THE ROI OF COWORKING – 8 reasons why it's worth joining a coworking space

This is a guest article by Karen Martínez, blogger at Paydirt. Paydirt is a time tracking and invoicing app for freelancers and small teams. 

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Coworking is a growing trend. Each year, more and more freelancers decide to share a space with like-minded professionals as a way to avoid work-from-home distractions. However, some freelancers are still skeptics. Renting a desk at a coworking space could mean losing your freedom to work in pajamas and could add an extra cost to your budgets. While these concerns are valid, there are also some key elements to consider when choosing a coworking space over the traditional home office. Here are eight reasons why it's worth it to join a coworking space.

Home offices are great when you’re starting out. You can save money and work whenever you want. You can arrange meetings in coffee shops and go to your local library when you need to focus on important tasks. As your clients increase or your business grows, you might think a home office might not cut it. You might get bored spending all day around the house and it can be awkward to hire other freelancers and invite them into your living room for a meeting.

You may already be aware of some of the benefits of coworking, but here you’ll find some additional reasons you should consider renting a desk and joining a coworking community if you’re not sure it’s the right thing for you.

You Can Increase Your Sales

One of the advantages of coworking is networking. Getting out of the house gives you the possibility to land new clients. When you work from home, it’s infinitely more difficult to meet new people. When you are working around other freelancers, you gain the opportunity to collaborate or  offer your services.

Do you get along with the developer guy who works next to your desk? If you’re a designer, he could refer you to a new client or partner up with you to work on a new project. Besides, having a physical office and a conference room is a huge plus that could help you to reach out to bigger prospective clients. This could lead to higher rates and a better income.

Beautiful Spaces Improve Your Creativity

Our routine and workspace affect our creativity. You can quickly burn out if you’re always at home. Working from a beautiful and modern place can boost your creative thinking and coworking spaces tend to be beautifully designed with good lighting and attractive color schemes.

Once you dress up for the work day and get out of the house, your mindset immediately changes. On top of that, you can brainstorm ideas with colleagues and see your project from a new perspective.

You Could Save on Lattes

Imagine that when you work from home, you have the need to get out of the house. You may have had an unproductive day, so you decide to switch it up and work from another location. You pack up your laptop and go to your nearest coffee shop. It’s a good change of pace and you feel more focused on your work.

Yet, the downside is that you will be tempted to consume lattes and bagels all day as a way to give yourself a break. Depending on your location, the price may go from $10 a day. If you go to a coffee shop every week day, this would mean $10 a day x 20 days per month = $200 per month. In addition to spending all that hard earned cash, coffee shops tend to have weak internet connections, and people chatting all around you can be distracting. It’s not the most comfortable space, and for a similar price (or less) you could rent a desk at your local coworking space.

You'll Feel Encouraged to Succeed

When you’re working solo, sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated. That’s one reason to find a mastermind group, a mentor or an accountability partner. Using a coworking space could be a good way to find this group of people. Since you’re all using the same office, it will be easier to arrange meetings or brainstorming sessions.

Having other freelancers around you trying to succeed will boost your motivation and you’ll feel energized to maintain your workflow.

You May Find Your Partner in Crime

Once you’re in the freelancing business for a while, partnering up with another professional could help you tremendously. It could be an assistant, another designer, developer or even a marketing expert.

Coworking is accessible to people from all walks of life, including individuals from more traditional job sectors, such as lawyers and accountants, are not renting coworking spaces. Your go-to person could teach you new skills and provide good advice when needed.

Productivity Is Worth the Extra Cost

A coworking space is an extra cost, however, if you become more productive you will very likely have a lot more money in the bank to invest in your career.

When you sum up all the time you have procrastinated while working from home – the time you watch TV, running personal errands or sleeping in – how many hours does that represent each month? What is your hourly rate? 

Coworking could give you the discipline to gain those hours back each week or month in order to earn more money.

It's Not Written in Stone

If you’re not sure if a coworking space is for you, most places have a day pass or even a discounted trial period. This system was implemented for individuals who are new to the coworking movement, allowing them to do a little trial and error before they make a final decision. However, coworking spaces also offer flexible plans which can be cancelled by the end of the current or the following month. 

