Financial Rewards of Coworking

Coworking is about more than networking and having a great WiFi connection. Getting a membership at a shared office like StarSpace46 puts money back in your pocket, as well. Whether you are an independent contractor with a loud roommate at home, or an entrepreneur looking to keep overhead costs low, here are the top ways that a coworking membership makes your billable hours more cost-efficient and highly productive.

Save Your Coffee Allowance

Coffee shops and tea houses have long been home to freelancers across the globe. Open internet connections and an endless supply of caffeine make corner cafes a perfect fit for productivity. However, most coffee shops will kick you out if you don’t buy something, some stickler baristas even requiring one purchase per hour of table time. At $4 per drink and $4 per pastry, that could cost you up to $10 per hour after tip. Tucking into a corner table for even 20 hours a week working on a part-time project could take nearly $800 out of your pocket over the course of a month. That doesn’t leave much left on a $1500 contract. With a coworking membership, you don’t have to pay hourly for your desk time, and you can make your own coffee whenever you need a boost. StarSpace46 even offers free Red Bull, if you can get to the cooler fast enough.

80 Coffee Shop Hours Per Month = $800
Full-Time Monthly Flex Membership at SS46 = $200
Total Savings = $600

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Downgrade Your Mobile Data Plan

Many entrepreneurs and freelancers work seven days a week. This usually means working from all sorts of odd places, like hotel rooms, client offices, park benches, and Target parking lots. Using your phone as a mobile hotspot may give you 4G speeds anywhere you roam but can add wild overage fees to your monthly bill. After you hit your limit, some companies charge $15 for every 1 GB of download. That’s, like, one half of what you would need to download The Sandlot on Amazon Prime. Two extra gigs of data every month for a year will cost you a cool $360.

Have unlimited data? It’s likely that your provider throttles your download speeds after a certain threshold, which can be a big pain if you have a Skype conference on the last day of the month. Getting a monthly membership at a coworking space gives you unlimited access to a top-speed business internet connection. Which means that product pitch on Google Hangouts can last as long as you need.

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Limit Food Delivery Fees

That apartment way out on the outskirts of the city in a quiet family friendly neighborhood might seem like a bargain, but how many miles is it to the nearest taco truck? Software developers and techies know that time is money, and can’t always take the time to get away from the computer to pick up lunch. Or dinner. Or that 10 PM just-keep-going-till-its-done snack. If you live in a residential area, that could mean hefty food delivery fees each month. Five meals a week at $10 per delivery will set you back $200 per month. StarSpace46 is centrally located, with dozens of restaurants that delivery downtown for free. You’ll also find free lunch served at many of the Techlahoma events, plus perks like free bagels on Thursdays at stand-up, and free Angry Scottsman beer at special events.

Eliminate Lunch Meetings

Oh, lunch meetings. Few things have more potential to go wrong than sitting across the table from a client, pitching a big idea while eating. “So you see, my app will increase ROI by 3000% because...” Splat! Queso on the pantalones. With a business membership at StarSpace46, you get hours of access to contemporary conference rooms decked out with monitors, whiteboards, and outlets for charging. Cranky server not included. You get a professional, focused environment to meet with clients, and you don’t have to pick up the $50 lunch tab. Eliminating one lunch meeting every week or so could save you more than $1,800 per year.

Full-Time Flex Membership at SS46 for One Year = $2,400
15 Coffee Shop Hours Saved Per Month for One Year - $1,800
No Data Overages for a Year - $360
20 Free Food Deliveries Per Month for One Year - $2,400
4 Lunch Meetings Saved Per Month for One Year = $1,800
Net Savings = $3,960

Coworking memberships at StarSpace46 offer all these benefits, and many more. Check out our options online, or click here to book a tour today.



The Myriad Benefits of Flexible Office Space

Vetting business districts, forecasting growth, and signing complicated paperwork are just a few of the daunting tasks that come with choosing office space. In today’s cloud-based, mobile landscape, your office location can be one of the least adaptable resources. This restriction is why so many businesses, new and established, are turning to flexible office space as a solution.

What is Flexible Office Space?

Flex spaces are highly accommodating, with membership plans suited to a variety of business needs. Flexible office space gives business operators access to workplaces, meeting rooms, and conference areas without the burdens of traditional commercial leases. Instead of one company operating out of an entire building, property owners lease adjustable parts of an existing office building, fully equipped with modern amenities. These sections range from shared desks to entire suites. Standard offerings include co-working programs, part-time small workspaces, and even long-term private offices. From low overhead costs to advanced collaboration, here are just a few of the many benefits of leasing flexible office accommodations.

