Accelerating growth and managing risk: the new flexible workspace franchise

Accelerating growth and managing risk: the new flexible workspace franchise

As low-risk investments go, becoming a franchise partner with IWG is high on the list – here’s why

Conduct a straw poll and it’s likely that a significant proportion of your audience would agree that the world is a more unpredictable place than it was before. But what if we reframed the question and asked: what if it’s just become more flexible? In the 21st century, we take an increasingly flexible approach to many areas of our lives, no more so than work. This is one of the reasons behind the rise in flexible offices – and why partnering with a flexible-office provider as a franchisee looks set to be one of the safer investments to make today.

According to the commercial real-estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), flexspace, as it’s also known, currently accounts for less than 5% of US office stock, for example. Yet as current trends continue, that number is set to swell to 30% by 2030 – making franchise opportunities not only in steady supply but also highly likely to be among the more profitable investments in an asset-management portfolio. It’s also worth noting that, should there be an economic downturn, flexspace is likely to remain popular for tenants because of its adaptability – rental space can be scaled down or up as demand dictates.

With 30 years behind it, International Workplace Group (IWG) is the world’s leading provider of office space. Owning a global network and a multi-brand offering spread throughout more than 3,000 locations, the company has identified the franchise business as a key component in its growth strategy and is now on the lookout for partners who have the ability to operate and grow within a branded framework and open five or more centres over a two- to three-year period.

Its credentials as a franchise partner are burnished by extensive experience, reach and scope, all of which are instrumental when it comes to entering an industry without friction and being able to make an investment start working straight away. IWG also provides induction and training for all key franchise team members, access to dedicated customer-service centres, IT and operational process support from three global service centres, as well as regular performance reviews, access to NCO project-management methodology, and website and app set-up.

As increasing numbers of businesses – big and small alike – make the move to flexspace, it’s not just major cities that are benefiting from IWG’s expansion plans. “In order to achieve the goal of national coverage – every town, city and suburb – it has to be done with partners,” CEO Dixon says. So it makes sense for a potential franchisee with a building in a so-called second-tier city too. Wherever you are, the success of a partnership like this is built on long-term relationships. “For us, those partners are franchise partners, building-owner partners and investor partners,” he adds.

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