With more startups and self-employed business owners cropping up each day, entrepreneurs have more options than ever and the shared office space segment is reaping the benefits. Mark Hemmeter, founder and CEO of co-working franchise Office Evolution, discussed the allure of shared office space for entrepreneurs and why entrepreneurs who become clients of the brand find Office Evolution’s services so worthwhile.
Cost-effective membership options offered by shared office spaces provide flexibility at a lower price point, making entry into the business world more manageable for startups and small businesses.
“With the absence of lease agreements, businesses can dodge high upfront costs,” Hemmeter said. “An all-inclusive monthly or one-time bill consolidates a variety of expenses, simplifying accounting and tax preparation as well,” he added.
“One of my favorite things about Office Evolution is the merging of entrepreneurs, creatives and innovators in a single space, bouncing ideas off of one another,” Hemmeter said. Collaboration and cooperation between similar-minded businesspeople can bring a lot of benefit to all parties. The synergy born out of a willingness to share resources that would otherwise have to be tracked down individually brings real potential for kicking any small business up a notch.
“Our Office Evolution franchisees organize regular events to help members find ways to work together and build their businesses,” Hemmeter said. “From the corporate level down, we subscribe to a culture of ‘Ohana,’ meaning we’re all in this together. Every single person in our system, whether they are a client or a franchisee, wants to be a successful small business owner,” Hemmeter added.
Incubating community produces the opportunity for connections to form. “Co-working spaces function as built-in networks,” Hemmeter explained. “Through our events and business services, Office Evolution encourages clients to connect with one another.”
Shared office spaces are great environments for small businesses to learn efficiencies and technologies that make those around them successful and consider applying or adopting them to their own company. Plus, new business can be gained out of offering one’s own entrepreneurial insights and business services to other growing concepts in the same space.
Because co-working spaces are growing businesses themselves, they understand the importance and value of being tech-enabled. Office Evolution’s virtual office spaces and top notch call center with live answering services support clients regardless of where they may be. Each Office Evolution franchisee also employs an on-site business center manager to provide assistance in whatever capacity clients need.
“We’ve taken steps to be as good a resource as possible for our franchisees by partnering with outside vendors,” Hemmeter said. “LiquidSpace helps rent out any vacant office space franchisees might have, helping with occupancy rate. We also consult with 5280 Franchise Development Group in our franchise development efforts, so we are constantly working on our growth,” he added.
Hemmeter said he believes this has a trickle-down effect from franchisees to Office Evolution clients because when a business is constantly working on itself and innovating and evolving to better serve its customers, their experience improves.
As a small business grows and changes, co-working spaces can easily accommodate. Entrepreneurs have autonomy when selecting a work environment that uniquely suits their business and encourages productivity and the necessary separation between workspace and life space that many people require.
“Office Evolution was designed as an inclusive space for all types of business owners,” Hemmeter noted. “Entrepreneurs can choose between large conference space for those looking to collaborate with other professionals, private rooms for those wanting a personalized space and semi-private rooms with a lower cost for businesses getting off the ground,” he continued.
One of Office Evolution’s most unique and attractive features is the opportunity for entrepreneurs to use its locations anywhere in the country. “Whether you're an Office Evolution member who travels for work and needs to meet with someone out of town or a business professional in need of a space and you're not a member, the opportunity is there,” Hemmeter said.