Most small business owners and entrepreneurs will tell you that scaling your business is no easy task. It takes the right team and strategy, plus a number of environmental factors, to ensure successful growth.
And yet, they face unique barriers to successfully scaling.
Here we’ll explore those challenges and how flexible office space is one potential solution to help SMB owners scale up and remain an important part of the local economy.
Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs): Opportunities and Challenges
The Small Business Administration reported that, in 2022, small businesses in California represented 99.8% of all businesses and accounted for 47.9% of all California employees.
The same report indicated that small business employment grew by 25% in California from 1995 to 2019, which exceeds the national growth rate.
Zooming into our own backyard, small businesses in Orange County employing under 50 people account for 96% of all businesses in the region. Notably, our count is more economically productive per capita than other areas of California—it generates over $328 million in economic activity, compared to our bigger neighbors—$188 million in Los Angeles and $59 million in San Diego.
These numbers represent opportunities for small businesses in Orange County, and California as a whole, to find success and be significant contributors to the local and broader economy.
But it’s not always smooth sailing for SMBs to get there. There are key barriers that prevent many SMB owners from successfully scaling:
- Workspace limitations: Scaling your business requires space—either for your expanded team, product development, or meeting with clients and customers. Strict, long-term contracts for traditional office space may lock you into a space that’s too small and prevent you from growing.
- Growth-related finances: Extensive build-outs or finding and acquiring new office space can be an expensive process that adds to both your bottom line as well as your ability to scale your business quickly.
- Recruitment and talent acquisition: Hiring the right team members is essential to scaling your business. This is a challenging process that takes time, effort, and strong strategy and judgment to get right.
- Operational efficiency and agility: As your business grows, internal processes get more complicated. SMB owners need to be diligent in investing in training the right team, documenting processes, and finding more efficiencies in day-to-day work.
- Risk management: Scaling your business isn’t without risk. If you scale too quickly or too soon, you might miss important steps that create the foundation for long-term success. Learning to manage risk as you scale your business is an important part of the process.
In addition to these broad challenges most SMB owners face when scaling your business, there are industry or company-specific things that will impact success. But it is possible to find solutions that take care of some of the biggest barriers and help smooth your path forward.
6 Reasons Flexible Office Space Helps Scale Your Business
From these various barriers to scaling your business, we see two big themes emerge: finding operational efficiency and decreasing your overhead.
Flexible office spaces can help Orange County businesses with both.
Coworking spaces, like The Colab Space, are designed to support your SMB, no matter what stage of growth and development. We partner with you and other Orange County businesses to thrive and create a stronger local economy and community.
And this doesn’t happen by accident—it’s in our design.
Here are six reasons why.
1. Scalable Office Solutions
The top reason a flexible office space helps you scale your business is because it’s built right into its design. Traditional office spaces typically offer long-term commitments for a specific office type and size.
Flexible offices, however, offer a variety of options in the same building. So if you’re scaling your business, you might move from a shared coworking space or dedicated desk to a private office as you hire employees. At The Colab Space, we have a variety of membership options to choose from, and it’s easy to move between options as needed.
This is often available on flexible month-to-month memberships or short-term agreements—you can be in a bigger space in a matter of weeks or months, not years. This flexibility means you aren’t locked into a space that doesn’t suit your needs and you can scale your business quicker for it.
2. Cost-Effective Workspace
Flexible offices are also cost-effective workspaces. Because you can change and adjust your workspace according to business needs, you’re never paying for space you aren’t using.
Further, there are other factors that make it a good financial option:
- Reduced up-front costs: Flexible offices offer turnkey solutions that are fully furnished and ready to use. This saves up-front costs like tenant improvements or office build-outs that come with traditional office spaces.
- All-inclusive pricing: Your monthly fees at a coworking or flexible office space include everything like amenities, utilities, technology, staff, cleaning, and more. This simplifies your budget line item and ensures there are no unexpected costs or expenses.
- Economies of scale: Flexible offices are shared by other professionals and businesses, so you can benefit from economies of scale. The Colab Space has professionals and teams from diverse industries sharing our workspace. This is one reason why you can save money with flexible workspaces compared to traditional offices.
3. Emphasis On Community and Connection
Something that sets flexible workspaces apart from their traditional office counterparts is the emphasis on community. In-person collaboration and social interaction are important to boost work-team dynamics or build professional rapport.
Here are a few ways flexible workspaces support building strong company culture and interpersonal connection:
- Benefits to remote employees: A coworking space can make a great hybrid office option for remote teams, or be an employee perk for those who are in a different location.
- Team collaboration: Coworking spaces have on-demand meeting rooms and event spaces so you can gather in person to collaborate, brainstorm, or simply bond.
- Coworking community: Flexible workspace operators build community between professionals by offering events, networking opportunities, and informal ways to connect. Since it’s not just you and your team in the workspace, you have access to a broader pool of professionals which can lead to meeting your next client, customer, or business partner. Our regular happy hours at The Colab Space are a great way for members to connect with each other and expand their networks.
This emphasis on community and connection in a flexible workspace helps scale your business in a less direct way than the others. We’ve seen it time and time again at The Colab Space—connection with other people ultimately builds stronger company culture and keeps employees happy which, in turn, helps them do their best work for your business.
4. Reduced Time Investment
Finding the right workspace when scaling your business can be a major time investment for executives and leaders. It can take months to find the right fit and make any adjustments or upgrades you need.
Turnkey office solutions in a flexible workspace mean you can get into a new environment very quickly. This saves time that you could be using on more important projects when scaling your business. At The Colab Space, our offices come fully equipped and furnished, so they’re ready for you to use within days or weeks instead of the potential months it can take in a traditional office environment.
5. Employee Attraction and Retention
Flexible workspaces can help you attract and retain the right employees while you’re scaling your business. Coworking spaces use humanistic design to create better professional environments—i.e., they’re built for you to do your best work.
This includes highly productive spaces that are comfortable, attractive, and user-centered. They have an emphasis on well-being and help professionals find that ever-important work-life balance.
At The Colab Space, we prioritize wellness in our daily operations for our own team and for our members. For example, our on-site wellness room is a space for people to relax and decompress, either on their own or as part of an organized event.
Whether your entire team operates in a flexible workspace or a few remote employees, choosing a space people want to be in is key to building a strong team as you scale your business.
6. Operational Agility
Scaling your business requires a level of operational agility to pivot and change directions as opportunities and challenges arise. To do this, you need a workspace that works for you, not against you.
The flexible, all-inclusive nature of flexible workspaces allows for this exact thing. Besides the ability to scale and move to different workspaces, you can also access:
- High-quality technology: Flexible workspaces offer advanced IT infrastructure that can scale with you as you grow.
- On-site staff: Dedicated staff help support goals to scale your business. Our team at The Colab Space are always available to troubleshoot or answer questions to make the process as seamless as possible.
- Administrative support: Coworking spaces offer front-desk and reception support to businesses, as well as virtual office services like mail handling.
Coworking spaces are designed to be your one-stop shop for operating and growing a successful business. They are, by design, scalable office solutions that address the challenges SMBs face when scaling your business.
So, as you’re planning your next steps for scaling your business, opt for a workspace that supports that goal instead of adding to the list of challenges to overcome.
If you’re looking for a coworking space that increases your operational efficiency and reduces your overhead costs while you scale your business, book a tour of The Colab Space today.