How to Implement a Work-From-Anywhere Growth Strategy Using a Hybrid Hub-and-Spoke Model Coming out of the pandemic, many businesses are looking for options to tap into new markets without a large overhead or additional employees.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Coming out of the pandemic, many businesses are looking for options to tap into new markets without a large overhead or additional employees. There are new ways to accomplish this by blending some pre-pandemic strategies with new, work from anywhere approaches. Try a hybrid hub-and-spoke model for potential expansion by using a flex/coworking workspace provider. While hub-and-spoke is a strategy that businesses of all sizes have used for years, now is the time for many businesses to implement the foundation of hub-and-spoke, but adjusting with hybrid, flexible measures to ensure growth in ever-changing markets.
Reevaluate the current hub of the business
Evaluate the size and potential growth of the business. Is there a smaller team in your business? Rethink your current office. Do you currently own or lease your office building, or is the entire company remote? In either scenario, are you getting the best return on your investment in physical space, or any return by not having space at all? If not, consider basing the hub in a flex office/coworking provider, preferably one with multiple regional or national locations that your business can utilize. While you may not need a national presence, a flex office provider would still give the business a better opportunity to pursue projects outside of the current market. In addition, a flex office provider gives your business the additional opportunity to set up business address, telephone, virtual office, and other services in the other locations the flex office provider offers.
How to use a hybrid hub-and-spoke strategy to explore new markets
Starting with the current remote workforce, businesses should look at options to place this workforce into flex office providers as much as possible during the work week. In reviewing options, consider providers that have a regional or national presence, and offer plans that would allow your employees to use multiple or all locations.
By doing this, remote employees can get out of their homes, and be able to interact with other remote employees, freelancers, and small and large businesses. Remote teams can ask around about potential business in new markets and start building the foundation for future expansion. Better yet, the remote workforce can use the interaction with other businesses as a sounding board and idea generator, one of the biggest missing components that businesses face with their work-from-home workforce.
For many flex office providers, a basic coworking plan can be less than $100 per month and are typically month-to-month contracts. Many of these plans include amenities such as access to meeting rooms, office equipment such as printers or computer monitors, and access during and after business hours. In addition, many flex office providers help businesses continue to add to the spoke by offering business address services at their other locations, allowing businesses to start expanding into new markets.
In addition, if a business determines that after several months or a few years that a new market is not receptive to the business's goods or services, the business could quickly scale down with minimal cost in doing so by utilizing a flex office provider.
Growing with the hybrid hub-and-spoke model
After reevaluation of the hub of the business, and the ability to scale up or scale down the spokes of the business, now evaluate what is needed for continued growth in new markets. By utilizing a flex office provider, a business can pursue new opportunities in new markets and start recruiting new talent. Much of the labor force is accustomed to work-from-home, and by offering a coworking or flex office membership with nationwide access as part of a recruiting package, employers add additional value, and can more broadly recruit in new markets.
In addition, businesses can also be very selective in projects they want to pursue, especially using the spoke component. As an example, a business in Texas that wants to pursue a project or job in California can do so by establishing the best spoke needed through various virtual office packages, and only keep that virtual office for the duration needed to complete the project.
Flexibility and moving faster and more efficiently than ever before, and by taking strategies like hub-and-spoke and pivoting those strategies to best fit ever-changing dynamics, businesses best equipped to handle the flexibility and speed will thrive through the remainder of this year and beyond.