If you like the atmosphere, you could pay the whole month or schedule specific dates. This is a good idea if you plan to have a meeting and use the conference room. 

It's Not for Everyone

Coworking spaces have advantages and disadvantages, just like everything. It depends on your personality and working needs.

Of course there are productive freelancers, who prefer an isolated environment and don’t feel that they need the extra motivation and collaboration you get from a coworking space. Yet, many of those people who have successfully worked from home, have also been able to increase their professional value and network by becoming a member of a coworking space.  

Original article here.

Alejandro Moreno S.

Freelance marketing consultant and multi-potentialite. About to design my 4th squarespace site for a new workspace/incubator/accelerator I'm helping launch. The 3rd website I did is for the olive tree farm my family just bought in Tuscany (which is also an Italian villa vacation rental).  I split my time professionally between marketing, translating and interpreting live (Spanish/English), and soon I'll also be a farmer in Toiano, Tuscany (betwen Pisa and Florence). A few months a year are spent in Marin County California where I grew up and have lived most of my life. Musician, oenophile and photographer are a few additional apt descriptions. 

Deep Green Champion — VenturePad, Marin’s Premier Cowork Space, Entrepreneurship Hub and Event Venue

Deep sustainable business practices are baked into the DNA of MCE's Deep Green customer VenturePad, Marin’s new premier coworking space, business incubator and event venue, which opened on March 1 in downtown San Rafael at 1020 B Street. VenturePad will cultivate, support and connect over 150 entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives, and purpose-driven ventures. The design, buildout, and operations of the space use low impact, energy savings practices. VenturePad, a Benefit Corporation, will be applying to be a certified green business program. Educational programs will include green business training and hosting of triple bottom line start-ups and impact enterprises.

VenturePad has 4000 sq ft of productive, open space, full of natural light with 16' high ceilings, private suites, lounges, open desks, meeting rooms, kitchen and a central café. Programs include lunch and learns, afterwork workshops, training and coaching programs, as well as a wrap around “C-suite team” of professional service providers who will offer affordable, integrated, specialized skills such as IP protection, fundraising, software development, branding, website creation, revenue generation and more.

VenturePad’s two co-founders are formally trained in, teach, mentor and promote sustainability best practices. Alejandro Moreno, polyglot, raised in Marin — greenMBA alum from Dominican University and a UC Berkeley alum —helped run Venture Greenhouse, Marin's first business incubator which launched over 60 mission driven start-ups. Chris Yalonis is a graduate of the Presidio Graduate School, a top green biz school. Chris has taught social entrepreneurship and sustainability at Sonoma State, and chaired the San Rafael Chamber Green Business Committee for years. He has been on the ground floor of many firms including Autodesk and Survey Monkey. Says Chris Yalonis, “our sustainability performance metrics will primarily be focused on being a carbon neutral and zero waste operation.” The zero carbon goals are achieved by being a MCE Deep Green customer, so that our entire energy use is generated with renewable sources”. Yalonis continues, “from the start, we designed and built VenturePad using low impact materials and practices”. Those practices included: 

  • Locally assembled tables made of reclaimed wood, bamboo and sustainably harvested wood materials.
  • Purchases of high quality but reused equipment and furniture from local businesses instead of high footprint new furniture.
  • Hardwood floors having sustainable cork layering for low noise and low petroleum use.
  • Strict adherence to Title 24 energy codes, including occupancy and light sensors in each room which dim or shut off lights when unoccupied or when natural light from the glass walls illuminate the space.
  • Inside rooms harvest natural light all day with glass walls and doors.
  • All lighting is LED, which uses 15% the energy of incandescent and 50% of fluorescents. Lifespan is 20x longer than incandescent and 3x that of CFL’s. Rapidly declining LED costs have made payback much sooner.
  • Most days it's not necessary to turn on the lights.
  • All member computers, office equipment and appliances are Energy Star rated.
  • Members and staff are trained in zero waste practices, including supplier low impact packaging, composting, recycling, minimal shared printing on recycled paper.
  • Recognizing that transportation is 61% of Marin’s GHG emissions, VenturePad will work with the building owners and the City to install EV charging stations and bike racks nearby, as well facilitate walking, mass transit and ride-sharing to its office for members and visitors.

