetings in a professional setting. In some centers, you can even hold electronic meetings. You can use video conferencing for your meeting. Video conferencing from a “real” meeting room looks much better than sharing video from your couch.

5. Tax Break

If you pay for your coworking, you can get a tax break. Your costs count as a business expense. If you don't want to go through the effort of taking a tax benefit for your home office, or if your home office doesn't qualify as a strictly business use, you can use coworking. You boost your professionalism, and receive other benefits, and even get a tax deduction.

Photo: pfjk