Rise of the coworking movement
Born from isolated technologists building startups in their home offices, coworking is a rapidly spreading office concept wherein people pay reduced rental rates to occupy a shared office space filled with people (typically entrepreneurs) of various backgrounds – marketers, designers, coders, artists, research analysts, accountants, architects, angel investors, journalists and more. What makes coworking unique is the tradition for the space to offer members more than just a desk but an atmosphere and often, coworking spaces offer seminars, mentoring, and in some cases, conferences.
Study shows network sizes rise by coworking
Coworking magazine Deskmag has released the results of their second annual coworking survey and while coworking is increasing in popularity, there are key financial challenges the movement continues to face. Although not a scientific study, the digital magazine surveyed 1,500 people in 52 countries and discovered that 93 percent claimed their social circle has grown “a lot” since joining a coworking space and 86 percent said their business network had grown.
While 76 percent reported an increase in productivity, a major challenge for people officing alone at home is isolation which 88 percent of respondents said had decreased since they began working in a coworking space. The movement is highly powered by word of mouth which is not a challenge for coworking, given than 96 percent were enthusiastic about the sense of community in their coworking spaces.
One of the apprehensions we hear professionals express about coworking space is openly doing business around or in front of strangers, but interestingly, 54 percent of respondents trust their coworking coworkers enough to leave their laptop unattended, with one in three happy to leave their laptop unattended for a few hours, a healthy indication of trust in an open environment. We suspect that this trust varies by culture and location. Various benefits arise from coworking, with 71 percent of people saying they are better able to relax at home.
Who gets the short end of the stick?
The downside is that owners of coworking spaces aren’t exactly in the black – 60 percent were unable to say they made a profit this year. In Austin where AGBeat is headquartered, the coworking movement has been popular for several years and subsequently, we have seen a variety of profit models attempted and some have worked, others have shuttered their doors, but the community, like most major metros, remains a popular option over costly, lonely single offices downtown. Upscale coworking is available in major cities while a more college-esque coworking movement with folding tables is popular, and everything in between.
To find coworking in your city, visit DeskWanted.com or LooseCubes.com.
Presentation: coworking works
For now, the fledgling concept benefits coworkers more than the owners of the coworking space, but supporters cite even more reasons to cowork. Below is a presentation from a coworking proponent in the UK, so the stats are all British, but for the most part, they are similar in America:
The BEST report to gain perspective on all sides of the media (bye bias!)
(ENTREPRENEUR) We all want to stay informed, but American media has both obvious bias and hidden agendas. Sign up for these reports to see all sides.
Especially near elections, politically-charged business decisions, and on highly controversial topics, it’s hard to find non-bias media nowadays. Every news site or TV show seems to have a hidden agenda, but this new report aims to show all sides.
Ground News aims to give readers an opportunity to reduce their own media bias by aggregating news from many different sources in a way to showcase stories across the political spectrum. The Blindspot Report identifies news stories from both sides of the arena, helping readers see how bias is impacting the information they receive. This newsletter can give you a different perspective to understand both sides of the issue.
Is media bias even a thing?
Technology may have revolutionized the way we share information, but it has also exacerbated the divide between different views. Americans seem to be more polarized than ever before. It feels as if there isn’t any common ground for civil discourse. Although most Americans are getting better at identifying fake news, media bias often gives us a slanted perspective on the news. Media bias occurs when journalists or producers allow their own opinions to impact the way they report the news. A study out of UCLA found that media bias is real. When you get all your news from one source, you may not be getting the entire picture.
Sign up for the Blindspot Report
We’re all biased, regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum. We want information that supports our morals and ethics. We want someone to confirm what we believe. It’s human nature to want to listen to people who agree with us. Reading alternate sources to get your news isn’t about changing your own point of view. It’s about helping you compare different perspectives to let you think more clearly.
Ground News has three newsletters that help you stay informed. Sign up for the Blindspot Report to see what you’re missing.
Small businesses angry at depletion of COVID-19 relief funds without warning
(ENTREPRENEUR) Small businesses are in shock when they find out COVID-19 relief funds are no longer available, with an email update from the SBA.
In May, the Small Business Administration (SBA) sent out an update to borrowers of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19 relief. The EIDL program is now out of funds, according to an email sent to borrowers.
The loan program formally closed back in December 2021, but there was a period when small businesses who had already received funding could request additional money. That period is now officially over, and the $345 billion that was allotted for COVID-19 relief is gone.
The impact of EIDL
Many owners and entrepreneurs are outraged and frustrated with the lack of transparency from the SBA. There was no warning that the funds were almost depleted and many businesses were relying on that loan money to keep their businesses afloat as the economy rebounds. However, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman praised the program,
“The SBA has delivered historic economic relief to millions of America’s small businesses through the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan program…”
According to an SBA press release, over $390 billion in aid was distributed to nearly 4 million businesses.
Small businesses still need help
In May, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), told health ministers that COVID-19 and its effects are not over. Here in the United States, life seems to be getting back to normal, if you discount the horrific inflation and gas prices, which are further impacting the recovery of small businesses.
Congress has been wrangling with legislation (H.R. 3807) that would offer more funding for those that were hit hard due to covid. Getting the House and Senate to agree on this legislation is expected to be difficult. So, no guarantees that more help is coming.
The SBA recommends that businesses who need more resources contact their local SBA office. Virtual appointments can be made for those who wish to avoid contact.
Regularly update your succession plan – it isn’t for setting and forgetting!
(ENTREPRENEUR) You may think that once you have a succession plan in place, you’re set for life, however, it’s recommended to continually update them!
We’ve written before about how the everlasting success of the business will need to outlive you, and this is best conjured up in a succession plan. This is especially true for small business owners and entrepreneurs that have built an empire for themselves but aren’t sure what the future will hold beyond their passing. This is the exact reason that succession plans shouldn’t be set and forgotten, but instead consistently updated.
What are some of the obvious reasons that you may need to update your succession plan?
- Health Issues
- Marriage or Remarriage
- Changes in health in executors or guardians
- Changes in the law
- Changes in Residence
Now, for the not-so-obvious reason: It should be updated when any personal circumstances changes, which most likely happen often. This is why a will is like your home, an investment that needs to be properly maintained, and if it is, it will last a very long time.
Examples include changes in economic or parental status, as well as designations or fiduciaries. Elders could be aging, siblings may be having their own life changes, as well as if any dependents are born with or develop special needs.
“Every state has different laws regarding the administration of a will,” he said.?“For instance, states vary regarding the required residence of an executor, inheritance tax laws, and whether a child can be disinherited by omission.”
The recommended procedure is to review wills and powers of attorney at least every five years.
Lastly, when should a will update to a trust?
- When you have some significant assets (more than $500,000) in your own name.
- If you have special needs beneficiaries.
- If you have properties in multiple jurisdictions (multiple states or even counties).
- If you have beneficiaries you want to control distributions to (e.g., distribute at ages 25/30/35).
- If you have kids from a previous relationship you want taken care of.
- If you may want asset protection (special trust needed).
- If you are a big dog (over $22M if married), to save taxes.
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