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The Coworking Industry Is About to Experience a $13 Billion Boom. Here's How to Get In on It. Breaking down the franchise opportunity at premiere coworking space provider Regus.

By Dan Bova Edited by Jessica Thomas

Regus

Covid has changed the way we work and where we work — possibly forever. With more and more companies embracing a hybrid office model, the demand for flexible spaces is set to explode. The Global Coworking Spaces Market 2021-2025 report predicts that this industry will grow by $13.35 billion in the next five years.

It goes without saying that this is a massive opportunity for entrepreneurs. We spoke with Kurt Ullman, Director of Franchise Business Development at the International Workplace Group, about franchise opportunities at leading global workspace provider Regus. With 2,600 locations in the U.S., Regus offers customers not only physical space to operate, but also an invaluable network of business owners and potential partners that spans IWG's entire portfolio of 3,400 businesses in 128 countries. Here's what you should know about joining this industry as it is set to experience explosive growth.

Creating the right relationships

"For Regus, it's all about finding the right partner and the right relationship with franchisees," Ullman says. "Once we get into conversation with an interested party, we help them to do a thorough evaluation of our business and our franchise, and at the same time, we get to know them and their background, their qualifications, and what they can bring to the franchise relationship. We take them through a whole due diligence process and at the end, if we conclude that this is right for both parties, we enter into a franchise agreement."

Related: Find the Right Franchise for You

What makes a great franchise owner

"Business experience, acumen and an appropriate level of capital — those are the basic entry points," Ullman says. "But apart from them, what we're looking for is someone who truly has a vision and can bring a level of entrepreneurial creativity. From our side, ideally, we want leaders who are aiming to grow a larger business over a period of time as a multi-unit franchise owner, or a territory."

Incredible support structure

"We go down a very well-orchestrated path when getting them set up to launch and then operate their business," he says. "So that's assistance with site selection, interior design, construction, all of the training needed to operate. And once they've opened the business, we have ongoing consulting support. We're also doing a significant amount on the sales and marketing front to drive clients to their location. And then also on the billing and invoicing side, where we take a lot of the burden off of the franchisee when it comes to some of the excruciating detail of dealing with clients. So this is a great benefit for allowing them to save time and resources on the boring and tedious stuff and concentrate on growing their business."

Future of the Industry

"McKinsey's prediction is that from pre-Covid to post-Covid, there will be a four-to-five time increase in the number of people working remotely. And PwC has looked at surveys and determined that 17% of companies would be going back to work full-time in the office,13% would give up their offices and go purely remote. And then 70% would take on some form of hybrid work," Ullman says. "I think each company and each individual is going to go through their period of adjustment, so who knows what the exact number will be, but I do believe that we're talking about an order of magnitude and something that will be enduring into the future."

Dan Bova

Entrepreneur Staff

VP of Special Projects

Dan Bova is the VP of Special Projects at Entrepreneur.com. He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim, and Spy magazine. His latest books for kids include This Day in History, Car and Driver's Trivia ZoneRoad & Track Crew's Big & Fast Cars, The Big Little Book of Awesome Stuff, and Wendell the Werewolf

Read his humor column This Should Be Fun if you want to feel better about yourself.

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