Shared Office Space Helps Startups Survive
Ownership is old news. Sharing is the way forward for todayΓÇÖs startups who want to build smarter, more agile businesses ΓÇô and shared office space is leading the way.
According to a new survey from Zipcar and StartUp Britain, office space is the most shared infrastructure cost among startup businesses, with 22% opting to share their space with others.
With the range of options now available to businesses looking to share office space, itΓÇÖs no surprise that it topped the list. From co-working spaces to hot-desking, access to office space has become increasingly flexible in recent years, providing businesses with plenty of choice for accessing the office space they need, as and when they need it.
For many startup businesses, renting office space on flexible terms presents the best option for getting started.
TheyΓÇÖre part of a new generation of businesses which Zipcar has dubbed ΓÇ£collaborative costcuttersΓÇ¥ ΓÇô businesses which are turning away from traditional notions of ownership in order to gain an advantage over more established competitors.
Overall, the survey found that 54% of UK startups are sharing core business resources and functions with other businesses, with 55% claiming that this is essential to survive.
While the types of resources being shared are broad, the most commonly shared infrastructure costs were office space (22%), technology (22%) and vehicles (15%). The most shared human costs were accounting (35%), administrative (21%) and human resources (15%).
Mark Walker, General Manager at Zipcar UK said, ΓÇ£One of the strongest recommendations that came out of our research was for businesses to reconsider the role that ownership plays and move towards a more sharing approach. Whether you are hiring a car by the hour with Zipcar, or a desk space by the day, sharing with other companies enables start-ups to access resources they might not otherwise afford, as well as providing greater flexibility, reducing overheads and improving the bottom line.ΓÇ¥
TodayΓÇÖs startups are finding that flexibility and agility are key to staying competitive. Businesses need the ability to move and adapt quickly ΓÇô something which is a lot trickier if they are weighed down with cumbersome and expensive assets.
With this in mind, 50% of business owners surveyed by Zipcar said that sharing resources was part of their original business plan ΓÇô rather than a reaction to the recession. This points to a long-term shift in the way businesses procure and use resources; one which could see shared resources become the norm for most businesses in the future.
As Emma Jones, co-founder of StartUp Britain, says; ΓÇ£this research shows how, increasingly, UK entrepreneurs are carving out new – and better – ways of working to become smarter and more agile.ΓÇ¥
From office space to vehicles, accounting and HR, resources will need to be available on increasingly flexible terms too.
Are shared resources the way forward for todayΓÇÖs startups? Do you share resources with other businesses? Tell us more in the comments below.
Elsewhere on the BlogΓÇª
- The Future of the Office is… Desk-less?
- Inside View: The Office Group, Euston
- 2012: The Year of the Flexible Office