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What is Coworking?
Did you know that the concept of coworking has been around for a few decades, it just wasn't until recently that it was specifically named coworking.
Coworking = Shared Space (office, desk, event, etc)
Do I have to share a private office with a person at the same time? No, absolutely not. Sharing doesn't mean at the same time, instead it means that several people take turns using a space and the cost of running the space is spread out across many memberships instead being paid by just one or a few people.
Do I have to still pay for utilities? Everything is included in a coworking office membership except for add ons like an upgrade in furniture, extra storage, or if you request something above and beyond the standard membership.
So, who owns the lease of the office unit if many businesses share the same location? Unlike sub-leasing, coworking is different because the coworking company has a direct relationship with the landlord and manages the space, furniture, fixtures, utilities, benefits, and general access to the overall community. It is all of these things that are covered in a member's membership fees.
Why would a landlord want to work with a coworking company? Often times a commercial real estate company will have a larger office space that doesn't quickly move. A coworking company can use this space for their community and several businesses versus the real estate company waiting for one corporate company.
Why wouldn't real estate companies want to offer coworking themselves? It is a lot of work, coordination, and dealing with all types of people. It is easier for real estate companies to let the coworking companies handle the smaller businesses who wouldn't likely be their clients until their companies grew. It is a good idea for real estate companies to work with coworking companies as referral partners so they can catch members as they out grow coworking and need a bigger space.
Our CEO, Jenna has a background in software implementations and often would work from home away from the office to get work done. Can you relate to this? Sometimes being in the office can be more distracting and less productive. However, working from home is not always the best solution as Jenna found out on two life changing moments.
A product demo was scheduled for mid morning with a big prospect company. Jenna had the demo all put together, had done a few dry runs, even got on a call prior with the sales rep, but then her son got sick and needed to stay home. Jenna did all of her demos from home so people could hear her. She was blessed with a soft voice and working in cube nation, the background noise would drown her out.
So, let's draw a picture in our minds for a moment. A laptop on a desk in the living room all set up for a demo, a sick kid upstairs, and a demo starting with this big prospect company. Jenna drew all of the blinds closed as to deter the dogs from barking, a standard practice, sent the big dogs outside during the meeting, and made sure her son had plenty to do for the next hour.
The call starts, introductions are made, the sales person starts with his intro, and then it is show time. As Jenna starts the demo and has set up a scenario, it happens. A blood curdling scream echoes down the stairs. Not sure what to do at this point, Jenna keeps going in a the show must go on fashion, although, she is now stumbling over her words because clearly, what is going on. There are additional sounds, scary sounds that she couldn't put into words, so she calmly said, "I deeply apologize my son is home today and it sounds like something has happened to him. If you could give me a minute I'll be right back."
Turns out her son has dropped a piece of poop on the floor in the bathroom and is grossed out. As she quickly helps him, she can hear the callers getting frustrated. Now with everything straightened away she continues on with the demo. One-fourth into the demo her son comes down the stairs and throws up all over the living room floor. Needless to say everyone on the phone heard the event and left the call.
It was not a highlight of Jenna's demo career but it highlights why working from home can be challenging.
Jenna was meeting with another big client who she worked with regularly. Jenna has a dog named Morgan and Morgan likes to bark in order for Jenna to give her dog treats. Morgan has Jenna trained. Every time Jenna gets on the phone Morgan barks, it is like clockwork. This was an important call, so Jenna decides to put Morgan outside. She goes to put Morgan outside, but of course Morgan sneaks back in. So Jenna, puts Morgan down farther away from the door and quickly shuts the door. Looking outside, she sees Morgan and the phone. Morgan steps on the phone and hangs up on the client.
When Jenna decided to leave working with software and go into coaching, she knew she would need an office space because of the struggles she had in Moments 1 and 2. She began searching for all kinds of office solutions. In 2017, she came across an ad on Craigslist of someone looking to sell the Westford Center for Counseling and Holistic Practitioners. She didn't even pause to think, she just emailed. In looking into the business, she quickly saw that what really existed was a coworking space and although many of the businesses were wellness focused, there were some businesses that would be considered more traditional. When it comes right down to it therapy, reiki, and other wellness practices are businesses, in fact, they are service based businesses. The mission of the original business was to help the businesses but since everyone did very similar things it was hard to cross promote and grow. So why are we open and inclusive to all service based businesses, professionals, educators, and the like? Because diversity brings in greater opportunity for everyone and in the end that is what helps everyone grow and thrive with their businesses.
We started off using our Legal Business Operating Name of Vita Therapia LLC, which means Life Therapy in Italian. Jenna's husband's family is Italian. It stands for the balance between life and work and how the act of working should be more therapeutic by nature in that you are following your passion, you are being of service, and you are putting good out there into the world.
However, we realize this name makes people think we only work with therapists which isn't true. So, we do business as CoWorks @ Vita Therapia.
If you happened to fill out one of our name surveys, thank you. Well over 100 people gave us feedback and one thing rang true. Everyone liked the name CoWork and our members didn't really want to give up Vita Therapia, so we have a happy medium of both.
To provide space to active, thriving businesses and professionals in our local communities that promotes an inclusive, supportive environment for members and guests.
We strive to grow a large active consortium of members who use our space in a number of different ways that benefits the overall surrounding communities in which we live.
We work towards always improving and updating the way we work to meet the needs of those we serve.
We incorporate education, compassion, and patience into our interactions and with our business solutions.
We seek to build relationships first and this is why we will always suggest a tour so you can get to know us.
To grow and diversify our members and programs.
Incorporate small business and corporate sponsorships.
Invite more speaking opportunities and lunch and learns for local businesses.
Collaborate with other local businesses in programming, networking, and service options.
Once large enough, start a small business incubator program for service based businesses, who might not always have access to capital from banks or credit unions.
There is nothing I am more passionate about than helping other businesses be successful.