Where Do Start-Ups Go When They Can't Afford the Real Estate?

This facility in Redwood Shores aims to answer that question.

What do you do when you're an up-and-coming start-up without the funds to acquire offices?

Meeting with potential investors around your tiny coffee table in your studio apartment is usually not a good way to go, and as great as coffee shops are, they usually don't have the equipment or privacy you need.

Well, that's where Regus comes in.

Regus' solution to the real estate problems of its clients is causing the company to explode these days, adding new facilities all over the world practically every month.

Regus rents state-of-the-art office space to companies that either can't afford their own offices or don't want to commit to a permanent space - by the month, day or even hour.

With facilities all over the Peninsula - including in Redwood Shores, Palo Alto, San Bruno and San Francisco - Bonnie Fisher, who manages Regus' operations in northern California, says the company is becoming more and more indispensable for companies in the Bay Area every day.

"We serve all types of clients, from small start-ups to large corporations," Fisher told Patch. "Clients really love our state-of-the-art facilities and shared amenities, and the fact that we're an easy and cost-effective way to get into a nice office immediately."

"The growth in our tech clients in particular these days is rapidly expanding - we've added a number of new facilities just in the past 90 days, for example," she added.

Fisher said, Silicon Valley start-ups are loving how, in an instant, Regus can make them look like a large, fully-outfitted and impressive-looking company instantly by renting a Regus office.

Regus' offices are nondescript - often, walking through the door, you'd never know the office didn't belong to the company you're there to see, as there are few signs that identify the building as Regus'. 

In addition, by renting an office with Regus, you instantly have a staff who is there to tend to your every need, by setting up audio/visual equipment for you, greeting your appointments in the reception area, and more.

"I like that I don't have to worry about all the administrative stuff. It's all taken care of - the network administrator, the electricity, our mail; I don't have to worry about any of that. I just use my key to open my office, and that's it," said Mandy Farmaian, founder of ABA Staffing, who uses the Redwood Shores facility on a monthly basis. "It's been really helpful in that regard." 

Regus even decorates offices in different themes to help fit a variety of companies. There are funkier, modern offices for the young and hip start-up, or classy, elegant rooms for the high-class professional firm.

In addition, becoming a regular Regus member means, you can use their business lounges all over the world.

"For the clients who are on-the-go all the time, they can use Regus all over the world," Fisher said, describing how every Regus facility has a business lounge in the lobby, with areas where members can sit, power up their laptop, make calls and get a bit of work done, on-the-go. There are even areas to chat with colleagues in a comfortable and professional environment.

Fisher said, Regus fits in really well with local tech companies who prefer to work virtually most of the time, and only have a need to meet in-person a few times per month.

"Also, there are a lot of people in the Bay Area who like to work virtually because their jobs require such long commutes," Fisher explained. 

Farmaian said, Regus facilities are perfect for ABA Staffing, which does consulting, contracting and hiring for companies on the Peninsula and now in Portland. She explained, they are always traveling back and forth between San Jose and San Francisco to meet potential new hires or consult with companies on their staffing needs, so they regularly use a number of Regus facilities all over the Peninsula.

She also said, the company is growing and expanding so much these days, they are hesitant to commit to their own office space, as their size needs are too much in limbo.

"When we started our technical division we decided to go with Regus instead of getting an office because of the flexibility," Farmaian said. "We are expanding so fast, we wanted to be flexible for the time being and stabilize before we committed to our own offices."

Farmaian said, Regus gives her company the flexibility to move up to a bigger office instantly, anytime, if they continue to grow, or conversely to downsize to a smaller one if business slows down.

And, thanks to Regus' flexibility, they don't need to rent office space on a day they decide to work virtually from home; or, if they need a space last-minute, there is always room available for them as well.

"If I need to interview someone I can rent a room for a day or by the hour or even last-minute. I can even cancel last-minute if I have to," she said. "And the staff is all trained to help me with whatever I need."

See photos of some of Regus' Peninsula facilities above.

For more information, visit www.regus.com.


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Eggbert January 15, 2013 at 08:35 PM
A fine advertisement. Alas, it's not labeled as such.
Jennifer van der Kleut January 15, 2013 at 09:16 PM
Eggbert - I see how it could be viewed as such, but the reason for our interest in this story was because of the start-up culture here in Redwood City and across the Bay Area, and how this company (with a location in RWC) has created a business in response to it. Regus does not advertise with Patch or offer us anything in exchange for doing this story.
Alicia January 15, 2013 at 10:27 PM
I'd much prefer a space, such as LaCocina, San Francisco, to help budding food entrepreneurs.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive January 16, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Jennifer, might be worth looking into the other places where office space for startups are and what they offer. There are quite. Few. Regis is just the largest.


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