Approximately four years ago I started my business venture from the dining room table. The office space in my home was being utilized as a family room for the kids at the time. I’ve since moved back into my office for those days when I need to work at home. You may find yourself in the same predicament and limited on space and not sure where to go. There are a number of sites out there that discuss how to work at home and be productive, and I may at some point post a video of my space at home to give you some ideas. Working from home has it’s benefits, but I can certainly emphasize one of the downfalls. Isolation. Sure, you can pick up the phone and call someone, Skype, Face time, instant message, but are you being productive? Are you staying motivated? I’d like to talk about a concept called co-working.
I’ve actually posted on the Global Co-working Blog about being a healthcare professional, and looking for a place to collaborate. Let me emphasize that I take the HIPAA regulations very seriously and make every attempt to secure my patient’s information no matter where I am. I’ll discuss some security measures in another post. Co-working may not be the right fit for many healthcare consultants, but there are options out there that include work spaces that have individual offices that are ultimately mixed in with other professionals that also require four walls and a door. Now, these types of spaces may not be considered a “true co-working environment,” but it may still offer you the opportunity to network.
Network. This is really the main point that I want to make about co-working. Being a community of one, day in and day out gets a bit stale. Also, your creative flow is zapped and your motivation to maintain or even grow your business may be stifled. These spaces are great think-tank and incubator environments. Sure, you could hang at your local Starbucks buying just one more biscotti to go along with your Trenta sized frappucinno, unable to hold a conversation or thought from all of the sugar and caffeine. Or, you can find a place that is typically reasonably priced, offers a working environment (unlike your unfinished basement with a card table and lawn chair), and has a built in community.
You may ask yourself what the relevance of your medical/healthcare business is in relation to a web designer who typically populates these settings, but I do mention that in the post above. You’re more than likely a good clinician just starting their business, or someone who’s been independent for a while, but have you built your brand yet?…This will also be another post down the road.
It’s possible that you may be selling a product or service that could greatly benefit from a professional logo or website design. Look right next to you. Voila! Another entrepreneur just trying to make it on small contracts, and may just be able to assist you for a reasonable price. Not to mention, you’ve just started networking. I’ve had quite a few referrals come through this way.
Again, you have to weigh the pros and cons of whether this type of environment works for your business, and also keep in mind that you may not need to be there everyday, especially if there are days when you need to either see patients privately or you just need some privacy. Also, they typically don’t have a long term lease, and many have daily rental options.
Just remember back when you were working a night shift on the unit/floor and poured the last cup of coffee…make sure to put on a fresh pot for your colleagues. That’ll go a long way in the co-working community.