The flexible workspace provider teams up with its first national franchise partner to expand its brands into midsize German cities
IWG – the world’s leader of flexible workspaces and coworking – has signed its first franchise deal in Germany in partnership with Planet9 Investments.
The partnership will help IWG to expand rapidly into midsized German cities – including Augsburg, Regensburg, Ingolstadt and Ulm/Neu-Ulm – where demand for flexible office space among local businesses is increasing. Over the next four years, Planet9 will launch and operate eight flexspace locations in Germany under IWG’s Regus brand.
“The sharing economy and flexible workplace solutions are important societal trends that open up enormous growth opportunities, and this fascinates me as an investor and entrepreneur,” says Dr Ralph Altenburger from Planet9 Investments. “Regus, as the market leader, offers an excellent basis for me in this area, with a strong brand, professional infrastructure and a worldwide network.”
He adds: “I have been looking for a suitable franchise concept for more than a year and have been enthusiastic since the first contact with Regus and the team.”
For multi-brand franchisees looking to diversify their portfolio, flexible workspaces are an exciting investment prospect. While medium-sized cities are often already saturated with coffee shops, restaurants and gyms, there is a gap in demand for high-quality flexible office space to serve local businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs.
Globally, the flexspace industry is booming – commercial real-estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle forecasts that, by 2030, 30% of all corporate real estate will be flexible office space. This is driven by the fact that the international workforce is embracing a more flexible way of working: according to IWG’s 2019 Global Workspace Survey, half the world’s employees now work outside of their main office location for at least half of the working week.
As an investment, flexspace is a tried and tested business model, promising low staffing requirements and strong customer retention rates. Thanks to the contract-based nature of flexible office services, fewer recurring customers are required for generating a healthy profit (compared to, for example, dining outlets).
IWG has more than 30 years of experience of launching and running flexspace all over the world, and an array of established flexible office and coworking brands under its belt to match different demographics and local business needs.
It currently operates nearly 130 locations in Germany under its Regus and Spaces brands. Previously, it has focused on major cities, where up to 70 new locations will launch over the next few years.
Now, IWG wants to pursue opportunities in German medium-sized cities by finding likeminded local franchise partners. Currently, the company is in negotiations with potential partners in Hesse, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, with a view to expand across Bavaria in Rosenheim, Passau and Wurzburg.
“The franchise concept offers our partners the unique opportunity to make an attractive, high-yield investment with the know-how of the market leader and their local expertise,” says Marco Wild, IWG Franchise Director in Germany. “We are looking for experienced entrepreneurs who want to realise the enormous potential of the industry with the strengths of IWG’s brands.”
Find out about becoming a franchise partner with IWG