Does your home also double as your workspace? These 3 road tested locations provide a great space for professional meetings.
It’s a constant conundrum for home-based business owners – when it’s time to interview contractors or meet with clients, where do you go? Most home offices aren’t equipped to host, but other settings can feel too informal or be too noisy to be productive. Luckily, the rise of the gig economy and entrepreneurship have made non-traditional workspace and meeting places the norm. Still, you can’t meet just anywhere.
These 3 locations all have great potential for professional meetings, so take your pick. Plenty of other small business owners have already road tested these for you, so you won’t have to worry that you’ve chosen wrong.
The Coffee Shop Interview
Coffee shops are the new office. Most entrepreneurs spend hours sitting in their local café, using the WIFI, and answering emails. So why not hold your meetings there? With ample seating and hot beverages, cafés are meeting ready, aside from the chatter. Just be sure to choose the right time and place – the Starbucks by a bus stop is going to be a nightmare when all the teens arrive after school but is probably pretty quiet around 10 AM.
Another factor you should consider if you’re considering a coffee shop meeting is whether you’re meeting a client or a potential employee. When planning a client meeting, you’re better off laying out money for a private space, but employee interviews are a different story.
Tim Gerst, founder of the marketing company Thinkswell, actually requires candidates to meet at his local coffee shop to see how they interact with people in a busy environment. He also finds that the casual setting takes some of the pressure off and makes interviews more casual. Only after he culls through initial candidates does Gerst invite them to the office for a more formal meeting.
The Well-Heeled Home
Many entrepreneurs start out using closets and fold-away furniture, making it impossible to meet clients – the space just isn’t big enough. That doesn’t mean you should rule out your home entirely, though. If you have the house to yourself for a few hours, you can transform a primary living space into a professional meeting area.
There are a few secrets to creating an adaptable meeting area in your home and they start with choosing the right furniture. The classic slipper chair, originally designed for the Victorian boudoir, is comfortable enough for any living room but also formal enough for office settings.
Pair slipper chairs with a bookcase or wide desk for meetings, then flip them back to face your couch when the meeting is over. And since these chairs come in a range of styles, you can match them to your décor to create a professional, polished space in minutes.
The Coworking Conference Room
Finally, the rise of coworking spaces offers the perfect middle ground between a home office and a public space like a coffee shop. As Erin Hochevar of Hudson Business Lounge explains, coworking spaces offer “the familiar yet dynamic environment that today’s professional is seeking.” And while these spaces reduce isolation for individual entrepreneurs, they can provide just enough privacy for professional meetings.
Don’t waste precious time worrying about where to have your next business meeting, when there are potential spaces all around you. From the home to the hotel restaurant and a range of public spaces in between, the most important thing is that the space reflects your business’s style and ethos. Beyond that, the evolving nature of home-based businesses means that you have a lot of freedom to choose the location that suits you best.
Anna Johansson is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant from Olympia, Washington. A columnist for Entrepreneur.com, Inc.com, and more, Johansson specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
This article was originally posted on Manta