It may seem like a trendy catchphrase, but the concept of working smarter in your business and not burning the candle at both ends is becoming something of a mantra among time-poor small business owners.
But what does it mean? At its heart, working smarter simply means achieving a high level of understanding about your business and its goals, how you complete your tasks on a day-to-day-basis and how you can maximise the return for your efforts.
Too often small business owners slave away over tasks that could be done more efficiently and quickly by outsourcing, allowing you to spend more time on doing the actual work and forward planning.
Accounting and bookkeeping is a classic example – people who start their own operation may be experts at carpentry, online sales or dentistry but have little clue when it come to reconciling a bank statement.
Working smarter means using all the resources at your disposal to not only ensure your business thrives, but to achieve work-life balance for you. Here’s how being involved in O Space can help that process.
Can you feel the productivity vibe?
Being around other people who are focused on their daily tasks and who are being productive has a natural flow-on effect. Working from home offers a lot of benefits but there’s also a huge number of daily distractions – the washing needs to be done, the fridge shelves could do with a wipe and sometimes there’s a good midday movie on the telly. Working in a hub is, in some ways, just like a real office situation. Being able to segregate hours in a work day to the time you are out of home and at the ‘office’ means you’ll be more efficient with your time and the tasks you need to do within a set time limit – no more working until midnight because you’ve become distracted.
Centralised upskilling and on-hand research
Come up against a social media roadblock? Stumped on how to reach new customers? Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on online courses you’ll probably never finish. Chances are other small business owners have come up against similar problems so instead of spending hours searching the interweb for an answer, ask one of your co-working colleagues. Co-working hubs naturally operate as a community, and information sharing is a very organic and vital part of that. Most co-working hubs also offer free or low cost events featuring expert panelists who have been there, done that and can impart their knowledge on a range of topics from marketing, social media, accounting, business planning, time management and so much more. Business Hub at Queenscliff Marina has wholeheartedly adopted this model and recently held four free events for small business owners, and has plans for many more in the coming months.
One-stop meeting shop
If you run a home-based business, meeting clients usually requires you to travel to the client’s office or to a local cafe. This can literally suck hours from your week which could be better spent completing your work, focusing on your marketing or business plan or learning new skills to help within your business. Co-working spaces hire out professional and private meeting rooms at very low rates, which means all your clients can come to you! It offers a central location to meet which means far less time in the car for you and the option to present to clients, or even host an event, using the space and associated technology such as screens, projectors and whiteboards.
Grow your business quicker
One of the main benefits of co-working facilities is the sheer exposure to other professionals who you may not have the opportunity to meet in your everyday working life. Architects work alongside freelance PR operators, accountants, web developers and graphic designers which means the skills you need are at your disposal. Through water cooler conversations or more structured meet ups at a co-working hub, others can offer the inspiration for new projects as well as innovative tried-and-true methods to reach new customers. Networking opportunities happen faster when you are within a co-working environment and the opportunities for collaboration are endless.