Coworking spaces: they’re the new, cool kid on the block when it comes to office rental in Charlotte. Shared office spaces in the Queen City have been popping up left and right for a few years now. The huge influx of new Charlotteans (who can blame them?) means a corresponding rise in demand for offices to rent. Not just any office rentals, either; the city is young, full of innovative startups, creatives, and independent professionals, and a cubicle farm just won’t cut it.
Instead, entrepreneurs in Charlotte search out office space rentals that provide more than just four walls and a lackluster break room. If you’re searching for shared office space to rent, the first thing you should do is catalogue your basic needs.
It’s fairly easy to inventory your needs (and wants) if you’re a solopreneuer, but it’s a little more complicated with a small business. There are more logistics involved with keeping a small business running smoothly, whether you’re a team of 5 or of 25.
Below is a four-question starter kit to make your search for an office space rental in Charlotte a little easier. Answer these questions for yourself, and keep them in mind as you go on tours! That way, you can have the help of a community manager to determine whether a coworking space fits your specific requirements.
How many people are on your team?
First things first: you need to know if a shared office space can accommodate the size of your small business. Coworking spaces range in size from small, boutique offices to mammoth, multi-floor spaces, and in a city like Charlotte you should have no problem finding the right size for your small business. How many employees are currently on your team, and will they all be in the office at the same time? Do you plan on adding more employees in the near future? The amount of space or desks you require will help you determine the factor below.
What is your budget?
Hopefully, if you have started and grown a small business, you have a pretty solid idea of what you can spend on office rental. After all, budgeting is one of the most important principles of business management (this Inc.com article is a great resources to get your budget in line).
One of the great things about coworking spaces is that your rent will truly be a fixed cost. You’ll pay a flat rate every month that includes utilities; your costs will never fluctuate with changes in electricity usage or from adding more bandwidth. You also won’t have to designate any emergency funds for repairs to the space.
Figure out the maximum flat rate your small business can spend on rent. Many coworking spaces are dedicated to helping startups and small businesses get on their feet. If you love a space but it’s a little outside of your budget, don’t be afraid to ask the community manager if they are open to discussing an alternate pricing structure.
What is your team’s working style?
There was a time when all companies functioned pretty much the same way. Employees came in, sat in their beige cubicle, and longingly eyed the impenetrable corner office. That is not the case in 2018. Working styles are varied and flexible, for both individuals and teams. Take stock of how your small business functions on both of those levels.
How do your team members work at their most productive level? If their positions are highly independent (i.e., they don’t need to have constant communication with you or other employees) hot desk memberships would be an option. Maybe the graphic designer is comfortable chilling on the couch with a laptop, the salesperson thinks best on their feet, and you need a desk to store all the company files under. In that case, you could do two hot desk memberships and one dedicated desk.
Or maybe collaboration and team decisions are a big part of your business. If that’s your situation, a private office or a cluster of dedicated desks would be the most convenient option. As a side note, many business owners originally think a private office is their only option, but here at The Launch Factory many organizations have found a group of dedicated desks to be just as effective.
Finally, consider your team’s meeting schedule, and the size/availability of the conference rooms in each shared office space you tour. Most collaborative office spaces offer some amount of complimentary conference room hours, usually in accordance with how many memberships your team requires. Be sure to check out the conference rooms with the community manager and go over the booking process!
Where should your shared office space be located?
Finally, consider the location of any potential coworking space. Unless your small business is very small, it might be hard to keep everyone’s commute equal. In a city like Charlotte, with so many suburban communities fanned out around the city, choosing an office location should be more about access to the highways, rather than finding somewhere “central” as the crow flies.
Besides the commute, there are other factors to consider when it comes to your ideal office rental location. It’s always a plus to be close to great lunch spots and coffee shops- it can do wonders for productivity to take a midday pause and enjoy a delicious meal, preferably sitting on a patio.
If your small business involves hosting meetings with clients or taking those meetings out of office, bring your client locations into consideration. If they are concentrated in a specific area, it makes sense for you to be close to that area as well.
These are the three basic starting points for choosing the right coworking space for your small business. For more in-depth information about the variety of memberships and amenities offered at coworking spaces, check out these articles here and here! Click the button below to book your tour with The Launch Factory and find out if our shared office space is right for you!