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Easy Scalability

One buzz word frequently brought up in business conversation is “scalability.” Will this business model be conducive to growth? Can this innovative new product quickly ramp up production as demand increases? One of the most significant benefits of using flexible space is the ability to quickly scale up (or scale down) your office footprint. If you are starting a new sole proprietorship, but plan to add team members gradually, flexible office space is the perfect solution. You can start with a dedicated desk or micro office, then add more seating and square footage as you grow, without calling in a contractor to tear down walls.

Genuine Office Address

If you are using a home address for communications, you run the potential of having a client stop by your house at any time, assuming it is an office. When you sign up for flexible office space, you get a real business address that can appear on your website and invoices. If a client does decide to visit for a quick chat, you can treat them to many of the same amenities offered by large corporations, like coffee, conference rooms, and WiFi. Most flex space is found in familiar business districts, so if you live in the suburbs, you can still keep office hours at a central location.

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Advanced Collaboration

Flex space owners know that technology is key to effective collaboration. Most offices include access to flatscreen monitors, projectors, whiteboards, and other essential tools for working as a team. These co-working environments also give you the advantage of a built-in professional network. As you begin to meet the other professionals that share the building, you’ll discover peers and mentors that you would never run into otherwise.

Privacy When You Need It

While a diverse network of professionals is one of the things that make coworking spaces truly special, sometimes what you really need to be productive is a private area. For you, that might be getting away from your home office, or even retreating from your larger corporate workplace. Distractions are everywhere, and flexible offices give you access to private rooms to make calls, crunch numbers or focus on that annual report. Too many knocks at the door during your last managers’ meeting? Take advantage of a small offsite workspace for those big brainstorming sessions.

Instantly Available

If you are looking to start your own business immediately, nothing could be faster than joining a flexible workspace. You can stop by, sign up, and get access to an adjustable desk, ergonomic chair, and super-fast internet within minutes. Or maybe you’ve been working solo for a few months, then land a big new contract that calls for three new team members. You don’t have to call a realtor-- send an instant message to the manager, and you could have a larger office by the end of the day.

Comfort For Your Entire Team

Because flexible office space is designed to be, well, flexible, your team can enjoy comforts that don’t exist in most workplaces. StarSpace46, for example, has two lunch areas, a wide variety of seating options, break out rooms, conference rooms, and even an event center. Need to relax and have fun for a few minutes? Hideout in the retro video-game room, or recline on a sofa and scroll through your news feed.

Low Cost

Running a successful business always requires attention to overhead costs, and flexible office spaces offer high value at low prices. Traditional commercial real estate contracts can expect years of commitment. Older office buildings require remodeling with the arrival of new tenants. And because you may be required to settle for something more substantial than you need at the time, you end up paying for unused space. Flex spaces have less-rigid requirements. As mentioned before, you can sign an agreement for just the amount of space you need, and make any necessary adjustments after six months, not six years. For new and growing businesses, this flexibility could make all the difference in terms of profitability.

Oklahoma Entrepreneurship Mentoring Program Launches

Creative Oklahoma officially launched a new program last week, designed to foster talent, innovation, and new business in our state. The Oklahoma Entrepreneurship Mentoring Program (OKEMP) is based on the Venture Mentoring Service Model, designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For the last year, OKEMP and MIT collaborated in setting up Oklahoma's new licensed version of the program and training the first mentors.

Douglas Sorocco, a board member at StarSpace46, is co-director of the program, along with Dr. Craig Shimasaki. At Wednesday's launch event, the directors discussed the success of the MIT model, and the ways OKEMP will use the program to bring similar results to Oklahoma. Several of the initial entrepreneurs accepted to the program also gave presentations, including SS46 member, Daniel France. Each of these local professionals discussed their business goals, and listed qualities they hope to find in their mentors.  

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The program's organizers have high expectations for the impact OKEMP will have on the economy of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and the entire state. Dr. Shimasaki pointed out that all successful Fortune 500 businesses essentially start with just an entrepreneur. "We certainly want to attract businesses to come to Oklahoma, but what's better than that is actually having companies grow and stay here," Shimasaki said.

The leaders of OKEMP spent time on the MIT campus learning about the program and watching it in action. It's been adopted by many institutions around the world, in over 19 different countries, mentoring over 3,000 entrepreneurs so far.

Both co-directors have been part of other mentorship programs in the past, and want to build upon that experience. Sorocco brought up the difficulty in measuring the real impact of programs like OKEMP, and how they plan to get around this obstacle. "The measure of our success in the short term is really dependent upon answering, 'Does the entrepreneur find the program useful?’" Sorocco explained.

Also at the event, keynote speaker Sarah Boisvert shared research on the changing face of our creative workforce as discussed in her book, "The New Collar Workforce." Boisvert has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing and founded Fab Lab Hub, another program based at MIT.

Anyone interested in the Oklahoma Entrepreneurship Mentoring Program should visit the Creative Oklahoma website or email okemp@stateofcreativity.com.