Strong and stable: how the IWG franchise model is thriving in 2020

Strong and stable: how the IWG franchise model is thriving in 2020

Economic uncertainties caused by the events of 2020 may have left some investors disorientated – but there has been good news for those who embraced the opportunity to take on an IWG flexspace franchise.

IWG’s global franchise programme was rolled out in 2019 and has gone from strength to strength since. Despite the pandemic, there has been impressive growth in recent months, with new franchises in Germany, the UK, Puerto Rico and Togo.

 And many of IWG’s new franchise partners say there’s never been a better time to come on board. With businesses worldwide taking an increasingly flexible approach to where their employees work, partnering with a flexible-office provider as a franchisee looks set to be one of the safer investments to make today.

Not only does flexspace support the way many businesses now operate, but it also offers adaptability in a time of economic uncertainty. For firms finding their feet in turbulent times, it presents a low-commitment, low-risk way to lease offices. Pre-pandemic, experts predicted that 30% of all office space would be of the flexible variety by 2030. Today – and in the future – it could play an even more crucial role.

A mutually beneficial relationship

Collaboration with a market-leading company, the promise of a stable market investment and strong chance of ROI and cash flow are just some of the reasons why franchise partners all over the world are shaking hands on deals with IWG.

German entrepreneur Oliver Bossmann signed with IWG this year to open flexspace franchises in his country. “I’m someone who is very much in figures, sales and driving business and cost efficiencies, so the rationale is pretty obvious to me,” he says. “The flexspace market is very positive, it has a future and I clearly see the trends for more flexible workspace.”

Together, IWG and Bossmann will launch five Regus Centres across Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region over the next four years. “I’m the second franchisee in the country, which gives me the opportunity to make an even stronger contribution and be part of the first wave – I like the idea of being one of the first movers in the system for Germany,” he says.

“And there’s the opportunity to scale up,” he adds. “I signed a contract with IWG for not just one office but for a cluster within a region.”

Transforming south London

An experienced property developer taking advantage of our market is Kashyap Pindoria, managing director of Pluto Workspaces. Earlier this year, he signed a UK Cluster Franchise Agreement, working with Julian Chambers, IWG UK’s Head of Partnership Growth.

This new agreement will see Pluto Workspaces deliver five new centres to the IWG network over the next couple of years, opening up new markets across South London. Pluto Workspaces is already considering a number of ‘live’ building opportunities across their development areas. 

“We look forward to  working with Kash to deliver some of our latest, design lead branded flexible workspace solutions into new markets across South London,” says Chambers. “This will mean that both new and existing clients will be able to take advantage of our growing national networks.”

IWG has an increasing number of locations in the suburbs – responding to an evolution of the market, as businesses choose to offer workspace close to where employees live. According to the recent Suburban Economic Survey, local flexspace could contribute £196bn ($254bn) to smaller cities, suburbs and towns over the next decade.

New centres in Puerto Rico and Togo

Earlier this year, John Schmidt and Carrady Quinn, of Megatron and RGS Puerto Rico, agreed to open five new centres in Puerto Rico. Their commitment to growth in Puerto Rico has already yielded an expansion of the Regus Metro Office Park centre.

IWG has a growing Caribbean network, with centres in Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Guyana.

This August, Confortis Capital Partners signed up to franchise two centres in Togo, including a Regus centre expected to open soon in the Ogar building in Lomé, Togo. Headed by Dontou Derou, the company specialises in investment and real estate development. This expansion will add to IWG’s existing network across West Africa, which currently includes Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and the Ivory Coast. This expansion will add to IWG’s existing network across West Africa, which currently includes Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and the Ivory Coast.

New and coming soon

New franchise centres have also opened this year in Djibouti – marking the first IWG centre in the country – and Riyadh, which is Tanami Arabia’s 15th centre. And this momentum shows no signs of slowing. Q4 will see the opening of IWG franchises in the Cayman Islands, Honduras, Gabon and Guinea.

For IWG, the flexible franchise market is key to its ambitious plans for expansion. The group, which has more than 3,400 locations today, wants to multiply that figure by more than tenfold in the next decade – and it has identified the franchise model as the best way of achieving that. “In order to achieve [our] goal of national coverage – every town, city and suburb – it has to be done with partners,” says IWG CEO, Mark Dixon. “For us, those partners are franchise partners, building-owner partners and investor partners.”

With this in mind, IWG is seeking partners with the ability to operate and grow within a branded framework and open multiple centres across the contracted territory over a two-to-five year period

The benefits of partnering with an operator of more than 30 years’ standing include the opportunity to open a tried-and-tested business model in an unsaturated yet high-demand industry; advice on the best location to open centres; support finding the right buildings; help structuring floor plans to maximise revenue; IT and marketing services; and business development and business performance review support to ensure the franchise partner’s investment is performing at an optimum level of return. In short, IWG’s franchise model presents an accessible, fully supported and easy-to-operate business opportunity.

As a publicly traded company, IWG is a fully transparent one – and that translates to the way it does everyday business, too. The group’s franchise model is one that rewards long-lasting business relationships, and the best way of doing this is to start off with the right partner. That way, there’s every chance of franchise success.

Are you ready to come on board? Find out more about IWG’s franchising partnerships and how to partner with us