For many people who work from home, small business owners and entrepreneurs, coffee shops provide ideal business meeting venues. However, it’s easy to forget that actually they are not really our offices.
If you are going to conduct business partly in your local coffee shop there are certain etiquette rules you should follow, taking into account the feelings of other customers.
Timing – try to arrange your meetings at a time when the coffee shop is not busy. Coffee shops have lax periods so going at quieter times not only helps you but helps them too.
Keep the noise down – if you need to take a call it’s probably best to take it outside not only because it might annoy other people or you will have to conduct your conversation above the noise of the coffee shop, but also because it will be easier for you to hear your caller. This especially applies if the call is likely to be a long one.
Don’t occupy more space than you need – if you don’t need a table that seats four choose a 2 seater. There is nothing more annoying than seeing two people seated at a larger table when a party of four comes in and there is nowhere for them to sit.
Don’t hog the power points – if there are limited power points consider that other people might also want to use them. You might want to consider carrying an extra power strip with you too.
Buy the coffee – if you intend to spend a long time working in the coffee shop buy coffee, and not just one cup. Coffee shop owners are also running businesses, just like you, and they thrive when people buy coffee! Setting up your mobile office with your laptop, tablet, mobile phone and your paperwork spread across more space than you need to drink your coffee will not endear you to the owner. Spending money in the establishment will and you will always be welcome.
It’s really all about “give and take” and common sense. Imagine if everyone just bought one cup of coffee and spent hours in the shop. It’s taking up space paying customers could use and without paying customers there’s every possibility that your local coffee shop could close down. And then where would you go?