The first time a freelancer hears about coworking, their initial response is something to the effect of, “that sounds great but I just can’t afford it right now.”
There’s no denying that as independent professionals, we live without the illusion of security that our jobs will always be there. At the same time, we can’t be fired. And when life makes it necessary to increase income, it’s far easier for a freelancer to find a new client than for a traditional employee to get a raise.
But I digress.
The truth is, if you’re a mobile worker with a dream, you can’t afford to NOT be coworking. Consider this: you can join a coworking space in Fort Collins for as little as $55/mo. That’s 13 lattes. And I doubt the coffee shop is doing much for your professional image. Here are 3 more reasons you need to be coworking.
1. Pain-free Networking
Let’s be real: networking events are the worst. People standing stiffly against the wall, juggling a tiny plate of appetizers and a stack of business cards. Name tags. Elevator pitches. It’s not pretty, and most people get nothing from it.
Coworking allows you to network without the pain and humiliation. Your fellow coworking members are some of the most talented, successful professionals in town. And you get to sit next to them every day! Instead of 5 minutes of small talk, you’ll have real, meaningful conversations with people who can and will refer you work.
2. An Elevated Reputation
Joining a coworking space might seem like a big jump for your career. Maybe you’re just starting out, and profits are still tight. That’s fine, we’ve all been there. Even though you may starting a business out of your garage, that’s not the best place to meet potential clients. Coworking provides the professional image you can’t yet afford. A conference room with presentation equipment, quiet areas to take important phone calls, work space for brain storming sessions, etc. You’ll also get a business mailing address and someone to sign for your packages while you’re at lunch. For no extra charge! (P.O. boxes alone can cost more than $20 a month).
3. A Tribe
Are you looking to grow your business? Want to avoid those first-time freelancer mistakes? Need constructive feedback on a project from someone other than your mother? These are the intangibles provided by your coworking tribe. For two dollars a day, you’ll have access to some of the brightest minds in the business. People who have been there and lived to tell the tale. Professionals who can give you advice, sympathize with your failures, and rejoice in your victories. Coworkers share their knowledge freely, knowing that strong small businesses are the backbone of our larger community. We participate to help each other become better.
Check out all the coworking options in Fort Collins at http://fo(co)works.com.
Image Credit: Flickr – mdanys/Hub Vilnius