Okay, so when is the office industry not changing? This may be a general statement in the world of ever-growing technology and real estate pricing. But, the business centre in a conventional sense is becoming very hard to define.
What is your work environment like? Are you a start up or do you have 40 employees? Do you primarily work at the same desk or find yourself always on the go?
In the past, there have been clear cut destinations that business owners have found themselves drawn to, based on a multitude of criteria. For example, finance companies worked in structured environments with rows of cubicles surrounded by water coolers; graphic designers worked at large communal tables in brick and beam buildings that formerly hosted industrial assembly lines.
They didn’t mix.
But what if these companies could find themselves rubbing shoulders with each other? Could a world filled with both left and right brain thinkers possibly get along together?
The shared office space industry certainly thinks so, and companies are beginning to prove them right.
With industry giants such as Regus & WeWork competing at either ends of the shared office space spectrum, we find numerous office providers who are starting to position themselves somewhere in between – with no clear cut definition of their target market.
A once relatively unknown industry is now being considered by multibillion dollar per-year companies, as it presents a cost-cutting method to operate their businesses with a strict fiscal bottom line in mind.
Once considered feared competitors to be reckoned with, the global recognition and media attention that these industry giants are garnering actually benefits the smaller shared office space providers.
How, you ask, can small businesses benefit from the ever growing giants within an industry?
I pose this question to you – have you ever had a pizza from Domino’s? You know the price, the quality, the speed of delivery, the shape, size, and consistency, but you’re never wowed by the end result. It is a quick alternative that hides itself behind flashy marketing and a cell phone app. They don’t know you, the customer. They don’t know the specifics of your order (unless you tell them, time after time). They are a generic food factory servicing the masses, without the ability to cater to each of their clients’ immediate needs specifically.
Now, have you ever eaten at your local pizzeria, owned and operated by a family in your very own neighbourhood? These are the same people that know you by name, face and voice. They know that you live on the same street and know that you don’t like too many black olives. They may even be charitable enough to sponsor your child’s soccer team, or better yet, allow you to pay them back next time when you find you’re short on cash. At the end of the day, they’re friends.
The point, very simply, is that people like to pay for a service that is specific to their likes, wants and needs. Sometimes choosing the largest company in the industry is not the best way to proceed.
This is where privately owned business centres secure their slice within the industry (pun absolutely intended). It is very common to have business owners move to these smaller outfits after stints with large corporations. They do this because they are unhappy with the giant’s inability to cater their services to the specific requirements of each company’s business practice.
So, I challenge you to consider all elements of this ever-changing industry when selecting your next office space provider. Whether you’re a financial giant or a start up app developer, why go with Domino’s when you can choose an experience that is fundamentally yours?
Like they say, you never know who you’re going to meet.