If you compete with Regus in your local market you might cringe at the latest news coming out of the United Kingdom. On the other hand, to some extent, the success of Regus brings attention to the entire business center industry—and that’s good for your brand.
Here’s the news: Regus just signed up its one millionth customer. Yes, one million customers have walked through Regus’ business center—or virtual office—doors in the 1,2000 locations in 550 cities and 95 countries it serves.
Whether you are a Regus friend or foe, this milestone is respectable and deserves recognition. Indeed, it demonstrates how flexible work is fast becoming the norm as an increasing number of companies explore alternative workplace strategies to meet the shifting office space needs of their business.
So who was the one millionth customer? Innovative Database Solutions, a technology start up in Denver. Justin Hamilton, president of IDS, said his company is already considering international expansion via the Regus business center network.
“Flexible working is a win-win for every business, no matter what stage they are at. It makes it easier for new businesses, like IDS, to start up, while established companies can switch to flexible working to improve employee productivity and reduce overheads,” said Regus CEO Mark Dixon. “Together with improved work-life balance, it’s easy to see why the trend to flexible working is going from strength to strength and there is such strong demand for Regus’ services.”
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Regus is already pushing hard for its next million customers. In fact, Regus plans to add hundreds of new locations to its network as it moves to open 2,000 new business centers by 2014. Clearly, Regus is witnessing the demand for flexible and innovative work products that allow people to work anytime, anywhere.
What does that mean for your business center?
Although Regus is the industry behemoth, there is room for competition from your business center. If Regus can forge a path to significant success in a down economy, so can your business center. Regus doesn’t have a corner on innovation, though the success of the business center giant does leave footprints. You may be able to glean something from the model and make it your own, or exploit a weakness.
The bottom line: Regus’ announcement should be welcomed news for the industry because it means the sea shift is well underway and the future for competitive, quality business centers is bright.