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Co-Working Spaces and Their Role In Boosting Creativity For Small Businesses

As shown at the Global Coworking Unconference Conference forecast, by 2022 there will be 30,432 spaces and 5.1 million paid co-working members worldwide. The market shows an average annual growth rate of 24.2 percent since 2007, and is less a way of working now than a way of life. At the same time, the self-employed knowledge worker sector is growing too, bringing with it the need for hubs to provide social interaction, alternative locations than the cramped office desk or coffee shop, and clusters of interaction for connectivity.

It’s really easy to see that for startups and small businesses, the co-working solution ticks all the boxes of flexible, affordable space, and a creative hub to foster new ideas and new business.

According to Deskmag’s annual Global Coworking Survey, 71 percent of participants reported a boost in creativity since joining a co-working space, while 62 percent said their standard of work had improved. The study also found that half of all co-workers access their work space around the clock–with only 30 percent preferring to work during normal business hours. “The future of work should not be dictated by space or place, but by the individual and the tasks that he or she has to deliver,” Regus CEO Mark Dixon told Fast Company.

Moreover, an overwhelming majority (90 percent) of co-workers said they got a self-confidence boost, likely due to the fact that many spaces are filled with supportive communities that enable creative collaboration.

There is no doubt that co-working office spaces are the future of the business world. Having the option to consult with and share ideas with other like minded business owners and freelancers gives you the chance to bring different ideas and opinions into how you do your work and could expand your business more than you ever dreamed. At the same time, networking is made possible like never before. There is no better way to expand your inner circle than to be working closely with hardworking, determined individuals who all desire a common goal. Collaborations with future employees may take your business to a level you never thought possible.

The co-working model also generates a creative economy made up of individuals who not only need an inexpensive way to operate, but need a consistent flow of new people, new ideas, and new opportunities. Without this type of engagement, creatives are forced to seek employment elsewhere, such as with a corporation, and this limits their ability to engage with other local businesses that could benefit from top-tier talent on a small-business scale. But being together in the same place can translate in beautiful-shared ideas and new concepts coming to life. And,why not, new business opportunities.

Local business like restaurants,coffee shops, galleries, can also benefit from co-working spaces through direct programming, partnerships, and access to pools of available, independent contractors in industries like interior design or legal services.

Working amidst people doing different kinds of work can also make one’s own work identity stronger. Our respondents were given the opportunity to frequently describe what they do, which can make what they do seem more interesting and distinctive. (….) the variety of workers in the space means that co-workers have unique skill sets that they can provide to other community members.- hbr.org.

All You Need To Know About Waze For Small Businesses

all-you-need-to-know-about-waze-small-businesses

After having been in beta testing since 2016, Waze Local was recently launched and is is offering small businesses a way to market themselves to consumers  on the road.

Since Waze is a digital app, you will know exactly how many potential customers engaged with your ads. You can target drivers who are on the go near your business location with a meaningful local ad experience.

What it offers more? Branded pins, promoted search (your locations will be promoted to the top of search results and include your brand logo) and zero-speed takeover (a digital billboard. It is shown when drivers are at a complete stop).

And advertisers can see real-time data on how their campaigns are performing. Waze will charge for ads on a CPM basis, and businesses running the most basic campaigns could pay as little as $2 per day.

“If you’re worried about the app getting overrun with ads, it’s worth remembering that Waze was already offering these formats to larger advertisers. So you may just see more ads now, and more of them are likely come from local businesses. During the beta test, Waze Local ended up driving an average 20 percent increase in navigations to the businesses buying ads. One of the early advertisers was Kung Fu Tea, which saw more than 5,500 drivers navigating via Waze Local to 16 Kung Fu Tea locations over a three-month period,” wrote Anthony Ha for TechCrunch.

Using WhatsApp for business – the new important trend?

WhatsApp has become one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, with 1 billion daily users. Besides being a phenomenon in the people’s private lives, the app is taking control in the work side of the story, businessmen and women using it more and more in their everyday business activities.

A reality that is seen also by the app’s owners that are getting ready to start capitalizing more on its success. According to Tech Crunch, WhatsApp is gearing up to finally monetize its messaging app by charging large enterprise businesses for tools to better communicate with customers. WhatsApp will also offer a free app to small-to-medium sized businesses, though it hasn’t outlined the specific functionality of the app. The enterprise solution will allow global companies “to provide customers with useful notifications like flight times, delivery confirmations, and other updates”.

Moreover, recently, WhatsApp began testing verified accounts for businesses. “Conversations with businesses are encrypted and they can be blocked. Interestingly, if a business isn’t already in your phone number contacts, its name will appear as whatever they register themselves as instead of their number. This could allow WhatsApp to create a business search engine with optional sponsored results, or let businesses cold-message people, possibly for a fee,” wrote Josh Constine for Tech Crunch. More on the subject one can read here.

As the interest towards the app’s use for business is constantly growing, we are offering you some tips on how to maximize the app’s features on the professional life as well.

  1. Look at its importance in Customer Communication
  2. According to ProfitBooks, following up on WhatsApp instead of direct calling on the phone calls will help you get a 40% higher response rate. “No one appreciates phone calls from unknown numbers, but we are more likely to respond to personal messages. When we start using WhatsApp for customer communication, we noticed better response and engagement. This also gives an opportunity to be little informal. For example, you have sent a quotation to your potential customer but haven’t heard from him, what do you do? You either call him or send a followup mail using formal language. Instead of doing this, if you just send a short message on WhatsApp asking about the status, you might get a quick response,”writes the website.

    2. A great tool for Marketing, Promotion and Customer Support

    WhatsApp could be a great tool for customer support simple because of its wider reach. Your customers would always prefer to send you a message over WhatsApp rather than calling a helpdesk number or talking to a robot.

    Moreover, WhatsApp can prove to be a very strong marketing tool. It is a good one-to-one platform for direct communication, making it easy to send and receive any type of content (images, audio files, short video clips, etc), really fast, to users all over the world. Unlike SMS or Email, there are less restriction on the format and delivery chances are higher.

    This doesn’t mean that you should spam your customers with WhatsApp messages. Ideally you should use WhatsApp to connect with existing loyal customers rather than trying to reach new users.

    3. A place for using your creativity

    Technology and digital are helping businesses become more creative, offering them the possibility to innovate and surprise their target on a regular basis. WhatsApp, like any fresh and hot app, makes sure it gives its users the chance to grow their business in a cost effective manner, all one has to do is be up to date with its technical features and try and see things from a different perspective. One can get inspired from here.

    4. Great for Market Surveys

    Whatsapp is a great interactive tool for getting real-time suggestions and feedback from your customers about your products and services, through brief and concise questions relating to the areas of your business or service you need information on.

    5. Amazing for Internal Communications purposes

    One of the greatest things about WhatApp is that is easy to use and understood by all types of target, almost everyone uses it. At the same time, as pointed out by vanguardngr.com, you don’t need to explicitly ask your employees or team members to check the app, because chances are they’re already hooked to it. “You can form WhatsApp group for different teams in your business, for example you can form a WhatsApp group for the Business Strategy team, another for the Sales and Development team etc. Your team can share ideas, instant messages, images, audio files, video clips and other media among themselves in a quick and fun way. You also don’t need to be too afraid of the information shared on the these groups getting out, because Whatsapp messages are protected with an end-to-end encryption that not only makes it one of the safest messaging apps in existence, but also adequately protects your data from leaks,” adds vanguardngr.com.

    More pieces of information and ideas you can also read here.

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