It's no secret that Sweden is “in” right now. Music, tech, and Swedish cuisine are just a handful of the exports taking the world by storm. And cities like Stockholm and Gothenburg are producing an endless crop of innovative start-ups, each hotter than the last.
But for those looking to cash in on Sweden's innovation trend, problems can still arise when it comes to actually opening an office.
“Small scale service companies need a place where they can work in peace and quiet, close the door, have everything in reach, and yet still be centrally located,” Anders Kinding, Senior Consultant at Positively Group, tells The Local.
A centrally-located office in one of Sweden's big cities can cost business owners a fortune – funds that small companies don't necessarily have.
Positively, which provides competitive leadership and sales skills development, is one such company. With just two employees – Kinding and his boss – the company has always been small and personal, but also international.
“We have several international partners, and work with global training organizations like Wilson Learning,” Kinding says. “So we report to an office in London and I travel a lot within Europe.”
Anders Kinding. Photo: Private
Due to frequent business trips, plenty of on-location client training, and the option of working from home, Kinding says that renting full-time office space wasn't practical. So he found another solution: Regus.
“We need office space for meeting clients and hosting meetings, but we only need it a few days every month. They have offices everywhere I need to be, and I don't have to stay at McDonald's to get wifi access,” Kinding laughs.
Regus, founded in 1989, offers flexible business space at more than 2,000 business centres in 750 cities and 104 around the world. Thanks to a variety of membership options suited to different needs, users can choose a private office or simply access to the company's business lounges.
The flexibility and tailored options also captured the attention of Scandinavian Designs Trading, a Gothenburg-based start-up.
“I recommend Regus for those who want to start a business and don't have a lot of money,” founder Ambrose Ongom Okello tells The Local. “In Gothenburg there's a lot of office space, but it all comes down to rent and money.”
Ambrose Okello. Photo: Private
Scandinavian Designs is a trading company that fills supply chain gaps between Sweden and East Africa within the construction industry.
“At first I just worked from home,” Okello says. “But it got hectic, and I needed a quiet place to relax and focus on my customers.”
After a first visit to Regus, Okello called off the hunt for office space.
“I knew it was the place for me. It was by far the least expensive office space I'd seen. I was flabbergasted,” Okello recalls. “And Regus has such a great atmosphere and ambience.”
Kinding agrees, saying service was a key selling point.
“Regus is a very professional and well-run organization, but number one is the attitude of the staff,” he tells The Local.
While Kindling uses his Gold Global Membership to access Regus office space across Europe, Okello currently uses a Gold National Membership, limited to Sweden. But he said he looks forward to expanding.
“I will be travelling soon, and Regus has offices all across East Africa,” Okello explains. “It's great that I can go to a business lounge in Kenya or Tanzania too.”
After five years of using Regus offices in countries such as Norway, the UK, and Sweden, Kinding has no doubt Regus is a sustainable choice for any growing business.
“The staff are very service-minded and have a can-do attitude. No matter what kind of service you need, they always find a way to make it happen.”
Regus currently has eight office locations in Stockholm and two in Gothenburg. Region Gold Membership starts at just 179 kronor a month, with unlimited access to business lounges in a major city region. National Membership, for those who want to sit one day in Stockholm and the next in Gothenburg, starts at 229 kronor, and Global Gold Membership starts at only 389 kronor a month.
Membership includes access to Regus business lounges complete with wifi, coffee and tea, and reception services, as well as the possibility of upgrading for a few days of private office space each month.
This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by Regus.