Why are networks important? What do workspace operators stand to gain from joining with others? Where is the value?
ABCN (Alliance Business Centers Network) seeks to demonstrate the value of industry networks by speaking to its own members to learn exactly how they, and their clients, benefit.
First we spoke to Sherif Kamel, CEO of Alliance Business Centers RMEA (Russia, Middle East, and Africa). Sherif is expanding the Alliance brand across RMEA and in so doing, is providing greater strength and value for member centers in the global ABCN network.
In this second and final part, we dig a little deeper into the specifics of his connection with Alliance and how it’s helping his team to expand across the Middle East, as well as deliver outstanding everyday service to their business center clients.
Here’s what we learned:
Can you explain how the ABCN Network has helped you to develop and expand in the Middle East?
The ABCN Network constantly supports the efforts of our expansions with great marketing back up, global web support, client referral and idea development. ABCN’s annual conference also helps bring awareness to the latest updates in the serviced office and business center industry and highlight important factors that make a difference as the client and the brand advances.
Can you name any specific challenges or obstacles that your Business Centers have helped clients to overcome?
Time management would probably top the list. Clients normally come to us with almost no time to get their business up and running. Our team takes charge to prepare all the requirements and get them settled in their office, furniture and all, in no time.
Small and medium businesses along with independent entrepreneurs also face the challenge of not having a big team that can support them. However as they join our network, they become part of our community. The support they get from our team – customer service, receptionists, concierge services – is something they appreciate as it allows them to put more time into their business.
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Another worry is finding locations abroad. We can help clients find workspace in our business centers throughout the Middle East but we also rely on the ABCN network for immediate access to meeting rooms and office space in other locations.
Which workspace service is generally the most popular?
Serviced offices are the big star, as of now. It has all the facilities clients require and you can really see how it helps businesses get their work done more effectively and in a professional environment.
Business startup [a service similar to virtual offices to support startup businesses] is also a great hit. Clients know that the business center consultant will take care of everything – it’s a huge time and cost saver, particularly as most clients are doing this for the first time so naturally they don’t know the process.
We have noticed that the virtual office is growing more and more on a daily basis. People now understand it more and it’s capturing a grander presence in the market as more businesses comprehend this unique form of business facility.
In which areas in RMEA do you plan to launch next?
2016 is a big year for ABCN RMEA. Some of the many centers that will be operational by 2016 are ABCN Bahrain, ABCN Oman, ABCN KSA, ABCN Kuwait, ABCN Russia, ABCN Lebanon and many more. So watch this space!
Disclaimer: Officing Today’s parent company is the Alliance Business Centers Network