Espresso machines whirring and baristas shouting coffee orders, the hum of people talking and all of this to the background music that is a signature of the entire experience. These are the well-recognized sounds of Starbucks. While Starbucks offers a great environment to pass some time with a friend or simply catch up on emails using their free WIFI, it’s not exactly the type of setting that is appropriate for a business meeting.
While the frenetic environment and ambient noise found in Starbucks presents just one obstacle for the road warrior there is another obstacle that can potentially cause serious repercussions. What I am referring to is the almost total lack of privacy in Starbucks, privacy that is often required to have a serious business conversation or to even work on your laptop.
Imagine that you’re in Starbucks. Do you know who is sitting next to you? With tables just inches apart it can be almost impossible to not overhear what your neighbors are saying. Do you really want people to listen to your business conversations? I didn’t think so. Maybe they are a competitor, or a friend of a competitor, or a spouse of a competitor? Or maybe they are just going to blab around town what you are doing and what you were talking about?
The times have changed. Business people don’t always have a private office to do their work or a conference room in which to run meetings. Home offices have become part of the business landscape and we consider our “real” office to be the technology that we hold in our hand. That may all be well and good but there are always the situations when our business interactions must take place in-person and not via Skype, text, email or a phone call. Once again I stress that Starbucks might not be the best place to have such a conversation.
I know that it might seem a tad self-promotional but I’d say that it makes good business sense to conduct business in an environment that is appropriate for the situation. Grabbing a quick cup of coffee with a networking contact and discussing the Long Island business landscape can probably be easily accomplished in Starbucks. A meeting with a potential client, a conversation with your financial advisor about the stability of your company or a phone call with someone about a new project deserves to be executed in more private surroundings.
Champion Office Suites can be the solution. Offices and conference rooms can be rented on an hourly basis or for longer amounts of time as well and unlike Starbucks, there’s no need to whisper or look over your shoulder.
Your secrets are safe with us.