3 ways shared office space helps Entrepreneurs

 

The concepts of shared office space and innovation hubs are fast becoming  trends in Nigeria.

I believe these trends are interesting because they align with some clear needs in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. I am willing to bet that you would agree with me to some extent that running a startup is difficult; especially if you are bootstrapping your growth.  The growing shared office trend is already pacifying some of that financial strain for small businesses.

Statistics show that most start-ups crash without ever reaching critical mass. While there are very many reasons why small businesses fail, it is conventional wisdom at this point that a startup founder in most cases cannot go the journey alone without some type of support system.  Financing, infrastructure, mentorship, are only a few of the things that are often critical to the success of small businesses. Unfortunately, the ease of access and cost of some of these critical needs often put them out of the reach of otherwise able entrepreneurs, causing them to ultimately fail.

I once met an enterprising entrepreneur that had a great product, which he leveraged to receive venture funding, which was to be invested in the company’s growth. Salaries, rent, insurance and such were the entrepreneur’s priorities for the funds. Unfortunately for the entrepreneur, he was not generating enough income to supplement the funding he had received, and the cost of owning and maintaining the infrastructure he needed to run his business began to pile up, leaving him with no other option but to raise additional capital at a discount. This was a big blow for my entrepreneur friend.

Fortunately for entrepreneurs in Nigeria today, there is a solution to the dilemma faced by my entrepreneur friend: Shared Office Spaces!

Here are three ways that shared office spaces contributes in accelerating the growth of small businesses:

1)      Affordable Infrastructure: With shared office spaces, you do not need to own the infrastructure you need to run your business. Physical locations, high speed Internet, telephones and other key tools you need for running your business are made available to you at a price you can afford. The days of having to spend your entire Series A funding on a office building, and other pricy amenities are now a thing of the past. This means that you can now focus on pumping your resources where they are needed the most: scaling your business.

2)      Intellectual Community: Many alumni of shared office spaces all over the world point to the opportunity to work with a variety of like-minded intelligent people as an under-appreciated value proposition of working in a shared office space. They often point to the odd lucrative business deal that came out of relaxed bean-bag conversations with fellow entrepreneurs in their shared office space. These are conversations they claim would never have happened, had they rented their own independent office space.

3)      Access to Talent: Shared office spaces expose entrepreneurs to all kinds of people from different backgrounds. It is not un-heard of for an entrepreneur to meet his Co-Founder at a shared office space, or via someone they met at their shared office. The networking opportunities for entrepreneurs are countless.

Overall, we believe that shared office spaces have vast advantages that many entrepreneurs can take advantage of.  They help to stack the odds in the entrepreneurs favor a little bit, by helping the entrepreneur worry-less about infrastructure and focus on their business. Also importantly, they help entrepreneurs save plenty of money. Who doesn’t like to save some money?

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