To an outsider who wants to have a hub in any new country, understanding and meeting local business regulations can be daunting. Regus has teamed up with an exciting initiative in the Middle East to help companies speed through this essential process.
Dubai World Central (DWC) is major project to build an aerotropolis — a development based around an airport — and will ultimately lead to the creation of an area twice the size of Hong Kong Island, within which people will live, work and be entertained.
DWC further cements the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as, arguably, the leading business destination in the Middle East.
Regus and DWC have teamed up and are creating a business centre within the development. As well multiple workspace options you’d expect with Regus, in common with 1200 other locations worldwide, this new partnership offers more. When a one year contract is signed between the customer and the Regus centre in DWC, the company or entrepreneur concerned is automatically entitled to apply for a licence to trade in the UAE.
“As Dubai World Central continues to expand its range of services, we expect to see even more companies see the appeal of operating from this fast-cycle logistics hub,” Buqara’a added. “The opening of the Business Centre, in particular, highlights our commitment to providing flexible solutions that meet the needs of any client - no matter how large or small.”
— Rashed Buqara’a, Chief Operating Officer, Dubai Aviation City Corporation
Donna Scott Talks Flexible Working on Tallahassee Talk Radio [9/26/11 BROADCAST & TRANSCRIPT]
Preston: Donna, good morning; welcome to the program.
Donna: Good morning.
Preston: Let’s talk a little bit about the business climate that Regus decided to enter into, because it’s a very different business model. What was going on when the whole idea of developing these flexible workspaces — what was happening in the market place that sort of birthed this thing?
Donna: Well I have to step back a bit. We’ve been in business since 1989, so while it’s certainly an issue right now, with regards to trying to start businesses in the [current] economic climate … We saw years ago — our founder saw years ago — the need for people to have flexible office solutions. And maybe a bit ahead of his time. But he was meeting in a hotel lobby and realised that that’s not necessarily the place to conduct business. And so 20 years ago he started his first center and flash forward to now where we have over 1200 globally.
Preston: What is it that Regus — let’s go back to [the founder] — he basically took his own personal experience and sort of extrapolated that into a business model. What is it, that sort of — what was the hook for this?
Donna: Well, then — it was much different from now — the need for technology and the need to have a business presence, a solid business presence in a local economy — now I think it’s a lot more about flexibility. Certainly now with the uncertain times that people are facing, the ability to start a business economically and stay flexible and be able to twist and turn as the economy does so.
Preston: You know, circa 1989 when you talk about the technology at the time: I guess you’re right, as we were carrying brick phones in our back pockets and those things cost a fortune. And so it was sort of about martialing resources, right?
Donna: Yes, we had to actually provide a really robust stationary position for somebody. So, when you think of a home office or a corporate office, that’s what we were providing for people, which is much different from now where we have people — what we call the mobile worker — who chooses to work wherever they want to work and every so often needs to come in, perhaps maybe for a meeting to use the meeting facilities, or perhaps to drop in, maybe on more of a social situation, more than a need to get to the actual technology.
Preston: Donna, talk to me for a second about a market like Tallahassee. One of the things that intrigued me about Regus, is that Tallahassee’s kind of a seasonal place. You’ve got a lot of folks who sort of flood in during the session, every spring, but then you’ve got the universities — you’ve got Florida A&M [Agricultural and Mechanical University], you’ve got Florida State, a technological school, TCC [Tallahassee Community College] — and it seems as though it’s a pretty good fit for people who just want a seasonal presence as well.
Donna: I think you touched on a couple of things. A lot of opportunity for us, with regards to the State government nearby and of course the university always provides a base of clientele for us from an entrepreneurial standpoint. But then the seasonality in a city like that lends itself to the flexibility of having an office when you need one, when you need to be close, when government’s in session, when you need to go back to your home — you can literally drop down to maybe a marginal presence in that city to make sure you are accommodating your client base there. But you’re not physically there.
Preston: Well … the one that that is undeniable — Eric [Eggers] and I talk about it on the program — is that the internet has changed the landscape for business, not just in our country but globally. It is — it’s a game changer. And one of the things that that brings about, is that there are a lot of people who have a presence online that’s pretty slick —they look good, the sound good, they’ve got the bells and whistles on their website — but they don’t necessarily have the coin to put that presence in an office, you know, 24/7, 12 months of the year. And that was the other thing about the Regus model that really impressed me. For a lot of startup businesses out there or internet businesses, when they need that presence, they can have it.
Donna: Yeah I think you touched upon a great point which is that people are perhaps sometimes cynical of that online-only presence. And we’re going back to — or maybe we never lost that face-to-face contact. So I think what we’re trying to provide for our clients is a location — a physical location to come, meet with clients, get in front of prospects and really do some business face-to-face, the old fashioned way.
Preston: Do you feel like this is a trend which just continues to move in that same direction? You mentioned that Regus has been around since 1989. When you’re studying … the professional landscape, do you see it being cyclical or, you know what, this is the direction we’re moving in, so the idea of lowering overhead costs is something that, you know what, this is just the way it is — what the business looks like in 2011.
