It’s the beginning of a new week and I want to share with you a conference I attended two weeks ago. The WA Rural Pathways to Prosperity Conference was an eye opening experience for me. Presenter Becky McCray, co-author of Small Town Rules: How Big Brands and Small Businesses Can Prosper in a Connected Economy presented a talk on how we as small business owners can help to improve the environment for small business growth. A discussion panel of 3 local organizers and business owners of our community weighed in on their thoughts as to where we are as a community in Wenatchee and what they thought we can do to improve business in this town that we do business in and love.
It was an eye opening experience for all of us who attended. We were given the task of coming up with a project to help strengthen the fabric of our community. I suggested the idea of starting a shared workspace. The concept is not mine. It’s a concept that has taken root and is now very present in many communities. Our presenter mentioned this as a great way to promote small business. It very much resinated with me because as a small business owner (as of now, it’s just Aaron Payne, my husband, and I) we almost have this mindset that it’s just us against the world. This feeling stems from the fact that, like many small start ups, we work from home and are isolated from other people who are in our same position. Day in and day out we wake up and go to work…10ft from our beds. We are constantly surround by our other family duties that are forever piling up; Laundry, dishes, bills, pets, kids, cleaning, raking leaves, weeding the garden, mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow…the list goes on. It doesn’t spawn the best professional environment. On top of this, we are isolated from other professionals. Human interaction is something that is quite often overlooked or faked (Facebook). We are socially dehydrated. Sharing ideas and face to face networking is where good ideas become great and where boundaries or creative walls are broken down.
A shared workspace would provide an economical office environment; A workspace where we could feel professionally at home and feel comfortable meeting with clients. Social/professional connections will be made and the connectivity of our community will strengthen and prosper.
So, Wenatchee, we need to create a co-working office for us home-bound professionals. I’d love to hear your feedback and what you would like to see happen.
Until next time!
P.S. Here are a few links to radio clips and existing co-working situations that have already sprouted up in Washington.
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