Business meeting - if not in a cafe, then where?

Service Business

Specialist knowledge or a good idea, and a computer - for many, this is enough starting capital to start their own business. But the freelance entrepreneur who runs his business from home also faces specific problems - such as when he has to meet a client or contractor.

In Poland, about 1.5 million companies are run by one person. Their owners do not hire employees, but they acquire and fulfill orders themselves. This includes graphic designers, lawyers, marketing and advertising specialists, IT specialists - people from various industries who have in common that they changed their job to their own company.

Home business - and meetings?

Since an office would be a big expense for them, but they only need a table, chair and a computer, they usually run their businesses at home. Only some decide to co-work, that is, to share space with other freelancers in a place specially prepared for this purpose.

Although many independent entrepreneurs provide their services electronically, it does not mean that they close themselves within four walls and avoid contact with people in the "real world". Very often, potential clients and contractors want to meet to discuss the terms of cooperation in person.

And that's when the problem arises. Not every entrepreneur wants to invite customers home - the sight of a serious business partner (or his husband / wife) in slippers and a bathrobe will not be conducive to serious discussions. In addition to image issues, it is also important that not everyone wants to show their private kingdom to others. For many people, the house is a private space, reserved only for family and friends.

This is why so many business talks are held at coffee tables. Making an appointment "somewhere in the city" is for many entrepreneurs a way to arrange a conversation in a pleasant place and in a non-embarrassing atmosphere. You can get to know each other better, drink good coffee, and take care of business by the way.

It's just that meeting in a public place does not only have advantages. Small tables in eateries sometimes hardly hold two laptops and a pile of printed documents, and in such conditions it is difficult to keep any confidentiality of the issues raised. Anyone who wants to, can simply listen in on the conversation and find out the details of the arrangements.

- I still see people in business attire in cafes, with a lot of documents on the table. I think then that they are certainly not aware of the fact that for the price of two coffees they could meet in much more comfortable conditions, while maintaining the privacy of the conversation and presenting their professionalism - says Katarzyna Brudnicka, director of the Warsaw company Gold Place.

The room not only for training

When looking for a place for a business meeting, entrepreneurs usually do not consider renting a room for this purpose. Most often, they simply do not know that in the largest Polish cities, more and more companies offer small conference rooms and meeting rooms, billed on an hourly basis. Room rental is still associated with an offer for training companies that need large rooms for at least a few hours than with office rooms that can be "rented" immediately and for a short time.

Meanwhile, ordering such a room for an hour or two is very easy. First, you need to make a reservation by phone or e-mail, and if the room is just vacant, there is nothing to prevent you from using it even immediately.

Some entrepreneurs may be concerned about the cost of such a solution, but the price for an hourly room rental may be similar to the bill that meeting participants will pay for a small order in a coffee shop. Renting a room in an A-class office building in the center of Warsaw costs about PLN 30-50 per hour. What about coffee and cake? They are already included in the price!

- We offer coffee catering with refreshments, access to high-speed Internet, the possibility of using multimedia or office equipment as well as assistant service to each of our clients without any additional payments - Katarzyna Brudnicka gives the Gold Place offer as an example, but points out that it is not yet a standard on Polish market. The offers of companies that provide rooms by the hour can differ significantly from each other and before making the final choice, it is worth comparing them with each other.

- You have to take into account that some companies offering rooms have limited service hours, and the final rental cost sometimes depends on the number of people present, the number of drinks ordered, or the equipment used - adds Katarzyna Brudnicka. - It is also worth checking the location of a given office in advance and the standard of its finishing, so as to be sure that the meeting will take place in a convenient place and in appropriate conditions.

If the entrepreneur chooses the premises for a business meeting well, he will gain a comfortable place to do business, and at the same time strengthen his image in the eyes of the contractor. This is another reason why a meeting room may be a better option than a meeting at home or at a coffee shop.

For some freelance entrepreneurs, "renting" a professionally prepared room several times a month may also be more advantageous compared to monthly renting a cheap office with a low standard and in a poor location. After all, being free is an inherent feature of the concept of "freelancer", and mobility, flexibility and a lack of attachment to a fixed location complement this image well.

Author: Marcin Pietraszek -