An idea whose time has come:  A full service, accessible, cowork community that acts as a hub and model for sustainable business practices and impact entrepreneurship in Marin.

Contact: Chris Yalonis, Co-founder and President, VenturePad, 415-309-0331, chris@venturepad.works

/Source

Alejandro Moreno S.

Freelance marketing consultant and multi-potentialite. About to design my 4th squarespace site for a new workspace/incubator/accelerator I'm helping launch. The 3rd website I did is for the olive tree farm my family just bought in Tuscany (which is also an Italian villa vacation rental).  I split my time professionally between marketing, translating and interpreting live (Spanish/English), and soon I'll also be a farmer in Toiano, Tuscany (betwen Pisa and Florence). A few months a year are spent in Marin County California where I grew up and have lived most of my life. Musician, oenophile and photographer are a few additional apt descriptions. 

VenturePad's Grand Opening Party!

MARCH 9 from 5p to 7p at 1020 B St between 4th and 5th in downtown San Rafael!

In partnership with the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce, VenturePad invites you to our Ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Phillips and our Grand Opening Party!

Live music by the Michael Aragon Quartet, one of the SF Bay Area's most acclaimed musicians. And we'll have a blues jam with attending musicians sitting in for some tasty percussion jams - a little salsa, bossa nova, latin jazz….

Remarks from our county supervisor and other elected officials.

Hors d’oeuvres by 2016 Green Business of the Year winner Lotus Indian Restaurant. Hosted bar.

Come party at Marin's first and only centrally located coworking community space and business incubator! Meet old friends, make new friends, and be a part of the VenturePad community!

Please RSVP by clicking on the picture at the top or right here!

Alejandro Moreno S.

Freelance marketing consultant and multi-potentialite. About to design my 4th squarespace site for a new workspace/incubator/accelerator I'm helping launch. The 3rd website I did is for the olive tree farm my family just bought in Tuscany (which is also an Italian villa vacation rental).  I split my time professionally between marketing, translating and interpreting live (Spanish/English), and soon I'll also be a farmer in Toiano, Tuscany (betwen Pisa and Florence). A few months a year are spent in Marin County California where I grew up and have lived most of my life. Musician, oenophile and photographer are a few additional apt descriptions. 

VenturePad Press Release - February 10, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (2/10/17)

Chris Yalonis, Founder/President, VenturePad, 415-309-0331, chris@venturepad.works

VenturePad Grand Opening March 9, 2017

San Rafael, CA: VenturePad, Marin’s premier coworking community and Incubator invites the public to its Grand Opening Party on March 9, 2017 from 5 - 7 pm. Location is 1020 B Street, downtown San Rafael, between 4th and 5th Streets.

Hosting over 100 innovative small businesses, VenturePad addresses a critical need in Marin by combining affordable, accessible and professional office space with support services for Marin’s entrepreneurs, freelancers and home office professionals under one roof. Slated to be the County’s entrepreneurship hub, it will have 4000 square feet of beautiful, productive open zones with collaboration spaces, open and dedicated desks, meeting rooms and a café. VenturePad will also provide classes, workshops, events and a wrap around “C-suite team” of professional services offering affordable, specialized skills, such as website design, digital branding, product prototyping, and sales training.

The Grand Opening will include remarks from Mayor Gary Phillips, other elected representatives, and the founding team. Food and drinks will be served by local restaurants. Entertainment will be by the Michael Aragon Jazz Quartet, one of the Bay Area’s most acclaimed jazz groups.

Located in downtown San Rafael at 1020 B Street, VenturePad is within a 20-minute drive for 80% of Marin’s residents and walking distance to San Rafael’s many downtown entertainment, dining, banking and business service establishments.

