Click on the video above to play
The Appeal of a Flexible Workspace [Regus CEO on FOX BUSINESS]
Mark Dixon spoke with Charles Payne and Shibani Joshi, live on FOX BUSINESS, September 20, 2011, on his business model and plans for expansion
Charles Payne, FOX: Our next guest really has seen his company do very well — U.S. sales have tripled in the past three years. Joining me now is Mark Dixon of Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace. First of all, congratulations on a huge success. Secondly, explain to us: what is a flexible workspace?
Mark Dixon, Regus: Well, basically a flexible workspace is a fully-furnished office building, with all the support staff, with all the IT, which you can use for a day, an hour or have a branch office for a year. And they’re available all over the United States. We have about 500 buildings [in North America and more] in around 90 countries around the world.
Charles Payne: Mark, what’s driving this? Is it small entrepreneurs? When I started my company, I actually looked into using your workspace — and I actually have friends who do as well — is it the small entrepreneur or large businesses finding a use for your product as well?
Mark Dixon: Well, it’s both. We’re the natural home for small entrepreneurs but we’ve got companies who are growing quickly: companies like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, who grow around the world in months, are using our facilities. But also very large corporations looking to reduce costs by moving people to flexible working and providing work-life-balance for employees. So, it’s a win-win, whether you are growing or looking to reduce costs and gain flexibility in your business.
Shibani Joshi, FOX: Mark, there’s a lot of competition coming into your space, particularly from startups. I actually met the CEO of a startup company whose name actually escapes me right now, of course. They’re starting an online version of what you’re doing, using flexible office space across major metropolitan cities here in the United States. [They’re] getting backing from excel partners — and I still can’t remember their name but I’ll bring it up to you in just a second. How are you dealing with these smaller guys that are in theory offering the same sort of value proposition, even perhaps at a lower cost and have a lot less overhead?
Mark Dixon: Well, I think; how we’re dealing with it: basically it’s a growing market. Our — as you said — our business has tripled over the last three years; we’re up to nearly a million users. And we expect that to grow into the future. There are about 75,000,000 flexible workers in the U.S. alone — so it’s a growing market; there’s lots of space. Where we’re different is, we have a national network. So that if you take an office in New York or Washington [DC] you can actually use offices all over the country but also all over the world. It’s a subscription to 1,100 buildings worldwide. You know, there’s no one else of that sort of size and that flexibility globally and nationally; that just isn’t there from the startups.
Shibani Joshi: One of the things you have to manage is real estate prices. You know, that’s a sector that hasn’t done well, no matter where in the world you find yourself. How do you manage the dynamics of what’s happening with the commercial real estate industry and then also the fundamentals of what you’re trying to provide for entrepreneurs and big businesses, which is just room to grow?
Mark Dixon: For us it’s — we work in partnership with landlords, property owners, investors, all over the world and we’re really providing the middle wear between this growing group of flexible workers and real estate, which is a very fixed thing where companies and corporations are used to doing very large deals; they’re not very good at doing small deals. And remember, people are using us for maybe a drop-in for half-an-hour. A real estate company’s not very good at dealing with that. So we supply all of that to owners of real estate around the world and add value to what they have, provide them with cash flow and allow them to tap into this growing flexible work market.
Charles Payne: Mark, you’re really one of the best-known entrepreneurs in Europe and lately we’re heard about consumer confidence plummeting, the IMF just lowered their outlook for the western world and their economies. Does your success though, however reflect that their’s something else going on — particularly in this country — that there are entrepreneurs that are still trying to achieve their American Dream and, in essence, that there’s still hope for our country?
Mark Dixon: There is definitely hope. I mean, good entrepreneurs aren’t, sort of, looking at the newspapers and saying everything’s bad. They’re investing. It’s a great time to be in business if you are investing. And some of the greatest businesses in the world today were established in recessions or depressions, in years past. It’s always a good time to get out there and actually do it. If you can raise the money and get on and do it then you should do that — that’s what we’re doing.
Charles Payne: Mark, you’ve done it like nobody else. Congratulations on your success. The CEO and Founder of Regus.
Find out about Regus’ flexible workspace in the U.S. at: www.regus.com
Enquire about workspace with Regus at: www.regus.com/contactus