The current economic climate in South Africa may be tough, but buying into a franchise still presents a lower risk of failure than launching a traditional start-up. Enter the serviced office market – one of the most exciting growth markets in the world, and what has been dubbed the next franchise frontier.
In 2022, 1.87 billion people will make up the global mobile workforce. These remote workers form almost every city in the world will need flexible workspaces.
In fact, by 2030, an estimated 30% of corporate real estate could be flexible workspace, according to global real estate giant JLL.
“Franchising is perfectly poised to play an even bigger role in furthering small business development, skills transfer and job creation,” according to IWG.
Here’s how and why you can get started investing in a franchise business opportunity:
Why should investors consider South African franchise investments?
South Africa is in the top ten countries that are projected to have the greatest global average annual GDP growth from 2016 to 2050. The country’s GDP is predicted to have increased by 3.7% by 2050.
Multiple experts, including the Franchise Association of South Africa, agree that South Africa’s economic growth must come from private enterprise. Franchising and the wider SME sector are the biggest contributors to small business growth.
Both up and coming franchises and established franchise brands are great franchises to own, whether you’re looking for a local or international franchising opportunity.
Franchises in South Africa are creating growth opportunities yielding returns above the global average and the rand’s current value and combined with the generally lower capex required to become a franchisee, this creates multiple franchise business opportunities for investors.
Investing in an IWG franchise
An International Workplace Group report found that 79% of businesses see flexible working as a driver to success and are using flexible office spaces to save money on capital and operational costs. Flexi-workspaces also help businesses reduce unnecessary assets while managing risk.
“The market for flexible offices has tripled in size globally since 2006 and annual growth is around 13%, according to international real estate company CBRE (Community-Based Research and Evaluation),” notes Joanne Bushell, MD South Africa and VP Sales for Africa, IWG.
What does the IWG franchising opportunity include?
The IWG franchising model gives investors and partners the opportunity to buy into the workplace revolution by developing any of the current Regus or Spaces locations across South Africa. Investors are also given the option of opening a site in their own suitable location.
IWG has been running successful workspaces, such as the Regus and Spaces brands, since pioneering the sector in 1989. Today, with nearly 2.5 million customers and a presence in close to 3400 locations, IWG has a footprint that spans 120 countries and 1100 towns and cities.
The flexible workspace market’s success has prompted IWG to seek out franchise partners to accelerate its global growth strategy.
Estimated turnover generated by franchising in the total of South Africa in 2018, was R721 billion and the number of franchisors has increased by almost 30% since 2013.
IWG has launched an historic opportunity for those looking to invest in an exciting sector with the capacity for huge growth and becoming a franchise partner of one of the most profitable franchises.
Why is it a lucrative franchise business opportunity?
The flexible work industry is estimated to be growing by 24% each year. By 2020, 50% of all workers will be spending the majority of their workdays working remotely.
A recent study of 15 000 business leaders in 80 countries by IWG reveals why flexible workspace has become such a critical component of working life. The survey revealed that:
- 89% believe flexible working helps their business grow and optimise costs
- 87% believe it helps their business stay competitive
- 83% believe it helps their business maximise profits
- 82% believe it helps them create a presence in new markets
- 80% stated that enabling their company’s employees to work from anywhere helped them recruit and retain top talent.
The IWG franchise opportunity offers early adopters a chance to enter into this growing market and diversify their investment portfolio.
Why should you consider IWG as a viable franchise investment?
Investing in a flexible workspace and flex-office franchise opportunity comes with the advantage of robust cash returns and an attractive return on investment. You’ll also be diversifying away from traditional franchise markets, making IWG one of the most lucrative franchising opportunities in South Africa.
IWG is the leading global workspace provider, with an unparalleled network of officecoworking and meeting spaces for companies to use in every city in the world.
IWG has been running successful workspaces for almost thirty years and has developed its business model through the various economic cycles.
What are the benefits of investing in an IWG franchise?
It’s a first. The first time that a proven national serviced office proposition has ever entered the South African franchise market. The flexible workspace market is cleaner, simpler and less volatile than other, traditional franchise opportunities, making IWG one of the best franchises to own.
IWG is the industry leader in the global serviced office sector and is South Africa’s largest provider of flexible workspace.
A proven business model and track record of performance in South Africa have helped IWG establish a varied customer base – from large multinationals to small businesses using our locations every day.
IWG has established back office systems with global client support, competitive pricing and central sales support that helps generate sales leads and establish new client introductions.
What are the differentiators with IWG’s franchising opportunity?
South Africa is leading the serviced office sector in Africa, with the largest and most mature market. The demand for workplace flexibility is becoming increasingly urgent, driven by employees and employers, by customers and by cost-conscious accountants.
1. Building a quality flexible workspace offering requires trust and support
IWG works closely with its franchisees to ensure they have a framework to find the right location and design; are able to grow their market footprint backed by world-class operational and marketing support; and have the quality, global customer service IWG is known for.
2. IWG understands the market and understands their customers’ needs
Having developed their business model through many economic cycles and for over 20 years in South Africa, their proven and demonstrably successful operating model, together with their experienced franchising teams, provides prospective investors with the underpinning for a highly attractive return on investment.
3. IWG offers comprehensive infrastructure to support franchisees
This support is offered throughout the lifecycle of their investment. The global IWG franchise team works closely with its franchisees to ensure they have a framework to find the right location and design; are able to grow their market footprint backed by world-class operational and marketing support; and have the quality, 24-hour customer service IWG is known for.
Who is the best fit for becoming an IWG franchisee?
The perfect candidates are partners with the right skills, drive and finance to work with IWG to develop their locations across South Africa.
A brand with deep market awareness and customer understanding IWG offers franchisees the opportunity to get involved early, on the first steps of a franchising journey in an industry set for growth.
How can you become an IWG franchisee?
- Get in touch with us on franchise.sa@IWGplc.com.
- We’ll send you more detailed information on the franchise opportunity, a basic application to give us an understanding of who you are, what your experience is, what your investment capability is and what regions or areas you are considering.
- Send us the completed application form so that we can assess the information and schedule a meeting to present a complete franchise solution.
- Details regarding locations and site evaluation as well as development plans and timelines, training and the steps to the opening of your IWG franchise business will be discussed in this meeting.
If you have the drive, resources and commitment to lead the workspace revolution as an IWG franchise partner, get in touch with our Franchise Team.
Alan.vanderwesthuizen@IWGplc.com – Head of Partnership Growth – South Africa
Mo.Nanabhay@IWGplc.com – Franchise Development Director – Africa