Thinking about starting a business? Here’s why you should go for it

Launch 7 ADVERT_eventbriteYes, it’s true. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. Running your own business won’t always be easy (if ever), and not everyone can be Elon Musk, Jacqueline Gold, Damon Dash or Richard Branson.

The great thing is: you don’t have to be like those people to run a successful business. I believe that anyone can work for themselves, develop an idea into a functioning business, find problems to solve and deliver those solutions to customers and potentially to a wider audience.

The belief and the fact that everyone has an innate ability to create, learn, grow and solve problems (regardless of the size), leads me to believe and encourage everyone to start a business/work for themselves. And here’s why you should go for it:

“If you do what you love, you will never work another day in your life”

Freedom: One of the most common reasons for starting a business or being a contractor or freelancer is the flexibility and freedom that comes with it.

Put simply: you’re in charge of your own time. Owning a business, going freelance allows you to work around the demands of life; picking up children from school, visiting your dentist, helping a friend in need at the very last minute, even taken a holiday.

There’s no need to be restricted by the 9-5 grind. If you’re a night owl, get creative when everyone else has to sleep. Early riser? Your working day could be over by lunch, leaving you time do whatever you want.

Gratification and rewards: You do what you enjoy. You see the fruits of your labour. Do I need to say anything else about gratification? It has been often said: “If you do what you love, you will never work another day in your life”.

I completely agree. You will work, it is work, but it will be work that you want to do, work you can be proud of, work you will remember you have done and work you can smile about.

I’m not suggesting that any work you don’t enjoy is bad for your health or not rewarding as I do recognise for many people “work” is a means to an end.

“The world is moving to a freelancer/small business-driven economy and like it or not the zero hour contracts trend has taken off”

The future needs you: you have a skill, a talent, a solution to a problem that industries or people can benefit from. This untapped potential you know has been laying dormant during your career, that thing you wanted to do, but haven’t done yet. Aren’t you the slightest bit curious to see where it will lead you?

You will get in early: The world is moving to a freelancer, entrepreneur and contractor-driven economy and like it or not the zero hour contracts trend has taken off in a massive way. Get in now, adapt to the changes and you will be ahead of the curve.

It’s easy, very easy: Sometimes the hardest part of starting is actually getting started, but once you have made the decision, you have begun on a journey that will transform your life for the better!

The ball is rolling, the engine is turning, the plane is ready for take off! The next step is continuing which can be most challenging, but with momentum and know-how, it won’t be as painful. Previous generations of entrepreneurs and business people have laid such a solid foundation, that the pathway to success can be modelled.

So, I’ve said anyone can start a business and work for themselves. By now you’re probably thinking about that idea of solving that problem or reaching that untapped potential and bringing it to fruition.

You’re excited, but what now, what’s next? Will you take action? Will you be committed? Hopefully, the answer is yes!

If so, Launch 7 is here to help. We have an amazing program that helps you minimise the risk and decrease the pain of starting a business/being self-employed.

Why not sign up to our START IN 7 programme and begin the process. 7 hours, 7 workshops, 7 key actions all delivered over one day.

By Alexander Pemberton, Director of Socios Media, Founder of Launch 7 and coworker at Cowork Hub, the largest coworking office space in West London.

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The office of the future is already here

desk_spaceOver the past few years, coworking spaces have been a trend worldwide, “the new kid on the block” and have certainly attracted a lot of media attention.

The rise of flexible working and the global financial crisis have been major factors in pushing the movement forward.

In London, for example, it is believed that the number of coworking venues has gone beyond a thousand, catering for all sorts of professional backgrounds and budgets.

Also, the serviced office segment has gone up by 67% in the UK and serviced offices themselves now cover almost 500,000(m2) of Central London.

Growing appeal 

The trend seems to have transcended geographic barriers. Move over quirky office spaces in East London/Brooklyn… hello there coworking venues in South America, Saudi Arabia, India…

Whether the traditional office space concept is dying remains a topic for discussion, one thing is for sure: when a (fairly) new industry starts to boom,  investors keep their eyes and ears wide open.

As the trend is now spreading from tech startups to more established industries and it is likely to keep growing, we caught up with John Spindler from Capital Enterprise (a non-for-profit organisation with the mission of providing support for entrepreneurs) to find out a bit more about the future of this industry and whether investing on it is indeed a worthwhile venture.

Cowork Hub: John, coworking and serviced/flexible office are definitely on the rise. However, recent growth in the sector has come against a backdrop of economic weakness. Would the sector still keep growing strong in the case of an economic slowdown?

John Spindler: The obvious answer is: it depends. The churn in tenants makes them more vulnerable to economic downturns than other models, but, the flexibility will also make them more attractive to start-ups/SMEs that are more cost and risk conscious due to the downturn. 

I worry more for serviced offices than coworking spaces for their upfront capital costs of conversion are much higher. I suspect some serviced office providers will struggle but I think coworking is a more adaptive and flexible model that might prosper in a downturn. 

Cowork Hub: It’s certainly refreshing to hear that John. But, with so much competition from heavy-height (and heavily backed) coworking venues in town, how can smaller coworking venues (such as ourselves) stay in the game?

