After a big year of welcoming his second daughter into the world, acquiring Office Evolution, and Venture X, this veteran was just getting started. Jason Anderson, President at CoWorks LLC & Chief Strategy Officer at UFG, talks about blending businesses, world’s largest title debates, and how hot it feels sitting at the head of a 20-year ecosystem table in this episode of the GCUC Podcast.
Revel in the organized chaos of the World’s Largest Coworking Franchise with these juicy sound bites:
It’s been an exciting year. On top of our acquisition of Office Evolution business wise and the complexities that come with that kind of acquiring an organization and blending those two. I also welcomed my second daughter into the world. I have a two-year-old and a three month old. I put my real estate broker hat back on this year and started scooping up land. I have nothing to complain about, though. All positive things. I like organized chaos. I work better in that room. – Jason Anderson, President at CoWorks LLC & Chief Strategy Officer at UFG
There’s really two different things you look at in franchising. There’s direct franchising, which is what we do here in the United States, where we are the franchise. Or we offer single one-off units to individual franchisees. And then internationally, we offer master licensing agreements where our partners that purchase the licensing rights from us to the brands in those countries. – Jason Anderson, President at CoWorks LLC & Chief Strategy Officer at UFG
We are right at about 135 locations right now that are open. So that’s not pending. That’s not letters of intent, signed or leases or under construction. That’s actual open running and operating agreements. – Jason Anderson, President at CoWorks LLC & Chief Strategy Officer at UFG
I love hearing about the growth of Coworking and that you guys have so many locations open. If I had $100 for every time somebody told me they’re going to have 100 locations, it’s pretty rare to get there. It’s epic. – Liz Elam, founder at GCUC
On top of president of CoWorks, I’m also the president of Office Evolution. Only the second president in the company’s 20 year history. So I stepped in right from the original founders. Having made it through basic training and military on 9/11, I’m kind of mentally prepared for those environments, and we just came in with the structure. I have the backing of United Franchise Group. Ray Titus as my mentor isn’t a bad scenario. – Jason Anderson, President at CoWorks LLC & Chief Strategy Officer at UFG
Over 20 years, Mark and his team have just built a fantastic ecosystem. It’s not one of those scenarios where I can fill those shoes. It’s impossible. So I decided not even to try. I can just come in with the skills that I have and my know how and take it from there. But it’s a great ecosystem, great team of people, great franchisees, great locations. The whole thing’s just positive. – Jason Anderson, President at CoWorks LLC & Chief Strategy Officer at UFG
I like to really look at existing business models to help coworking operators kind of understand what we’re looking for. So we’ve had this idea and thought that we could recreate in coworking what Marriott and Hilton have done in Hospitality. So underneath Marriott, there’s 20 plus brands from two star to five star, and you even have similar concepts that are three stars. Marriott and hospitality has done a great job of coming up with similar but different product lines. – Jason Anderson, President at CoWorks LLC & Chief Strategy Officer at UFG
We are looking for something that’s going to be different than what we currently have. The goal for us is not to cannibalize our existing brands. We’re looking for things that are different but also can just play well within our ecosystem that would make sense. Most importantly, we think it’s what consumers want. – Jason Anderson, President at CoWorks LLC & Chief Strategy Officer at UFG
Click HERE to listen to the full podcast with Liz Elam and Jason Anderson. It’s juicy!