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The impressive rise of coworking – study shows how it improves business

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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:

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

Business Entrepreneur

Is this normal (you wonder about your business)?

(ENTREPRENEURIALISM) It can be lonely not being able to openly ask potentially embarrassing questions about your business – there’s a way to do it anonymously…

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Entrepreneurialism is wildly rewarding – you are fully in control of the direction of your company, and you’re solving the world’s problems. But it’s also isolating when you’re not sure if what you’re experiencing is normal.

Sure, there’s Google, news networks (like ours), and professional connections to help you navigate, but sometimes you just want to know if something simple you’re seeing is normal.

Is Instagram Stories really where it’s at? Probably not if you’re a consultant.

Is it normal for an employee to attempt to re-negotiate their salary on their first day? Nope, but how do you keep the desirable employee without being bullied into new terms?

Do all entrepreneurs spend their first year in business as exhausted as a new parent? Sometimes.

You have questions, and together, we can share our experiences.

We have a brand new Facebook Group that is already wildly engaging, active, and you’d be amazed at how selflessly helpful people are – and we invite you to be one of them.

Want to anonymously ask a question about something you’re unsure is normal or not?

Click here to submit your question, and we’ll select as many as possible to discuss in the Facebook Group!

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Business Entrepreneur

Amazon on a collision course with politicians as they strengthen their monopoly

(BUSINESS) E-commerce has come a long way in the last decade, specifically led by Amazon, but are their controlling ways putting them on a collision course with regulators?

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amazon

In March, Amazon stopped replenishing weekly purchase orders for tens of thousands of vendors in a move that has stirred up some trouble. The tech giant has once flexed its power over first-party sellers over their platform. And it’s not the first time.

Amazon originally sent out to vendors as an automated message citing the hold up in orders as a technical glitch. The following day, vendors were told the change was permanent. The affected vendors were categorized as making $10 million or less in sales volume per year and not having managers at Amazon. Vendors selling specialized goods that were difficult to ship were also a factor.

The effects can have remarkable effects on the market as Amazon’s algorithms decide who is able to sell what to whom via their near-ubiquitous platform. According to John Ghiorso, the CEO of Orca Pacific, an Amazon agency for consultation and manufacturers representatives, the decision is driven by financial data such as total revenue, profitability, and catalog size.

In a response from an Amazon spokesperson, the change was made in order to improve value, convenience, and selection for customers. The mass termination of purchase orders and the delayed response from Amazon herald the transition to the One Vendor system, putting vendors in an exclusive relationship with Amazon. This system will merge the current Seller Central and Vendor Central.

Amazon’s message is loud and clear: they will do what’s in their best interest to mitigate the market for their convenience. One may be reminded of the anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft in 2001.

The lack of warning didn’t do them any favors either.

While smaller businesses need to change for Amazon’s program, first-party business will revolve around larger brands like Nike with whom Amazon is maintaining a relationship.

Despite the streamlined platform Amazon is going for, the company wields power over vendors and customers alike. Capitalism is one thing, but monopolies are a whole other ball game, and politicians are finally paying attention.

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Business Entrepreneur

Culture Codes is the guide you need for company culture questions

(BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR) One of the biggest sellers of a company to a prospective employee or customer is their culture. Culture Codes has compiled some the biggest companies cultures in convenient decks for you to study and align with.

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culture codes

Organizational culture is a hot button of conversation. While a variety of definitions exist, one way of defining Culture is the way businesses exist – a summary of values, rituals, and organizational mythology that helps employees make sense of the organization they work in.

Organizational cultures are often reflected in Mission, Vision, and Value statements of organizations.

What many entrepreneurs or new organization struggle with as well, is how to create a culture from the ground up. What kinds of statements and values do they advocate? What are areas of focus? Who are our competitors and what can we do to create a service, product, or quality advantage?

Building a strong culture can be challenging, but a good place to start is looking at the best cultures around.

A new resource by Tettra, Culture Codes, has everything you could want to know on different companies their cultures available for you to study up.

Over 40 companies employing over 280,000 employees have created culture decks and collected core values and mission statements. Companies like Spotify, Netflix, LinkedIn, and NASA have all contributed information.

This information is great for young companies or entrepreneurs to start building a schema about what kind of culture they want to create.

Or existing established companies can look towards peers and competitors and help decide what statements they want to engage culture change on.

For job seekers, Tettra can help potential employees gauge if they are a fit for an organization, or discover that maybe an organization they dream about working for has a culture they may not jive with. And perhaps most valuably, transparently showing off your culture and allowing it to be compared means that organizations can better compete in the talent market.

Recruiters should be obsessed with talking about culture – because it keeps people in the door.

The reasons why people leave employment: work/ life balance, poor treatment, lack of training, or relationship issues with a supervisor or boss; in many ways are a by-product of organizational culture. If you want to compete in the talent market, make culture a selling point and show it off in everything you do.

Even consumer’s benefit from learning about an organization’s culture – values that indicate a commitment to excellence in ethics make consumers feel good about supporting an organization.

It pays to have a good culture. I encourage you to head over to tetra.co/culture-codes and see how companies like Etsy are keeping it real, every day.

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