Andrew Ferdinando and Simon Read opened their first Hubworking premises near Liverpool Street Station in 2006, a second centre in Monument in 2008 and are on track to open a third near Fleet Street.
Ferdinando was working at Regis when he noticed people running small businesses didn’t want office space – they were happy to work from home – but they did want areas to meet their clients. “Simon had noticed the same thing: they were all meeting in hotel lobbies or coffee shops. In every Starbucks we walked into, there was a business meeting going on but the WiFi is expensive, the coffee is expensive and it’s noisy. They couldn’t have private business meetings,” Ferdinando says.
Ferdinando and Read decided to open their own centres that were low-cost and with a model that was flexible enough to cater for clients coming in for as little as one hour.
“We try to locate ourselves close to big companies because that’s where the small companies need to be,” he adds. “Big companies tend to outsource services to freelancers and those freelancers are the clients we’re picking up.
“At the same time, we find the corporates are running out of space as well for training rooms or boardrooms so in each of our buildings we’ve got a couple of bigger rooms to facilitate that sort of client.”
Hubworking’s turnover is expected to reach £0.5m this year.