In 1977 Spain was a very different country, overall from a business point of view. UK and Spain’s management styles, technology systems and market understanding were completely different. The former had a global vision while the latter had a more restricted and local approach. Certain services popular abroad were not requested in Spain. Specifically speaking Business Centers. Probably one of the reasons was culture. In our country the feeling of owning the property was very rooted (and although nowadays this has changed, it is still a big influence in many decisions) and no one could think of sharing offices or services such as receptionist or assistant staff with other companies. In Spain in order to feel that our business project was important, we should own the office and consequently the associated costs. This attitude applies to Real Estate as well. Mortgage could eat all our salary with almost no pocket-money, our main wish was to leave that property to our descendants even if for that we have to live with a lot of constrains. This was the legacy of the preceding generations.
In that environment, after a trip to the USA, a Spaniard named Jose Manuel (known Chema by everyone) decided to set up the first Business Center in Spain. He perceived that the traditional business approach had to change at some point. Lexington was born.
The strong belief that the best way to help businesses is by offering a space solution which does not require a huge initial investment (which many times would make the project unfeasible), Chema opened the first Business Center in Madrid at Orense street. It started with the name of Warren Staff and changed to Lexington in 1981. At a BusinessCenter, companies could invest all their capital in the real important matter, their business idea. The uncertainty of any business’ beginning together with the difficulty of offering something with low demand since it was unknown and against the traditional line of thinking, were the market conditions for first shared offices starting in Spain.
He started with a minimum capital allowing him to furnish offices only after the client had signed the contract. This business service, which provides flexibility versus long rental agreements of traditional offices spaces, has settled in the Spanish market as an added-value proposal that makes easier to start up any-size business. Nowadays even big and well-known companies such as Google, Facebook or HP use this type of services due to their prompt, flexible and profitable solution.
A long time has passed since those first steps were taken and currently millions of companies, entrepreneurs and freelances around the world take advantage of using BusinessCenter services. Outsourcing services of office management while the firm focuses on their core business is now a reality. This confirms that the bet made by a Spaniard traveller almost 40 years ago was not a mistake.
CEO at Lexington