As at March 2017, there were 363,235 SMEs in Scotland: officially. (That’s small or medium-sized enterprises employing up to 10 people). Together, they account for 40% of Scotland’s private sector turnover.
If you’re among these largely unsung heroes of the Scottish economy, chances are you often work from home.
But whether you’re a start-up looking to keep commitments and costs to a minimum, while you prove your concept, or a mobile worker or freelancer, The Working Space could offer you the perfect environment in which to flourish.
Equipped with high speed broadband, networked printer and scanner, 20 desks, free coffee and even free all-day parking, it offers the perfect solution to keep you connected to colleagues, customers and a community of like-minded business owners.
Launched in March 2018, the 1,100ft2 coworking space is situated in the Inveralmond Business Centre, just minutes from the A9, and is quickly proving to be a hit among the 6,000 plus businesses registered in Perth and Kinross.
“We’ve not had a single negative comment since opening,” says Ross Calderwood, the Perth businessman behind the new venture.
“Perth is a central hub: within an hour’s drive you can reach more than half of Scotland’s population. So the concept is attractive, whether you’re just looking to escape the kitchen table – or find a mutually convenient base to meet a client from Inverness, or a colleague from Aberdeen. We are a hub that encourages you to connect; whether that’s face-to-face or digitally!”
(In actual fact, a professional video-conferencing suite is also available on site, for an additional charge: so if you need global connectivity for a larger group… this is the working space for you.)
Ross is a local business owner himself, providing digital consultancy. After being inspired with the idea before Christmas – “having spent too much time last year in coffee shops” – he has wasted no time in turning his new idea into reality.
“There’s no doubt that coworking is becoming more and more popular among freelancers, entrepreneurs and start-ups and what we offer is that flexible, modern, alternative to the traditional office. One regular client uses us whenever he has a presentation to prepare; several prefer to share our contemporary space, rather than try to squeeze everyone into one person’s home; another called on us when her car had to be kept at the garage for an unplanned full-day repair. We enabled her to work on seamlessly, before continuing on her journey.”
Since opening, Ross has run one networking event on site, with another planned in June; helping to reach out to potential clients and support existing ones. “Business accelerators provide this type of office space, but just for those on each programme; and the new Famous Grouse Ideas Centre will provide creative businesses with studio space when it opens in 2019. However, Perthshire has a huge number of well-established SME businesses, which up to now had no access to local coworking space,” says Ross.
“What we offer is that inspiring networking space – but open to everyone.
Interest is high and demand is growing week-by-week. “There is no minimum contract: join us for a day, a week, or month-to-month to suit your needs.
“You can just book online, day-to-day, or arrange to call in and see the facilities for yourself. We’ve had a great reaction from everyone, including the Perth and Dundee Chambers, Invest in Perth and other business organisations. We’re open Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm, and if you have any special requirements, just check the FAQ on our website, or ask: we always try to be flexible.
“This is a unique facility in Perth and we know people are finding The Working Space an inspiring option to help their business grow.”