John Spindler: Well, there are definitely a lot of competition around and with the likes of British Land, for example, opening their own chain, it makes it even more challenging. So, I would say: focus on a niche, deliver a great differentiated service, make money and then see if that niche is sufficiently large to build an international repeatable and scalable business model.

Cowork Hub: It seems that we are on the right path here then, as here at Cowork Hub we offer more than just desk space and facilities for business owners: we enable valuable connections as well as enduring and mutually beneficial relationships between our members. Community is definitely at the ethos of our mission here. So, it looks like that there is definitely money to be made then. From investors perspectives, what is it that draws their attention towards investing?

John Spindler: Investors in general look for profitable market opportunities. Two things are a must in order to catch their eyes: profitable returns and a clear pathway to an exit. When might an exit occur? Who might be willing to purchase the company or some of the shares? What is the likelihood of an IPO (initial public offering)? Entrepreneurs looking for investments will have to address those issues before going on about looking for potential investors. 

Cowork Hub is expanding its wings

Following our sustainable growth strategy laid out earlier this year, we are currently taking part in several investment pitches and hope to strike a deal very soon.

This way, we can enhance our already awesome office space in West London, invest in our team, offer a Central London location for our members as well as putting together even more community-led initiatives so that our members can benefit from it and collaborate with each other.

Cowork Hub is already very proud to gather over 60 industries, businesses and professional backgrounds in one place. But, we have bigger dreams. Having been in business for less than 2 years, we have already achieved an occupancy rate of 94%. We can do more. We can grow bigger (and better) with the right support and the ideal investors on board” – Alex Molokwu – Founder and Director. 

Independent professionals are driving the employment revolution

According to The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), the rise of independent professionals has been a major driver in the British economy.

Their report ‘Exploring the UK Freelance Workforce in 2015’, highlighted statistics that showed UK freelancers contributed £109bn to the UK economy last year. This is certainly great news for coworking operators.

Coworking space users look for flexibility and value-for-money and that’s exactly what we stand for. With 24/7 access, no minimum contract and dedicated desk membership for less than £ 300/monthly, Start-ups and small businesses are able to grow, downsize or relocate quicker with us. Forget leases, hidden fees, deposits and cancellation fees. Our mission is to make entrepreneurs’ life easier so that they can focus on what really matters: their businesses” Alex Molokwu Cowork Hub’s Founder and Director. 

The report also notes that freelancers now make up 6% of the country’s workforce, with 1.91m freelancers working in the UK by the end of 2015 – a 36% increase since 2008.

This demand is good news for prospective investors looking at smaller outfits. If you are looking for a profitable enterprise to get involved with, our doors are very much open. Contact alex@coworkhub.co and find out how this partnership can be a really fruitful one.

From the newsroom

Will big businesses adapt to coworking?

Will big businesses adapt to coworking?

According to the FT, big businesses are changing their office culture to save office space and money. Emma Jacobs from the FT described how larges companies are trying to replicate the startups culture. It seems if coworking and hot-desking is the future, big business want a slice of the pie. Not only do large firms and organisations want to mimic the buzz of Old Street or San Francisco tech environment, companies want the flexibility that coworking and hot-desking offers. One of the key advantages of coworking that employees mention, is that the vibe is cool and exciting working alongside energetic startups and techies. There is an abundance of coworking offices in major cities like Hong Kong, New York, London and Berlin who use the exciting profile of coworking to attract big businesses. WeWork are in over 30 cities and they deliberately seek out large businesses by using they coworking image as an exciting and lively place to work from.

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Instead of operating out of co-work space providers like WeWork, Workspace, Avanta, BEOffices or Co-Work, some large companies and recreating the same models within their existing offices. Businesses like Capita offer hot-desking for their staff, YouTube offer people office space if they have 10,000 subscribers, Dixons Carphone Warehouse offers partners coworking space within their head office. Flexible working is here to stay. All the major tech companies like Google, Yahoo, Ebay and Facebook have been doing this for years. If you already have an office, it doesn’t make any sense relocating to a coworking space. However, bringing in a coworking space to your office not only brings the vibrant vibe of flexible working but also brings in the money. O2 provides office space for companies it has joint ventures with. Intermediary brokers like Goldman Sachs, Barclays, ICAP, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan offer customers (Hedge funds, venture capital firms and private equity) the opportunity to operate out of their offices.

In May 2016, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and RocketSpace plan to open a coworking space in London in early 2017. RBS is teaming up with an established US coworking space provider who specialise in tech startups. Their new campus in Angel will accommodate 1,500 members. Like the San Francisco workspace, in London too, RocketSpace will provide space for teams of 1 to 100 people and will focus on tech startups that have raised funds. The London members will also be provided access to leading global corporations, including the company’s clients such as Tata Communications, Axel-Springer, Lufthansa Cargo and Schneider Electric. RocketSpace has housed some of the biggest Tech companies in the US like Uber, Blippar, SuperCell and Spotify.

City of London
City of London one of the leading centres of global finance. This view includes Tower 42, Gherkin,Willis Building, Stock Exchange Tower, Lloyd`s of London and Canary Wharf at the background.

