In its simplest form, the concept of shared office space is a great way for a space holder and a small business/entrepreneur to save money. Whether it means the small business/entrepreneur offsets a portion of the total rent, contributes to the cost of the utilities, or a combination of the two, a shared space can serve as a financial win-win for both parties.
In the spirit of the old Ginsu knife commercial “But Wait There’s More…”
Shared Office space can offer both parties an opportunity to share new ideas, technologies, contacts and even forge valuable joint venture relationships.
It is not uncommon for a shared office space to be comprised of several companies operating very similar businesses. In this scenario, shared space holders can collaborate on projects, refer projects back and forth or even promote that their respective companies can offer a wider array of services.
If the companies sharing a space are completely unrelated, there are probably still many networking opportunities that can arise from the relationship. It seems like “everybody” knows “somebody” that does “something” related to somebody else’s business.
Even if the benefits are not felt immediately, you never know when a shared space holder can offer a relationship or contact that can make a huge impact on a company.
A quick story to illustrate that “you never know”.
My company (a website design and 3D animation company) shared space with an independent movie company. For months we had limited conversation other than a few pleasantries. One day, they asked me to sit and listen to a pitch for a movie idea they had. Not sure why they asked me but I found it to be a very interesting idea.
In my previous life (for 17 years) I was a personal trainer in a very wealthy area in New York. One of my clients was a hedge fund manager that just happened to recently invest in a company that funded independent movies.
Long story short, a pitch meeting was arranged, and in just a few short days almost $1,000,000 was committed to the making of the movie. The movie went on to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, was on the cover of the NY Times and was also released in several theaters across the nation. (I now have an associate producer credit on IMDB)
If it was not for the relationship that was forged by sharing a space, the chances that the movie would have received financing as quickly, or at all were very slim.
In today’s economy companies must be willing to work together to survive. While on the surface the decision to share an office space might seem to be purely financial. Companies that give this relationship a try might soon realize that the financial benefit is only the tip of the iceberg.
To post or find a shared office space you can visit openofficespace.com or the various other websites geared to facilitating these relationships.