Measuring business success is about more than revenue. When it comes to working in a coworking space, we have to look deeper into how companies earn money or build success.
At the BCNewt coworking space in Barcelona, we believe in the power of connections. Many startups and small businesses join coworking spaces to save money, but shared offices also help people develop relationships, gain advice and form other measures of success to help them increase productivity and later profit.
When Rodrigo Huerta founded his startup, he started working at the Poblenou 22@ coworking space because of the affordable cost and close proximity to his home. His business, Medistream.tv, is a medical videoclub where users receive medical updates by watching videos and playlists of conferences, speeches and more.
Huerta had to consider the best way to generate profit, and a coworking space was the best option for him. He also hired graphic and web designers to relaunch Medistream.tv marketing efforts. Investing here and in the coworking space has helped his company find measures of success.
“[A coworking space] has contributed in helping me maintain focus, motivation and a desire to continue working and setting goals to achieve… Shared experiences, a work environment or even getting coffee are vital to proceeding toward objectives,” Huerta said.
It’s normal for people to be motivated working in a shared office space because they see their work as meaningful when they can share it with a community. The connections people make in a community environment are beneficial for extra guidance and later, business growth.
The resources that come with it go beyond access to a printer and WIFI. Huerta believes the community makes work interesting because he is able to quickly generate relationships and win-win collaborations under better conditions. The knowledge of surrounding enterprises helps Huerta when he analyzes his own business plan.
“It is always interesting to be surrounded by people specializing in other sectors, subjects or disciplines.”
Overall, Huerta recommends other entrepreneurs use coworking spaces because of cost savings and access to specialized human resources that help companies in the early stages. Other coworker’s agree:
Independent coworking spaces are creating “workplace as a service” models and emphasizing the value of added services. These spaces put in extra effort to give coworkers more services over traditional offices that can enhance their working experience. For example, many focus on the convenience of location and price, opening in small spaces near coffee shops and cafés. Others host events and provide food for coworkers.
These services save spending for coworkers and cut out extra business expenditures. At the end of the day, it’s the conveniences that drive people to cowork. BCNewt follows a similar model and focuses on its eco services for coworkers including bike storage and a filtered water cooler.
Coworkers from the BCNewt coworking space ultimately search for convenience. Based on an internal survey from March 2016, coworkers chose BCNewt mainly because of price and location:
In the 2016 BCNewt survey, 64.1% of coworkers that responded said the coworking space was reasonably priced:
Like Huerta, Alfredo Cohen is a member at BCNewt. He works as the director of elParlante, an NGO that started in 2007 in the Barcelona environmental and cultural associations sector. Since day one, elParlante has thought networking with other companies was the key to its sustainability because workers are able to connect with other specialists.
“Success doesn’t only have to do with money. It’s working in a good working environment with nice people around you that you are learning from all the time,” Cohen says.
People also turn to coworking spaces because they are collaborative and provide newer businesses with access to talented entrepreneurs. Early-stage startups are able to get ahead on launching services and earning a profit by starting out in them.
After 2 years at BCNewt, we saw these results:
80% of stable coworkers cooperate or exchange services.
80% of stable coworkers said they were achieving new shared skills.
50% of coworkers are locals and expats.
80% had increased their incomes during their stay at BCNewt.
elParlante’s collaboration with other companies at BCNewt have helped the business grow. Ona Caussa has helped design and run workshops with children involved with elParlante, All Media Consulting has helped create content for social networks and Compacto has helped out with elParante’s volunteering initiatives.
Cohen says it’s important to hear outside opinions from other businesses because sharing ideas, visions and values with other coworkers has helped him and his team grow.
“The true value of a company is measured in its network.”