“There is an unmet need right now in Marin and the North Bay for not only affordable working space, but also for startup incubator services, business advising & entrepreneur networking. Marin lost its only incubator and entrepreneurship support centers in 2015 - Venture Greenhouse and the Renaissance Center, ” says Chris Yalonis, co-founder and owner. “Those two groups hosted and supported over 350 businesses over 5 years, but lost their financial viability and had to close. Marin has no full service, centrally located coworking space either,” Yalonis adds, “VenturePad will fill these voids - coworking, incubation, and small business support.”

According to the US census data, Marin has 39,000 residents working from home either part or full time. Freelancers and solopreneurs compose 1⁄3 of Marin’s employed. “VenturePad is for them as well as corporate telecommuters” adds Yalonis, “it’s an antidote to home office isolation and distractions, as well as the noise and unprofessional nature of coffee shops. People are thanking us for designing a place to go for social and professional energy, networking and for support by other driven, successful colleagues.”

Visit www.venturepad.works to book a tour and to enroll.

About VenturePad: VenturePad is Marin’s premier coworking community and entrepreneurship center. Hosting over 100 businesses in downtown San Rafael, VenturePad fosters a thriving coworking community for entrepreneurs, freelancers, self-employed, giggers and those who want an alternative to the home office, café or expensive lease.

VenturePad Features:

●  Place: Central, convenient location in Downtown San Rafael - 1020 B Street, between 4th and 5th Streets, close to transit, parking and amenities.

●  Peers: Network of peers, advisors and experts available. Weekly workshops, mixers and social events.

●  Positive Impact: Our community of mission driven businesses, nonprofits and public agencies collaborate on programs and initiatives to address local, national and global challenges.

Learn more at www.venturepad.works

VenturePad, 1020 B Street, San Rafael, CA 94901, www.venturepad.works, @venturepadworks

Alejandro Moreno S.

Freelance marketing consultant and multi-potentialite. About to design my 4th squarespace site for a new workspace/incubator/accelerator I'm helping launch. The 3rd website I did is for the olive tree farm my family just bought in Tuscany (which is also an Italian villa vacation rental).  I split my time professionally between marketing, translating and interpreting live (Spanish/English), and soon I'll also be a farmer in Toiano, Tuscany (betwen Pisa and Florence). A few months a year are spent in Marin County California where I grew up and have lived most of my life. Musician, oenophile and photographer are a few additional apt descriptions. 

Pictures from our Hard Hat Mixer last night.

We signed up our first members! Click here to see the whole album. 

/Source

Alejandro Moreno S.

Freelance marketing consultant and multi-potentialite. About to design my 4th squarespace site for a new workspace/incubator/accelerator I'm helping launch. The 3rd website I did is for the olive tree farm my family just bought in Tuscany (which is also an Italian villa vacation rental).  I split my time professionally between marketing, translating and interpreting live (Spanish/English), and soon I'll also be a farmer in Toiano, Tuscany (betwen Pisa and Florence). A few months a year are spent in Marin County California where I grew up and have lived most of my life. Musician, oenophile and photographer are a few additional apt descriptions. 

VenturePad Hard Hat Mixer - 5:30p to 7:30p Jan 24 @ Our New Space!

Please visit our community workspace under construction! 

  • Meet the VP team, professional advisors and other member candidates. 

  • Complimentary beverages and appetizers!

  • Wear hard hats (we've got one for you), help us design the space, and plan the first 3 months of events and classes.

  • See our wildly expensive ergonomic chairs & reclaimed wood workstations ;-D

  • Experience some cool writable walls with IdeaPaint.

  • Register for early enrollment.

  • Learn how your smart phone will gain you access to VenturePad.

Please RSVP by getting your free ticket here via Eventbrite.

Thank you! 

Alejandro Moreno S.

Freelance marketing consultant and multi-potentialite. About to design my 4th squarespace site for a new workspace/incubator/accelerator I'm helping launch. The 3rd website I did is for the olive tree farm my family just bought in Tuscany (which is also an Italian villa vacation rental).  I split my time professionally between marketing, translating and interpreting live (Spanish/English), and soon I'll also be a farmer in Toiano, Tuscany (betwen Pisa and Florence). A few months a year are spent in Marin County California where I grew up and have lived most of my life. Musician, oenophile and photographer are a few additional apt descriptions. 

