How to choose the perfect co-working space

The top 5 factors to consider

To share or not to share. That is the question many entrepreneurs are currently asking themselves as they consider how to set up the working environment they need for their growing business. What is the best strategy? Should a young enterprise choose to control its own work space or is it better to embrace the considerable benefits of a coworking office strategy?

In the Greater Toronto Area, a growing number of entrepreneurs are opting for door number 2.   Shared office space currently is less than 1% of the entire market. But, analysts predict that this will increase to 20% over the next decade.

The fuel powering this trend is made from a combination of factors. The first is the shift from traditional 9-to-5 office work towards the gig economy. An equally powerful factor is the move to alternative work schedules that better fit modern lifestyles. By 2020, it’s predicted that freelancers, independent contractors and on-demand workers will make up 45% of the Canadian workforce.

With so many coworking spaces available, how do you pick the one that’s best suited for your needs? Here are the top 5 factors you should consider before deciding.

Location

This is sure to be near the top of your priorities list when choosing the perfect space. Your first instinct may be to choose a location that’s close to home. That could be a mistake. Instead of what’s most convenient for you, think about what will be best for your fledgling empire. Where are most of your potential or current customers located? If you’re going to be drumming up business and conducting meetings, pick a location that is closest to and more convenient for them. Similarly, the neighbourhood in which you set up shop can have a lasting impact on your business’ credibility, so make sure it aligns with your customers needs and makes a great first impression.

 Expansion

Business is booming. You’ve gone from going it solo and have become a team of four. Suddenly that one seat at a desk you share with a bunch of other entrepreneurs isn’t going to cut it. You need a proper office, and quickly. Does your coworking space have room for you to grow? It’s a hassle to keep moving locations once you’ve established your business, both for you and your customers. Look for spaces that have different levels of membership and that are big enough to allow for growth.

 People

The best coworking spaces are the ones that have motivating and energetic environments. They are generally filled with motivating and inspiring people. Check that carefully. Who are the people inhabiting the coworking space? What industries are they in? Are they real estate agents and salespeople that are strictly focused on their own businesses, or are they struggling start-ups like your own. Are there opportunities to learn from one another? Pick a coworking community that aligns with your goals, has people with a wide range of skill sets and where there is potential for collaboration.

Perks

It’s important to choose a space that allows you to focus on the tasks at hand. Don’t underestimate the added value of being in a space that offers added benefits that make work more enjoyable.  But be careful. Don’t be lured by the perqs at the expense of your core business needs.

First, decide what’s most important to you and your business. Unlimited coffee is great, but is it really a must have that will make or break your decision?  Places with fitness centres or rooftop patios attached may provide a welcome break that gets your head back in the game. But give greater weight to perqs such as high-speed wifi connections or 24/7 access. These are probably absolute necessities. It all depends on your needs. Differentiate between those perqs that are pleasant and those that really bring value to the well-being of you and your business.

Budget

This is likely one of the deciding factors when choosing the right space for you. Before signing any contracts, do some number crunching and make sure the space fits your budget. Can you afford to be locked into a 6- or 12-month contract if it takes longer than expected for your business to take flight? Do you need that fully-furnished office or would dedicated desk space suffice for the time being? Shop around. Talk to other people in the space and see if they are satisfied with the level of service and amenities for the price they are paying.

The good news about coworking space is that there are plenty of options to choose from.

Coworking Spaces in the GTA

 

ACE Coworkinghttp://www.acecoworking.ca/

Acme Workshttp://acmeworks.ca/

CoLABhttp://officialstartups.com/colab/

CoLab Mississaugahttp://colabmississauga.com/

CoMotion 302http://www.comotiongroup.ca/comotion-302/

CoMotion on Kinghttp://www.comotiongroup.ca/comotion-on-king/

DevHubhttp://devhub.ca/

Foldhttps://intothefold.ca/

Good Gorillahttps://www.bygoodgorilla.com/

Huddlespace by OSBNhttp://www.huddlespacebyosbn.com/

Innovative Professional Officeshttps://innovativeprofessionaloffices.com/office-space-for-lease-in-mississauga

Intelligent Office – Toronto Airporthttps://www.intelligentoffice.com/ontario/mississauga-toronto-airport-corp-center/coworking-space/local

IQ Office Suites [King West] – https://iqoffice.ca/545-king-street-west-toronto/

IQ Office Suites [King West] – https://iqoffice.ca/150-king-st-west-toronto/

IQ Office Suites [University] – https://iqoffice.ca/250-university-avenue/

IQ Office Suites [Yonge] – https://iqoffice.ca/140-yonge-street/

LAB Bhttps://www.lab-b.ca/Lab T.O. – https://labto.com/

Make Lemonadehttps://www.makelemonade.ca/

MakeWorkshttp://www.makeworks.com/

MindShare Workspacehttp://mindshareworkspace.com/

Office146 https://office146.com/

Project Spaceshttps://www.projectspac.es/

Regus – Argentia Rdhttps://www.regus.ca/coworking-space/canada/ontario/mississauga/ontario-mississauga-argentia-road

Regus – Matheson Blvdhttps://www.regus.ca/coworking-space/canada/ontario/mississauga/ontario-mississauga-toronto-airport-corporate-centre

Regus – Robert Speck Parkwayhttps://www.regus.ca/coworking-space/canada/ontario/mississauga/mississauga-robert-speck-2

Regus – Sussex Centrehttps://www.regus.ca/coworking-space/canada/ontario/mississauga/ontario-mississauga-sussex-centre

Regus – Winston Parkhttps://www.regus.ca/coworking-space/canada/ontario/oakville/ontario-oakville-winston-park

Skyward Business Centrehttp://www.skywardbusinesscentre.com/

SPACEBAR Coworkinghttp://www.space-bar.ca/

The Commonshttps://www.coworkatcommons.ca/

The Idea Roomhttps://www.theidearoom.ca/

The Seedworks Urban Officeshttps://seedworksoffices.ca/

Venture X Mississaugahttps://www.venturex.com/locations/ontario/mississauga/

Whitehall Officeshttp://www.whitehalloffices.com/

Workplace One [Bay-Bloor]http://workplaceone.com/

Workplace One [King East]http://workplaceone.com/locations/king-west/

Workplace One [King West]http://workplaceone.com/

Workplace One [Queen West]http://workplaceone.com/

WorkSpace Mississaugahttp://www.sharedworkspace.ca/

Zemlar – Mississaugahttp://www.zemlar.ca/

Zemlar – North Yorkhttp://www.zemlar.ca/

Zemlar – Oakvillehttp://www.zemlar.ca/

Zemlar – Scarbouroughhttp://www.zemlar.ca/

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