Arthur H. Jackson Jr. says that if only his company had a central location, a conference room and administrative support, he could increase his staff and double his revenue. Michael Einhorn believes his chances to close big deals and enter new markets would increase substantially if his company had a more professional location in which to meet with suppliers and customers. As winners of the Regus Group and Entrepreneur magazine's Growing Pains contest, the two entrepreneurs are getting the chance to see if they're right.
To help entrepreneurs grow, the Regus Group teamed up with Entrepreneur to sponsor a contest awarding a physical office to one entrepreneurial company and a virtual office to another. "Entrepreneurs are looking for ways to improve their businesses," says Regus president Guillermo Rotman. "Image and productivity are important factors, and our business centers provide support in those areas."
Jackson, 51, is president and CEO of Global AHJ Group, a business development and government contracting consulting firm in Potomac, Maryland. "We specialize in helping small minority- and women-owned businesses get certified to bid on government contracts," he says. With the benefit of a Regus office, Jackson expects to triple his staff in the next year and take revenue from an estimated $800,000 in 2007 to $1.5 million in 2008.
The "corporate office" of Dealmed Medical Supplies Inc. is currently located in the basement of Einhorn's in-laws' home. Einhorn, 24, says he is competing with larger companies that operate out of plush offices. When vendors evaluate his company for exclusive territory rights, he worries that the image his basement office projects will hurt his chances. But his Regus virtual office comes with access to professional space for meetings, which will bridge the gap in the coming year while he consolidates his operations into one facility. Einhorn expects 2007 to close with $950,000 in revenue, and thanks to some new opportunities that come with the virtual office, he expects 2008 revenue to hit $2 million or more.
Rotman says business centers help ease growing pains by providing fully furnished offices and meeting spaces, plus support staff, at an impressive address with no capital outlay. Because terms and services are flexible, clients aren't bound to long-term leases and can structure a space and service package that meets their individual needs. The facilities also provide affordable professional offices for businesses that operate in multiple locations without the cost and managerial burden of maintaining their own commercial space. "Our goal is to make life easier for our two winners and help them grow," Rotman says. "We are proud to have them in our Regus facilities."
Be sure to check out the May 2008 issue of Entrepreneur, in which we'll follow up with the winners.