Business confidence gap narrows
A fall in business confidence in fast-growing economies such as those in East Africa has reduced the gap with mature markets as efficiency becomes the key driver to remaining competitive without compromising on growth, finds latest Regus survey. Research reveals that globally firms will prioritize cost-cutting measures, from talent retention to flexible workspace, to gain maximum advantage from existing assets and expand fast and flexibly.
The latest Regus Business Confidence Index (BCI) survey of more than 20,000 senior executives across 95 countries found that while confidence levels have risen by five points to 109 in mature economies, there has been as drop of nine points to 117 in emerging countries. In East Africa, business confidence has dropped slightly from 132 points in April 2013 to 131, well above the global average of 113 points.
The report also indicated that East African businesses will focus on improving staff retention and on finding cost-effective services providers over the next twelve months to optimise business processes and gain maximum advantage from existing assets without compromising on expansion plans.
Commenting on the research, Regus Vice President for Africa, Joanne Bushell: “While mature economies are showing confidence gains as their economic outlook turns positive, the emerging world is slowing the pace of growth as businesses aim to become increasingly efficient to promote productivity. Our research also shows that utilising flexible workspaces can have a significant impact on the bottom line, encouraging sustainable growth.”
Other BCI findings include:
- Companies reporting revenue and profit growth in East Africa have stayed the same at 58% and have risen from 46% to 56%
- The top four efficiency outcomes for companies in East Africa are:
- Improved staff retention (53%)
- Cost effective services providers (46%)
- Higher return on investment on marketing and advertising (43%)
- Lower hiring costs (34%)
- 28% of businesses also plan to reduce fixed office space
The world’s leading CRM platform salesforce.com, relies on Regus business centres in half of its 26 locations worldwide. The company has seen phenomenal growth since it was founded in 1999 in San Francisco and has been ranked the World’s Most Innovative Company by Forbes Magazine for the Third Year in a Row. Larry Wolfert, Senior Director, global real estate, said: “Working with a single point of contact at Regus for our global workspace needs makes our global expansion manageable and efficient. We have also saved a lot of money avoiding the upfront capital expenditure associated with fitting out traditional office space.”
Regus customer, Doris Adong from Mix Telematics East Africa Ltd, says “Regus helps us save money when we are out the office as Regus’ reception area receives the goods for us with just a phone call which means there is no additional costs of hiring a temporary employee.
 Forbes Magazine, August 2013, The World’s Most Innovative Companies