Over 70 friends and early champions dropped into the VenturePad Sneak Peek party!

Over 70 friends and early champions dropped into the VenturePad Sneak Peek party on Tuesday, 12/13. Everyone enjoyed complimentary drinks, appetizers and good company at the State Room on 4th Street, downtown San Rafael, then made our way around the corner 1 block to the new VenturePad digs at 1020 B Street. Founder Chris Yalonis provided a briefing on the mission and values of the VP community and then showed off the construction plans for the offices, meeting rooms, open spaces, and café. The build out is in January and February with our opening scheduled for March.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO SEE THE PICTURE GALLERY!

Alejandro Moreno S.

Freelance marketing consultant and multi-potentialite. About to design my 4th squarespace site for a new workspace/incubator/accelerator I'm helping launch. The 3rd website I did is for the olive tree farm my family just bought in Tuscany (which is also an Italian villa vacation rental).  I split my time professionally between marketing, translating and interpreting live (Spanish/English), and soon I'll also be a farmer in Toiano, Tuscany (betwen Pisa and Florence). A few months a year are spent in Marin County California where I grew up and have lived most of my life. Musician, oenophile and photographer are a few additional apt descriptions. 

VenturePad Sneak Peek Party! Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:30P–7:30P

We’d like to invite you to a holiday mixer from 5:30-7:30 pm on Tuesday, December 13th to:

  • Get a sneak peak briefing and tour by founder Chris Yalonis of our exciting new venue in downtown San Rafael at 1020 B Street.

  • Learn more and give us your input on timing, space design, membership packages and programming.

  • Meet founding team members and professional service experts.

  • Enjoy free libations and yummy appetizers (first round on us for the first 30 attendees)

  • Two Tours, at 6:00, and 7:00 pm.

The party is at the State Room at 1132 4th Street next to the Rafael Theater. Our new space is right around the corner 1/2 block up at 1020 B Street on the corner of Julia and B Streets.

Please RSVP here so we can plan for drinks and food. See you there!

Alejandro Moreno S.

Freelance marketing consultant and multi-potentialite. About to design my 4th squarespace site for a new workspace/incubator/accelerator I'm helping launch. The 3rd website I did is for the olive tree farm my family just bought in Tuscany (which is also an Italian villa vacation rental).  I split my time professionally between marketing, translating and interpreting live (Spanish/English), and soon I'll also be a farmer in Toiano, Tuscany (betwen Pisa and Florence). A few months a year are spent in Marin County California where I grew up and have lived most of my life. Musician, oenophile and photographer are a few additional apt descriptions. 

VenturePad Launch Announcement - 5 Year Space Lease Secured in downtown San Rafael

VenturePad - a premier cowork community and business incubator - announces its formation, its founding team, and a signed 5 year lease for downtown office space in San Rafael CA.

VenturePad addresses an immediate and substantial need in Marin County (CA) for affordable, accessible and professional coworking space and entrepreneur support services. Slated to be Marin County’s premier coworking community and impact enterprise incubator, VenturePad will cultivate, support and connect entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives, and purpose-driven people. VP will provide this in a conveniently located shared working office space in downtown San Rafael. After a build-out this Winter of the space, services and advisor network, VenturePad (VP) opens its doors in Q1, 2017.

VP has secured a 5 year lease for a street level accessible, open office layout at 1020 B Street, between 4th and 5th Streets, in a Class A office building. Built to house over 120 solopreneurs, start-ups, freelancers, creatives, and telecommuters, VenturePad initially will have 4000 square feet of productive, open space full of natural light with 16' high ceilings, private suites, lounges, open desks, meeting rooms, kitchen and a central café in a premium location. VP will have a comprehensive training and coaching program, as well as a wrap around “C-suite team” of professional service providers that will offer affordable, integrated, specialized skills such as IP protection, contracts writing and review, financial modeling, fundraising, software development, branding, website creation and management, revenue generation and more.

