last updated 08/12/2019
Opportunities From The Workplace Revolution
last updated 08/12/2019
IWG offers high returns to franchisee investors in world-leading workplaces
The days when people all commute at the same time are over. The days of big corporate offices are coming to an end. Flexible working and four-day-weeks are in, and the old nine-to-five is out. Technology, connectivity, global markets, environmental concerns and traffic jams have combined to require companies to offer workable alternatives if they are to attract and retain the best talent. ‘And that’s where IWG comes in,’ says Matthew Kenley.
Matthew is Head of Franchise, Asia Pacific, for IWG, the world’s leading workspace provider. With over 3,400 fully-managed offices in 1,100 cities across 120 countries, IWG offers companies the ability to access the facilities they need, where they need them. Founded over 30 years ago, IWG started franchising its concept in local markets in 2015. There are already 19 company-operated centres around New Zealand, and IWG sees the potential for considerable growth here. ‘For anyone looking for a highly-profitable franchise with a difference, this is a must-investigate option,’ Matthew suggests.
From start-ups to Fortune 500
IWG offers a range of workspace brands which provide solutions to match every kind of business, workstyle and price point. These cover office space, coworking, meeting rooms and business lounges, virtual office support and a range of flexible working plans. As a result, their customers include everything from start-ups and SME’s to a remarkable 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies, who are only too familiar with the cost and inflexibility of traditional offices. ‘As business cycles get shorter and shorter, most working spaces aren’t properly utilised all of the time,’ says Matthew.
‘Add in the capital expenditure of a refit every five years, and the accounting standards changes which require all leases to be shown on the balance sheet, and the appeal of a fully-managed workspace becomes obvious. That’s especially true in New Zealand, where most corporates have small headcounts but still need to cover the country. We supply the workspace, the support functions and a secure IT infrastructure with unrivalled support that provides access to your own business network. This makes it possible to do your job wherever you are.’
Local centres, international support
So how does the IWG franchise work?
‘Each workplace centre is owned by a local franchisee and operated under one of our brands,’ explains Pierre Ferrandon, IWG’s country manager for New Zealand. ‘The centre may be a stand-alone small building, a single floor of a large building, or anything in between. Our specialist team advises franchisees on fit-out, using our expertise to maximise return on every square foot while creating positive and contemporary designs. Economies of scale across our supply chain enable cost-effective fit-out with all the necessary infrastructure and IT.
‘IWG also provides all the systems and billing. Like a hotel or a gym, it’s all about occupancy, so in addition to the franchisee’s own activities, we also spend a significant amount of money to attract inquiries globally via our own marketing and broker network – we have over 500,000 app users generating 100,000 inquiries every single month.
‘The franchisee’s role is to fill and operate the space, usually with a couple of staff, and to provide the level of service that retains customers and builds the business. They bring the local knowledge of their towns and communities that enables them to understand the local market.’
High returns on cluster programme
Matthew says that IWG is looking for franchisees who are prepared to open 3-5 centres in a local cluster, utilising the appropriate brands for that demographic. A total investment of around NZ$3 million will be required over 5 years, depending on properties and landlord contributions. Some 25 percent will be required in the first year.
‘Our indicative model provides for a significant Return On Investment on maturity, and we have the numbers to back this up,’ he says. ‘We already have 19 centres in New Zealand which are operating well.
‘We are looking for people who can operate within a proven system, seize the opportunities offered and thrive in a fast-paced sales and service business. They need the financial and organisational capacity to manage multi-site operations, and the ability to communicate with business people at all levels. Full training and ongoing support is provided in every aspect of the business.’
Is it for you?
‘In the UK, our franchisees include career individuals who were ready to branch out and had the capital to invest in themselves. There are multi-brand franchisees, property developers, real estate companies and high net worth individuals. We see the same opportunities here for anyone who has the skills and equity and is prepared to put the work in to developing their own cluster of workspaces as part of the global IWG network.’
Pierre Ferrandon has no doubt that New Zealand is ready. ‘People want to work closer to home, they want to be flexible, they want to be able to move around. IWG is offering a great opportunity for local franchisees to be a part of that, and to invest in the workplace revolution with the global market leader.
‘Contact me today to find out more.’
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