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How to choose an entrepreneurial co-working space

The good news is options abound. The best way to choose a co-working space is to test-drive a few because each space has its own vibe and mix of amenities and co-workers. Most offer free or discounted day passes to try them out.

When weighing the options, here are some other factors to consider:

• Does the environment fit you and the culture of your company and clients? Some are more artsy and creative, while others are more modern and business-like.

• Does the mix of co-workers suit you? Most spaces curate their memberships, going for a mix of startups, consultants, professionals, investors and larger companies. Some are more concentrated in tech, others not. During your test drive, you will get a feel for the mix.

• Do you want a place with lots of events? Check out their event schedules and member-only educational offerings. These spaces typically offer more than a Friday afternoon happy hour.

• Is being near public transportation important to you? Some are close to Metrorail or Trolley stops.

• If you drive, is parking included in the cost? If not, what will it cost and how available/convenient is it?

• Are there restaurants and cafes within walking distance? Some offer bike-sharing.

• When do you really plan to use the space? Some are open 24/7, while others aren’t. However, if you don’t plan to work in the wee hours of the morning, the limited hours may not be a factor.

• If you will need regular use of conference rooms or meeting areas, are they available enough of the time and included in the cost? If extra, put that into your cost equation.

• Are the founders and management teams on site and do they know all the members? Because of the collaborative nature of these spaces, friendly management is an important consideration.

 

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