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You can read “How to Succeed in Business” books all you want, but most entrepreneurs and small business owners will tell you long-term success means getting a lot of help early.
That help typically comes in the form of other small shops looking for mutually beneficial relationships.
Of course, cheap rent helps too.
A startup called LeadSpace Patchogue will be providing both — cheap rent and networking opportunities — for local startups through a concept popular in urban areas known as co-working.
The first installment of LeadSpace New York is already well underway at 475 East Main Street in East Patchogue, not too far from the downtown area.
The space is large enough for about 20 desks, as well as a conference table and commons/lounge area for coffee and water, said LeadSpace New York founder William Swiatkowski.
Call or visit leadspace.co for more information and/or to apply for space.
“The co-working model has been around for a few years already, mostly in major cities and technology communities,” Swiatkowski said. “What has been completely overlooked is the local business and suburban entrepreneur, and what their needs are to get started.”
Swiatkowski, who lives in Rocky Point and is a Westhampton native, has been in the signage and graphic design fields for most of his adult life, presently as a consultant. He’s currently working on large building projects in New York City and Miami, among others.
His idea for LeadSpace arose out of what he perceived to be a real need at the local level. He’s also developed a passion over the years for helping friends and others get started in business.
“I love this model because it helps people free themselves from their jobs to start their dream business, or any type of business,” he said. “I think that’s a tremendous give-back at the local level, because you’re not only supporting a business but you’re helping the local economy grow as well. It’s a tremendous boost.”
Through LeadSpace, members/renters won’t just get the benefit of working away from their homes and alongside other creative people. They’ll also have easy access to professional services.
“I want to create such a mix here so that, for people who want to join the community, there’s lawyers available for whatever their needs are,” he said. “Or there’s a marketing team, or teams of people from all different industries on hand to help one business get going.”
To that end, the desks at LeadSpace might not just be taken up by small startups. Even existing companies looking for a satellite location — and/or some proximity to local, emerging businesses — might take spaces in Patchogue.
Outside companies will also be invited in for free workshops.
The suite on the second floor at 475 East Main is only the beginning, Swiatkowski said. He’s already in talks to lease a larger suite elsewhere in the building for Leadspace businesses that outgrow the one-desk model.
“The new suite will have private offices. We will be looking to start renovations there within the next month and a half,” he said, adding that one of his goals is to expand an ever-growing LeadSpace business community across Long Island.
“We’ll always be able to find ways of working together and growing, and making more money and more people happy,” he said. “That’s the ultimate goal of what we’re looking to do.”
Swiatkowski said getting the ball rolling in Patchogue was a no-brainer.
“It’s growing,” he said. “There’s so much potential here now with the revitalization and everything that’s coming downtown and to Route 112. I think LeadSpace can play a huge role in helping current business owners stay educated by interacting and offering up various services to help them.”
To be sure, his dream for all these fledgling companies is that they outgrow LeadSpace.
“Then, hopefully we can help fill some of the empty buildings on Main Street,” he said.
Photo: Bill Swiatkowski in the lounge area at Leadspace Patchogue. (Credit: Michael White)