Office Evolution, the national business-to-business franchise that provides co-working spaces, virtual office services and furnished offices and suites to a variety of clients, has experienced exceptional growth since it began franchising in 2012. Attracting entrepreneurs, small businesses and the self-employed alike, the brand’s strategic and thorough business offering has led to the development of 51 locations throughout the U.S. and counting. In response to immediate success and a growing demand in the area, Office Evolution has pinpointed Raleigh, North Carolina as a top priority for development.
One of three locations to open in North Carolina in the spring of 2018, Raleigh’s Office Evolution franchise has exploded in popularity, with the experienced team of Tara and Greg Abernathy leading the pack. After spending decades in the corporate sphere, Tara in operations management with McDonald’s and Greg as an engineering consultant with Motorola, Ericsson, Flextronics, and Sony, the two retired to the Raleigh area. There, they entered the franchising industry and have owned and operated a Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy preschool for the past 13 years, building it from the ground up into an extremely successful business enterprise.
When the Abernathys first encountered Office Evolution in March 2017, their combined experience and business acumen allowed Tara and Greg to immediately recognize the value of the opportunity. “We loved the business model and the flexibility it provided,” Greg said. “Office Evolution is designed to give franchisees the chance to provide other entrepreneurs the autonomy to grow in their personal and professional life.”
Tara agreed. “We loved the culture and the peer group it fosters. [Office Evolution CEO] Mark Hemmeter’s vision and the success already attained was the biggest draw,” she said. Greg and Tara signed on, acquired an existing office and coworking business last November, opened their Office Evolution franchise in the spring, and all 29 office suites are currently full.
Beyond the Abernathys’ success, Raleigh is enticing for Office Evolution development due to socioeconomic factors as well. The population of the metro area sits just over 450,000, and from 2015 to 2016, the market’s number of employees grew by 7.8 percent and median household income increased by 13.3 percent, according to Data USA. “Raleigh is a rapidly growing community recognized for its outstanding business climate and is a great city for Office Evolution to establish a larger presence,” Hemmeter said.
Tara said she believes the recent wave of big businesses bringing operations to the community is establishing a setting in which smaller businesses and tech startups can thrive. “The growing business presence in Raleigh is something I think entrepreneurs are benefiting tremendously from,” she said.
With startup costs for the franchise ranging from $288,000 to $853,000, a net worth requirement at $750,000 per unit and $300,000 in liquid capital per unit, franchisees are well-positioned to provide a growing segment with an in-demand service. “Raleigh has proven itself as a territory rife with opportunity for small businesses who we hope will continue to take advantage of all that Office Evolution has to offer,” Hemmeter said.