According to statistics from Forbes, 34% of the US workforce is now considered freelance, and this is set to rise to 40% by 2020. Freelance numbers have increased by 45% from just under 6.2 million to 8.9 million in 2013, making them the fastest growing group in the EU labour market according to a report called “Future Working: The Rise of Europe’s Independent Professionals”. These numbers prove there is a rise in the new gig economy comprising mostly of creative nomads who work from anywhere and still deliver the job. Nigeria is not left behind, as the number of Nigerians working gigs on sites like Fiverr, Freelancer and Upwork is increasing by the day; there are even Facebook groups dedicated to freelancers in Nigeria!
Coworking spaces are a perfect place for this set of people to thrive and grow their craft. As a freelancer or nomad, you need an environment like a Coworking space where you can increase your efficiency and reduce your costs to the barest minimum.
Here are a few more reasons why you should explore a Coworking space today:
• Association with the right people: Coworking spaces give freelancers the chance to discuss ideas with like-minded people without feeling overwhelmed with work or isolated. There are times when as freelancers, you get jobs which feel bigger than you and you don’t know how to proceed. Coworking spaces provide a network of like-minded individuals who have expertise and competence in different areas. The ecosystem of people, companies and industries is incredibly diverse. Coworking spaces like Venia Business Hub boast of a multinational and expatriate community. You never know who you’ll meet and how you might be able to collaborate. As a freelancer, you need all the networks you can get to improve your offering and coworking spaces have this community. Surrounding yourself with smart, dedicated and hard-working people makes work easier.
• Discounted Resources: There’s no better place than a coworking space to get a good bargain and negotiations from service providers. While you are still figuring out how to get customers, you want to reduce cost and negotiate everything you need. As a freelancer, you may not need accounting or HR but you may need legal services, advisory services and other miscellaneous services like printing, courier services, office messenger, etc. Advisory services are actually an interesting concept because as a freelancer you’re also short on knowledge. At times, you meander through mazes and you’re figuring a lot of things out as you go. Many coworking spaces offer advisory services like the entrepreneur in residence which can help you in tackling complex business challenges. Many coworking spaces have discounted legal services partners, library resources on business, printing services partners and all other office running needs. And one day, when you grow up, you just might concede to your need for accounting services. Coworking spaces are simply a great place to work and a great place to get answers to what you don’t know. Coworking spaces have resources you need and can’t afford in the general marketplace. Get inside a coworking space and make great gains.
• Legitimacy for Your Business: Are you a freelancer, perhaps a digital marketing freelancer and you have clients you have to present to? You want to appear like you are a big-time freelancer who has a proper work space in the choicest of locations like Lekki, Victoria Island, etc.? Not only does Coworking allow you access to conference rooms with appropriate facilities to engage your clients, it also helps you make a good professional impression, which makes pitching much easier. Not having somewhere professional to take clients or prospective investors would be the business equivalent of not wearing appropriate attire to a job interview. In a place like Nigeria where dressing the part is quite important, having a professional workspace on your business card, having a space to host clients and hold meetings gives you that impression and proper brand fit to engage potential clients.
What's your experience as a freelancer? Please share them with us.
If you’ve registered, you should attend Nigeria’s first Coworking Conference where you will meet up with Industry players, other entrepreneurs who have successfully grown their business through coworking, got funds to scale through coworking and innovators, technologists, investors and governmental agencies.
The conference is set to hold on 27th of July, 2017 at IMAX Theatre, Filmhouse, Lekki Phase 1 from 9 am to 4 pm. To get updates visit www.coworkingng.co
You can also join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by following the handle @CoworkingNG and the hashtag #CoworkNG. See you there!