Patrick Clark from Bloomberg details how corporate businesses have taken to coworking. He described how coworking providers are leading the way big business operates in terms of office space. WeWork can boast some of the biggest companies in the world as its tenants. Merck, KPMG, even the Guardian newspaper are some of the many large names who want to change their working culture and are located in WeWork offices. This will only grow. By the end of 2016 there will be over 10,000 coworking companies worldwide. At Co Work Hub, we have large companies here. Braiform are one of our members. They are second biggest producer of clothing hangers in the world with offices globally. They are very impressive and operate out of our office in North Acton. Wellington Markets PLC, have been managing markets in the UK for 800 years. We are privileged to have them as members and watch their business grow with us. I have seen with my own eyes that larger firms are more than capable of working within a shared office environment.

The coworking movement has been so rapid that traditional office space providers like Regus and the Office Group have adapted their business strategies to create just coworking offices. Both firms seek to attract smaller business into some their places. In the U.S. 33% of the workforce is independent or a freelancer. It has been forecast to increase by 40% by 2020 by Forbes, the American Bureau of Labor Statistics, Deskmag and Kap Design. The largest customers of coworking are freelancers.

At the core of the coworking movement will often be freelancers, startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses. On average, coworking space providers have 76 members. Most providers remain keen to attract smaller companies and concentration on the startup or tech revolution. According to Deskmag (coworking magazine) suggests that the need for coworking space remains largest with freelancers, startups and entrepreneurs. These types of individuals have a limited, often small budget and the flexibility that coworking and hot-desking offers is essential. So, is the big business adventure with coworking a fad or is it here to stay? Personally I believe the answer is yes, it is here to stay. All the signs and forecasts suggest that providers will aim to attract both small businesses and big businesses. Patrick Clark suggested that this is the beginning of the coworking big business revolution.

Meeting room

Will big businesses adapt to coworking, the answer is yes. The problem is will coworking be able to keep up with the demand. JLL have suggested that the productivity in the coworking environment is one of the reasons for the rapid growth in coworking among large corporations. The collaborative nature of coworking offices allow businesses to be more creative than they might have been if they were in their own isolated private office. The next big move for offices will be consolidations and mergers.

5 common questions asked about coworking

5 common questions asked about coworking
  1. What is coworking?
  2. Is it noisy?
  3. How much privacy do I get?
  4. Is it safe to leave my things?
  5. What are the benefits of coworking?

 

1.What is coworking?

Coworking can be described as many individuals and/or businesses sharing the same workplace. As a coworking office space provider in North Acton, London, I have a large open planned office space and then provide entrepreneurs, startups and small business with shared office space.

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Shared office space

2. Is it noisy?

No more noisier than any normal office. When you work for yourself and you at the early stages of growth, your focus is for your work. Most of the people I have met that cowork, are driven, energetic and focused so from time things may sound busy. We have an exciting environment but people are respectful and mindful of others.

coworking games room
Breakout area

3. How much privacy do I get?

Most coworking offices I have been to have dedicated desk space. At Co Work Hub, you will  have your own dedicated fixed desk, storage and chair. We have meeting rooms and areas people can use if they temporarily need privacy. The office is very secure and we encourage a sharing culture.

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Large allocated desk space

4. Is it safe to leave my things?

You will be allocated a lockable pedestal to store your things. People can also bring in their own office furniture if they ask. There is CCTV both within the office and surrounding the building. We have manned reception and when reception isn’t here you will need a key fob.

Meeting room
Co Work Hub meeting room

5. What are the benefits of coworking?

When you start a new business, it is really helpful when others are going through the same process. You can not only shared experiences and also ideas. I have seen businesses grow quicker in coworking offices than they would have if they rented a private office. We encourage a sharing culture because it creates a community spirit where people help each other. It really does work and it does help improve your business. There are regular networking events at Co Work Hub, West London.

Networking pic
Networking

 

 

Virtual Office Facilities

Virtual Office Facilities

Virtual Office facilities: Get you post deliver to here, then we forward it to you. Get you phone calls forwarded here and then we transfer them to you.

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Co Work Hub Virtual Office facilities are £40 + VAT per month. If you need a business address in zone 2 of London then Co Work Hub is your best choice. The only additional cost is postage. Virtual office facilities have now become an essential part of Co Work Hub. Because of our location in North Acton West London, virtual office usages is very high.

Virtual offices are popular among our members who work from home and want to access our meeting rooms. You can create a business presence without having to be in an office.

West London Networking

West London Networking

Tomorrow 6.30pm – 8pm at Co Work Hub, people and businesses will get an opportunity to network and make connections. There will be refreshments and food. If you are involved in West London then attending tomorrow’s event is a must! If you like to attend or get involved with your local community then please turn up. Summary West London communities!

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Address: 98 Victoria Road, London NW10 6NB.

Me – Intro
Jason Cobine – 6.30pm
Garry Reynolds – 6.45pm
Adam Micek – 7pm
Mark Walker – 7.15pm
Denise Quinlan – 7.30pm
Carlene Bender – 7.45pm
Networking – 8pm

 

April Networking