Better started as a dream to find the excellent humans in Johannesburg and share a creative space with them. We succeeded. The people who crossed Better’s threshold have been consistently high-quality people who have confirmed our belief in humans. Andrew even met the love of his life!
BUT (you knew this was coming, didn’t you) we have not been able to figure out how to make Better sustainable. So we have taken a decision to close Better on the 15th December 2017. Perhaps co-working is just not a hot enough thing in Joburg yet? Perhaps we were just bad at marketing? Better seems to be a hit as an event space, but that’s not what we want to run.
One of the good side-effects of our closing is that those of you who have been Better members will forever be part of an exclusive club. Few will be able to brag that they were once members of Better! So if you want these bragging rights you have only 15 days left to sign up and be able to tell your grandchildren that you were part of our brave experiment in finding excellent humans. Don’t miss out. (We will be signing up members until the 15th November.)
We have a great program of events lined up for November and December. Watch out for Slow Scholarship Week, the Vintage Market, the Saxonwold Shebeen, our Freelancer Year-End Party and the Great Better Auction. There will be a closing down party in December and we hope that you will come along and celebrate our year of Better with us.
We are sad, but also relieved to be rid of the financial worries and looking forward to lots of fun between now and the end. Do come and be part of it.
For next year, we hope to find new and interesting ways to stay in touch with the Better community and keep meeting, sharing and creating together. Ideas on this front are welcome.
Lots of love,
Judy and Andrew
So your little business is growing. Your income is looking steady. You have a few reliable clients and more on the horizon. There is work to be done. If the noise of the milk frothing is starting to irritate you, and the friendly waitress is a less welcome interruption than she used to be, you may be outgrowing the coffee shop.
Perhaps it is time to graduate to a co-working space?
Like any business decision there will be costs and benefits and you need to weigh these up. Yes, a co-working space is going to cost you something. Most spaces have a range of packages to choose from. You can pay for a day, week or month, or longer. Shop around and find a package that suits you. To decide what the space is worth to your business, you need to think through the benefits you may get, what they are worth and whether they matter to you.
Here are some to consider:
- At a personal level working in a shared space can be less lonely, but you will be interacting with others. If that makes you self-conscious or uncomfortable, it may not work for you.
- If the space offers a community (and not just office space) you get to make new friends, chat over coffee, have a drink of an evening, and celebrate successes with a set of colleagues that are walking a similar path to you – like when you worked in corporate, but with a more diverse set of interests and knowledge.
- You get to meet other freelancers and small business owners so you can learn, share contacts, discuss challenges. The kind of network that the co-working space provides can lead you to new clients, new opportunities and new knowledge.
- A co-working space can improve your work habits. You won’t be around to hang the next load of washing, serve tea to your sister when she calls or accept that Takealot delivery. But that could be a good thing because you will be able to focus and your sister will finally learn that you do real work. As for Takealot, you could have your package delivered to your new co-work space instead.
- A space more conducive to work is likely to increase your productivity. Work faster and get home sooner, or up your rate of output and build your business. Either way the additional cost may be worth it.
- And don’t forget that the cost of a co-working space is tax deductible as a business expense (easier to do this with an invoice for the use of the space, than trying to claim all those coffees).
But after all the careful weighing, the acid test will be whether a co-working space makes you feel inspired, happy and heading towards your dreams.
Co-working spaces are very different, from sleek and professional to cottagey and homely. Most will offer desk space, Wi-Fi and refreshments. Some will offer tools and equipment, meeting rooms, quiet spaces and places to mingle. Some actively build a community with events for learning and socialising. Try more than one to find a space that matches your business and your own style.
It’s time to take your business to the next level. Get out of the coffee shop and try a co-working space.
If you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur, freelancer, crafter, artist or author struggling to work out how this whole Facebook for business thing works, Better are hosting an informal workshop that is perfect for you, run by Content Writer and Social Media Manager, Tracey Walker.
Learn how to set up and effectively manage a business Facebook Page that nurtures your business or product with content that builds a loyal community of clients and customers. With 1.86 billion active monthly Facebook users, the potential to find people who need just what you are offering is endless, just as long as you can get them to listen to you.
As marketing expert Seth Godin remarked “marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories you tell”. And Facebook is where everyone is talking and more importantly, listening.
So come along to Better for a morning on Thursday 21st September from 9:30 until 12:30. You’ll get coffee, tea and a workbook with all the information we discuss as well as a monthly content template to help you get started. (Free stuff, yes!) The workshop costs R550 and members of Better pay R450.
Space is limited to 10 people, so please book your place now. E-mail Tracey at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 083 424 7749 for information. Contact Candy on email@example.com or 011 327 6098 to book.