Filling A Market Need

As of late 2016 there are no coworking/incubator full service spaces in Marin. The existing cowork spaces have a more limited focus, lack easy access (located far from I-101) or are expensive ad hoc temporary sublets within other offices that target high end solopreneurs and don’t focus on building a community. Marin lost its two business incubators in 2015 due mainly to a lack of perspective clients locally and the lack of a sustainable revenue model. These two entities, to their credit, (Venture Greenhouse and Renaissance Center) supported/launched over 350 businesses and supported over 1000 entrepreneurs from 2000-2015, so in their sudden absence they left a large void and significant unmet needs.

Lessons learned, VenturePad is a privately funded for-profit Benefit Corporation with an earned income revenue model. It is also an inclusive model that casts a wide net across Marin. The addressable market includes: 

  • 39,000 work at home individuals in Marin
  • 6,000 incorporated entities with 4 employees or less
  • Commuters to San Francisco, Sonoma, East Bay and Silicon Valley (65,000 daily, a percentage of whom would prefer to work closer to home part of the week)
  • 4200 employed by Marin nonprofits
  • Commuters going in and out of the county
  • Targeted impact sectors include: Clean Energy, Healthy Food and Ag, Mobility, Alternative Transportation Solutions, Human Potential and Development, Life Sciences, Wellness and Health, Seniors, Affordable Housing solutions, Natural Resources, Lifelong Education and EdTech.  All sectors are welcomed. 

Coworking is a high growth next gen model. Sonoma County has 6 successful coworking facilities that are fully subscribed (100-150 members each). San Francisco and the East Bay have dozens of large cowork spaces (WeWork, EcoSystm, iHUBs) that are thriving.

An idea whose time has come:  A full service, accessible, cowork community within a shared commercial office space that acts as a hub for entrepreneurship in Marin and is tied to the greater North Bay and Bay Area innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

 

Not Your Father's Incubator - How VenturePad is the Next Generation Cowork & Impact Entrepreneurship Community

  • Lower office costs relative to small sublets, especially as you add people. Office space in Marin and SF are easily $2000 or $3000 or even more, compared to a $300 VP membership.

  • Co-working space of peer solopreneurs, start-ups, social enterprises, entrepreneurship students, freelancers & professional service providers. Feel the positive, competitive pressure and examples of effective management and strategy.

  • Community and educational events and meeting space.
  • A better life-work balance that lets you leave work behind after a 12 hour day and embrace the joys of family, outdoors, recreation, and play. Your loved ones will thank you for it.

  • Addresses the distractions and isolation of home offices, as well as the noise, lack of privacy and professionalism of coffee shop/restaurant working/meetings. You need a convenient, professional place to meet with your team, customers, partners, and prospects.
  • You could find your next venture. Seeing another company operate with a good idea but the wrong execution lets you think about what you would do. You will need to differentiate but you will most likely feel inspired and get great ideas from colleagues in the community.

  • Training and professional development programs for students, small business owners/leaders will keep you current and out of a rut.

  • Access to vetted, local contractors and for-hire experts in law, branding, revenue generation, software development, sales, website development, digital marketing, production. Incubator and accelerator program, with professional services, mentors and access to funding. VP’s advisors meet the entrepreneurs “where they are.” Funding options include bootstrapping, friends and family, micro loans, crowdfunding, angel and VC funds. VP provides navigation, introductions and prep to reduce risk and increase funding likelihood.

 

Marin VenturePad San Rafael coworking space

Being an entrepreneur does not mean you have to go it alone.

Ready to learn more and be a part of the VenturePad Community?

Sign up for our newsletter to stay on top of the latest updates.

Coworking membership application here.

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Alejandro Moreno S.

Freelance marketing consultant and multi-potentialite. About to design my 4th squarespace site for a new workspace/incubator/accelerator I'm helping launch. The 3rd website I did is for the olive tree farm my family just bought in Tuscany (which is also an Italian villa vacation rental).  I split my time professionally between marketing, translating and interpreting live (Spanish/English), and soon I'll also be a farmer in Toiano, Tuscany (betwen Pisa and Florence). A few months a year are spent in Marin County California where I grew up and have lived most of my life. Musician, oenophile and photographer are a few additional apt descriptions.