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Innovative workspaces for the modern startup

So, you’ve started a business and you’re looking for the ideal space to run it from. But it’s not as easy as it sounds, and we understand how tricky it can actually be to find the perfect place.

Sure, it may be convenient to work from home. But even working from home can be outgrown by the savviest business owners and their successful businesses.

Once business starts booming, there is often a need to employ more staff and have access to more space for trade specific operations. The good news is that finding an unflawed space no longer requires a trip to the real estate agent.

While the practicalities of certain businesses mean that there are specific council zoning requirements – particularly for agriculture and heavy industries – there are plenty of innovative new options for entrepreneurs looking to save money, build their network and collaborate with other businesses.

At CGU, it’s our ambition to help you live yours. That’s why, to help you ground your roots into your very own headquarters, we’ve listed a quick guide to modern workspaces.

1. Co-working spaces

WeWorkand Wotso are just two examples of co-working brands with locations springing up across the country. This trend is not restricted to cities either. The coastal town of Port Stephens welcomed Spark CoWork in the past year and Alice Springs launched Sandbox, a multipurpose venue for workshops, exhibitions, film screenings, meetings and performances.

The advantages of co-working spaces, beyond saving money on overheads like meeting rooms, printers, WiFi, and kitchen facilities, are that businesses automatically become part of a network.

By working alongside other SMEs, startups and entrepreneurs, business owners can collaborate by sharing ideas, contacts and information. Some co-working spaces even host expert talks, workshops and networking drinks for tenants to help build and educate their communities.

2. Shared use spaces

While shared use spaces are not exclusively co-working spaces, there are lots of shared use spaces cropping up. One example of this is Two Space; co-working space by day and restaurant, bar or venue by night. Founded by Sydney entrepreneur Tashi Dorjee, Two Space not only provides an affordable co-working space option, it also helps venue operators make extra money by activating spaces that aren’t being used.

3. On-demand storage

Did you know that there are storage facilities that will drop off storage boxes, come and pick them up from you when they’re packed, store them securely, and then return them to you when you need them back? Companies like Yoyo Box and Smart Box 2 U provide this service so if you need storage for your documents, excess product inventory or seasonal items, this is a handy option.

4. Startup hubs

State Governments around Australia are investing in startup hubs designed to foster the innovation economy by housing business incubators and accelerators. Sydney has launched Sydney Startup Hub, an innovation centre that houses a fintech incubator called Stone&Chalk, a new media production house called The Studio, co-working spaces, and a number of corporate incubators for Microsoft, Caltex and Optus.

5. Hotel lobbies

Smart hoteliers are realising the benefits of activating their lobby spaces with cafes and bars offering free WiFi, community events and work spaces. Ovolo Hotels is leading the pack with its freebies program that includes a social happy hour, super speedy WiFi, free laundry, snacks, breakfast and mini bar goodies for guest when they book directly online.

When it comes to insurance protection in co-working spaces, most owners generally have business and liability insurance policies as required by the terms of their lease, especially if they don’t directly own the property.

However, items that aren’t provided by the workspace – such as personal laptops and electronics, valuable business and customer data, products that remain in the office, and any items that are purchased to personalise your office space – are rarely covered by the coworking space.

In the event of an accident, theft, or natural disaster, a tailored small business insurance policy can be a valuable safety net when all else fails. You’ve most likely put your blood, sweat and tears into building your small business, so it’s important to consider exactly which types of cover you need to protect your livelihood.

CGU provides a range of tailored small business insurance policies designed specifically for your industry, and it’s easy to find out how much cover you’ll need. Simply visit CGU to get a quick business insurance quote online or talk to one of our helpful insurance specialists on 13 24 81.

Keep in mind, finding the right space for your business doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. Just be sure to do your research, ask questions, and tick all the boxes to suit your business needs.