Where Should I Meet for Business?
We’ve all done it. Conducted “business” meetings at Wi-Fi hotspots like Panera, Dunkin, Starbucks, Bruegger’s, and similar locations for years.
Initially this was exciting as entrepreneurs charted a new way of doing business.
This new meet up option offered the possibility to meet at the expense of the establishment. We
could meet for long hours rent free and further, not be required to purchase any of the
establishment’s food or beverages. What started out as a trend with a few pioneers became the
norm for the many over time.
The Problem –
While this method of meeting for business has some attractive features, quite a list of
drawbacks quietly emerged over time.
To list a few:
- Often business is being conducted in a crowded environment, without a desirable level
- Business discussions can and do evolve into social discussions, as there is often no
compelling reason to end the get together.
- If four or more people are physically at the meeting, available seating can become an
- Seats can result in ergonomic and/or comfort issues.
- Some attendees pay more attention to what’s being said in the meeting next to theirs.
- Documents you open on your mobile device, tablet or laptop might not be as secure as
you would like them to be.
- Wi-Fi may not be fast enough or consistent enough for your liking. Nothing like slower
than slow uploads to cause people to drift away mentally.
- Then there’s the baby in his carrier who was placed on the floor between you and his
mother. She fed him before they left home, and she was sure he would sleep through
her coffee social. He didn’t. You can’t hear your prospect’s reply to your last question
because of his crying. Of course, Mom is used to it. She doesn’t move him.
- The music being played, or the channel on the TV screen (e.g., ESPN) your prospect is
focused on are not conducive to the concentration a business meeting requires.
- You’re meeting at a shop that’s next to a high school or middle school. School let out 10
minutes ago. Your business meeting is mobbed with teenagers talking and laughing as
they order drinks and a snack. Don’t get mad at them because neither you nor your
prospect can’t concentrate. The reality is, you’re in their ‘space’, and they’re only doing
what teenagers do – goof off and have fun after a long day of classes.
Bottom line, there are a lot of factors, such as the ones noted above, at these meet up locations that are out of your control. If you’re scheduling an initial meeting or one that has significant importance to your business, you may want to consider alternative choices.
Consider the article by Andrea Beattie of HuffPost in which she summarized ‘The Secret Study of Business Killers’ that was conducted by market research firm Roy Morgan. In that study, several metrics were measured. Two that are relevant to this topic are the following. 65% indicated it was important for the company to have a local business address and 52% rated a local landline as important.
The Solution –
So how do you accommodate the above thinking for 7 out of 7 people you meet with, as
opposed to 4 out of 7?
Consider the benefits of a virtual office:
- Professional business address and phone number.
- All business mail is delivered to the virtual office location.
- Phone calls are answered by a live receptionist.
- Mail is delivered to the virtual office’s physical location.
- Access to professional meeting rooms and state of the art training rooms.
- Save travel time and expense. Only meet there as required.
- Secure, high speed internet.
- Reduced business overhead.
- No printer, fax machine or copy machine needed.
- No operating/utility costs.
- No property taxes.
- No personnel issues to deal with. To the contrary, a willing staff addresses your every
- No distractions like those experienced in informal meeting locations.
A Potential Virtual Office Facility for You to Consider –
The Executive Office Suites at 8480 Honeycutt Road, Suite 200 in Raleigh is the premier office
location in the RTP region. Both for 55+ onsite tenants and almost 80 virtual tenants.
To learn more about the virtual office opportunity at EOS, go to
http://executiveofficesuitesraleigh.com/our-services/ and scroll down to the table that describes
the offerings for virtual office tenants,
And for more information about virtual office opportunities, please contact Holly Van Apeldoorn
The staff at Executive Office Suites in Lafayette Village is tremendous. The amenities are clean
and tasteful and a great place to meet with clients. Shannon and Suzanne are true
professionals in greeting my clients. As a virtual tenant, my tax practice runs much smoother
with their help and facilities.
Jeffrey Miller – Jeff Miller Tax
The decision to use digital and cloud-based tools to convert the company to a remote worker
model was easy, but we still needed to convey a physical presence. That's where Executive
Office Suites came to the rescue. They made it easy to manage our phone calls with friendly
call screening and VoIP routing options, as well as secure handling of our mail and packages.
But the best part about having Executive Office Suites as a business partner is the way the staff
makes our clients, guests and team members feel welcome when we are onsite. Over the
years, Executive Office Suites has become an essential part of how we work; and it continues to
be a great partnership.
Olalah Njenga, CEO – YellowWood Group