What is the secret to a successful flexspace franchise?

What is the secret to a successful flexspace franchise?

Whatever you’re selling, Victor Tighinean says customer satisfaction always comes first. He is excited about working with IWG and opening 10 new centres in Romania that will meet the changing demands of the market.

Victor Tighinean has a wealth of experience as a franchisee, including 17 years as Managing Director of Ecco Shoes Romania (Ecco has operations across the world). But Tighinean is stepping down from that role to take on a new challenge – partnering with IWG to open 10 new centres in the country over the next five years.

The franchise agreement will cover the northwest region of Romania. He signed up earlier this year, following discussions with IWG, after Tighinean was first introduced to flexspace while on business in Hungary, where he worked at a Regus centre. 

Suffice to say that he was suitably impressed by the facilities and the concept. So much so, that he wanted to be a part of what countless analysts and IWG see as the future of work. Specifically, the hybrid model of working that gives people the flexibility to split their time between a central HQ, home or a local flexspace.

Tighinean’s first IWG centre will open next year in Cluj-Napoca under the Regus brand. It spans 1,500sqm within an existing building in the city centre, which Tighinean believes rivals Bucharest for its thriving business environment.

Increasingly, franchisees like Tighinean are seeing opportunities outside of the traditional hubs, while more people are looking for workspaces that are closer to home.

This also links into the broader concept of the 15-Minute City, in which people want to live and work in areas where all the resources they need are within 15 minutes of their home.

“The city is the capital of Transylvania, so if you would like to meet Dracula, you have the chance,” he laughs. But it’s not just fictional vampires that the city is famous for.

“We have a big tech cluster, the largest financial centre in Romania outside of Bucharest – the biggest Romanian bank is located in Cluj – and the country’s biggest university,” says Tighinean. “Salaries are the highest in Romania. And there are around 60,000 companies based in the city.”

So, don’t let the city’s population of 350,000 fool you, he adds. Cluj is one of Europe’s fastest developing cities. The region’s many startups and SMEs makes it an ideal location for a Regus flexspace, which offers even the smallest company access to the same quality facilities as a customer from a major corporate.

But, most importantly, flexspace offers businesses the potential to grow, while addressing the ongoing shift towards hybrid working.

“Today you can have two or three employees, but in six months you can grow to 10 or 250 in three years. One of the obvious benefits of flexspace is that you can scale up the amount of space you need as you grow. You never have to worry about changing location every six months,” says Tighinean. “Instead, you can increase or decrease the space you occupy according to your current business needs. It’s the perfect solution for small and medium companies.”

The access customers have to IWG’s network of around 3,500 locations around the world also gives the brand a clear competitive edge, and the company’s 30 years of experience in the sector speaks for itself.

That experience has been invaluable to Tighinean, who claims IWG has been able to offer incredible support as a result.

“I can always ask any question and they are extremely supportive,” he says. “I was surprised how open they are. I’m very happy to have that because you need good support to be successful.”

So what does success look like for Tighinean? Happy customers, first of all, then profit, he says.

“It is not only about the money,” he explains. “Most important is customer satisfaction. I also want to create a professional team that is like a family. Then, of course, it needs to be profitable – but profit is not the most critical thing for me when building a business. If you have happy customers and a good team, then profit will come.”

Tighinean’s ambitions for the franchise don’t just stop at 10 centres, however. Eventually, he hopes to develop in other parts of Romania.

He also firmly believes that with the rise in hybrid working and the changing demands of customers, now is the perfect time to invest in flexspace and IWG is the perfect industry leader to partner with.

Looking for a new franchise venture? Learn more about opportunities with IWG.