Using your home as a base for your small business may work great for you, but what happens when you want to meet clients. For a variety of reasons, you may not want to bring them into your living space, so here are some ideas for alternative places to meet.
1. Coffee Shop - This is always a popular choice all you need to do is buy a beverage for your client and use the space to get your business done. It’s a good idea to find somewhere different to a big chain coffee shop as they can be noisy and busy. Pick somewhere that is charming and interesting and usually much quieter.
2. Restaurant - It’s always a great idea to offer to meet your client for a business breakfast or lunch. It will usually lighten up the conversation and may persuade your client to agree to terms or buy products from you. To make the meeting more friendly offer to let your client choose the location (within limits). It is a good idea to give them three restaurant ideas to choose from. Keep in mind that formal restaurants can be uncomfortable not to mention damaging to your budget and may not provide the best atmosphere for a successful business meeting.
3. Business Centre - This is a rapidly growing trend where a small office space with a desk and chairs can be rented out inexpensively by the hour, day or for a longer time. This provides you with an office atmosphere to meet your clients from time to time without having the expenditure of renting an office full-time.
4. Hotel Conference Rooms - Meeting in a hotel room can be a safety issue, and meeting in a hotel lobby can be too busy and noisy. A better choice can be renting a hotel meeting or conference room. Hotels usually have a few different size rooms to rent which include Wi-Fi connections, audio visual equipment, office supplies and can include catered refreshments. This is a good choice if you are planning a presentation to a number of potential new clients.
5. City Hall - Some city halls have conference rooms that are open to the public for events and your local Chamber of Commerce may also be able to rent out space to you.
6. Your Bank - Some banks have a community meeting room that you can use sometimes for free. It is a good idea to reserve it well in advance.
7. Public Library - Not always a good idea as you have to keep your voice low which can be difficult. However, some libraries do have a meeting space that they will let you use if booked ahead.
8. Club House - Some home owner associations and apartments have a clubhouse that can be reserved for a small fee. A great place to hold a business meeting especially if there is no charge to use the space.
9. Video-conferencing in Your Home - If you decide to hold a video-conferencing meeting you can do it in your home. You should choose a room with the best lighting and that looks the most presentable. Be prepared for dropped calls and have a back-up plan such as back to the coffee shop.
These are some great ideas for places to meet your clients and potential clients until you are more established and have your own office. Don’t forget to save your receipts for these meetings as they are tax deductible.
From an article by Lauren Bailey – Work at Home Woman
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