Donna: Absolutely. Everyone’s been concerned with overhead but I think the way people are doing business continues to change and that’s where we — we try to stay ahead of that. So as I mentioned, before, when you flash back to 20 years ago, people were coming into our centers and using them for 9-5. It’s certainly not the case now; they’re dropping in when they need to, they’re plugging in and downloading information and then they’re on their way again or perhaps hopping from center to center, or traveling from city to city and utilizing us in that capacity. So very, very different use of physical office space now than used to be.
Preston: Final question. Just a quick snapshot here. Someone walks into the Alliance Center here in downtown Tallahassee and finds the Regus office center, what are they going to see? You’re going to walk in and be greeted by a receptionist that is the entire center’s receptionist. There is an area for you to drop in — as we’ve been talking about — check mail; a business lounge. There’s meeting rooms, if you need to book a meeting with any of your clients. And of course — as I said, I called them traditional office users — that need a full-time office. It’s there; you literally can walk in with your laptop. We’ve got connectivity. We’ve got all of the furnishings you need and it’s well-appointed. You can just start working and get down to business immediately.
Preston: And of course we know the number … go ahead and send people to the website and the phone number that they should call.
Donna: Regus.com is the easiest way to find us. Or 1-800-OFFICES is also a way you can reach us via telephone.
Preston: Donna, great to visit with you. Thanks very much.
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
Founded in the early 1960s, Challenger, Gray & Christmas is an outplacement consulting firm whose primary goal is to assist displaced workers in making the transition to reemployment. The firm has a proven track record of successfully providing top quality outplacement programs for executives, middle managers and long-term or highly valued employees.
Challenger needed a real estate solution that would allow the firm to maintain much-needed flexibility by allowing it to minimise its second largest cost of doing business –- the expenses associated with leasing, equipping and staffing office space.
For nearly 20 years, Challenger has partnered with Regus to create a real estate program that is completely aligned with its business needs and objectives –- one that eliminates any excess leases from the balance sheet. Regus workspace solutions have enabled the firm’s flexible business model to remain nimble as it took advantage of growing business opportunities.
The company is currently using more than 30 locations with Regus.
Challenger has the ability to quickly enter markets as a result of a variety of solutions offered by Regus, allowing the firm to secure office facilities on flexible terms that match their workspace needs to their business needs.
“Any company that is looking for ways to be highly productive has to look at their real estate costs. Real estate has been so rigid for the last century that creating a flexible model takes on a new kind of creative thought. Before Regus we just rented out offices and had to pay for them then they sat empty.”
— John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas
Passengers can now buy two Regus-in-a-box solutions on short-haul flights:
- Meeting Room Hire for 1/2 Day
- Business Lounge Access 10 Visits
“It offers BA travellers a business-class work experience, regardless of which class they travel. Instead of trying to work at the tiny tables of a crowded coffee shop, or talk to a customer as a coach load of noisy tourists descends on the hotel lounge, they can operate from 1,100 impressive and secure business centres all over the world.”
- Roger Binks, Group Vice President at Regus
Have you purchased a Regus product on a BA flight, at an airport or somewhere else on your travels? Where’s the furthest place from home you’ve visited Regus?
Photo credit: British Airways by François Roche via Flickr
Looking for a fully-furnished office in DC?
From Pennsylvania Avenue (here and here) to Tysons Corner (here and here), Regus supports startups to the Fortune 500 with workstyle solutions, offering fully-furnished offices with flexible terms and access to meeting rooms and video conferencing studios, all to help you focus on your business. With 25 DC area locations and 1,100 worldwide, Regus is the New Way To Work.
Household brands don’t get much more famous than Heinz. The iconic name is known across six continents and 200 countries for products such as ketchup, Heinz Beanz and soup.
Although Heinz has been in Switzerland since 1928, the business was mostly run from the Netherlands and Germany. To develop its lead it decided to open a branch in Zurich, where the sales and marketing team could be closer to consumers and clients.
Commercial Director Matthias Wilberg set about finding accommodation that had the flexibility to grow with the team but, most importantly, included facilities management so they were free to concentrate on developing the business.
Heinz usually has its own dedicated offices but it didn’t make commercial sense to open one just for a small team starting out in Switzerland. So it took the unusual step of outsourcing the team’s workspace.
Regus was its first choice. It offered Heinz an established infrastructure that included facilities management and was by far the best quality solution in the right location. It also gives the Heinz team the flexibility to expand if needed and use other business centres when travelling in the future.
“We founded the new Heinz office in Regus because the services, from reception to facilities management, allow us to concentrate on the business and on growth. We also like the atmosphere in the town center offices and the friendly Regus staff, who help us with small-scale administrative services.
“The center is close to the international airport, which is important for a global company like Heinz. One of our biggest clients is near here and the second biggest is close by. To service customers and consumers and deal with supplies and distribution you need to live and work in the country. Regus offers us a flexible base to continue our excellent business development here.”
— Matthias Wilberg, Commercial Director of Heinz in Switzerland
Business Lounges from Regus [VIDEO]
Get the peace, support and dedicated resources that coffee shops and hotels simply don’t provide. A Regus Business Lounge is ideal for staying productive whilst on the move and between meetings, or simply for those who don’t need a fixed workspace.
Set in city locations, transport centres and modern business parks, you’ll always find our lounges in the places you need them.
For more information on our business lounges click here
For a list of all our business lounges worldwide click here