Flexible Working – The New Franchise Frontier In South Africa
Flexible working, sometimes known as coworking, refers to office space, meeting rooms and co-working areas that can be rented by individual workers or corporates from one hour to several years. For the first time, South Africans can now partner with global flexible workspace provider IWG plc, at the beginning of the growth explosion of the serviced office franchise market.
Forbes estimates annual growth of the co-working industry to be at 24%. By 2020, 50% of all workers will be remote most of the time and in 2022, the global mobile workforce will be 1.87 billion people. All those flexible workers need somewhere to work. Therefore, nearly every country in the world will one day have flexible workspaces in most of their major cities.
A recent IWG study of 15, 000 business leaders in 80 countries why flexible workspace has become such a critical
component of working life. The survey revealed that:
- 89% believe flexible working helps their business grow and optimise costs
- 87% believe it helps their business stay competitive
- 83% believe it helps their business maximise profits
- 82% believe it helps them create a presence in new markets
- 80% stated that enabling their company’s employees to work from anywhere helped them recruit and retain top talent
Interestingly the same survey has been running for ten years, and the positive responses have jumped up by 10-20% in the past two years. In other words, soon every business could be using flexible working to boost their performance, and every business needs great flexible workspace to do it.
The IWG franchise model presents an opportunity to diversify away from traditional franchise industries, and benefit from strong cash returns and significant returns on investment. For the first time landlords, multi-franchise operators, REIT’s and high net-worth individuals can enter this exciting industry in partnership with Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace and part of IWG.
Although a flexible office space franchise model will require more investment outlay than your local take-away franchise, Alan van der Westhuizen, Head of Partnership Growth, South Africa for IWG, suggests, “We are the number one workspace and coworking provider in the world and the next phase of IWG’s growth strategy will be driven through franchising. You are buying into a highly cost-effective, cash-generative franchise business model with impressive ROI, as well as lead generation by a global salesforce of 2,500 people.”
Regus has been running successful workspaces in South Africa for almost 20 years (30 years worldwide). It is present in almost 3, 400 locations, 120 countries and 1, 100 towns and cities, and now wants to accelerate its global growth with franchise partners worldwide.
So, how can franchisees work with us to ensure that they are doing everything they can to reap the rewards of the workspace revolution? Successful franchising means developing flexible workspace options that provide customers with choice while maintaining quality and consistency – allowing customers to have the same experience no matter where they are globally.
The perfect franchise partners are multi-unit business owners with the skills and financial capability to develop their locations across South Africa. Franchisees would be expected to open approximately 5 centres in a geographical cluster over a 3-year development period.
Alan says, “Regus understands the market and we understand our customers’ needs. We have developed our business model through many economic cycles. Our operating model is proven, demonstrably successful and can provide our partners with a highly attractive return. Early adopters will have first pick of the growth opportunities.”
For more info, go to: https://franchise.iwgplc.com/