When entrepreneurs first start out, typically their capital to get their business going is minimal. This means they may not have the funds to create a swanky office straight off the cuff or may be forced to work from the confinements of their own home.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with home offices are working in a less than adequate office, it may turn into a rather sticky situation once investors and clients come along—your home or unkempt office may actually result in you losing a sense of professionalism and creditability, which means you can lose out on some serious cash.
So where to meet them? The local Starbucks? No, that’s way too amateur. For some out-of-the box ideas, continue reading below.
1.Office Business Centers
By far one of the best places to meet clients and or investors is at an office business center. These centers, which are slowly popping up all around the country, are specifically designed to wow and impress.
This is how they work: they allow entrepreneurs and other at-home business professionals to rent fully or partially furnished office spaces or conference rooms for a temporary time. Some are available by the hour, some by the day and others even by the month.
While prices will vary depending on various factors, including the amount of time you need the temp office space for and whether you want all the bells and whistles (such as video-conferencing equipped technology, working phones etc), it’s a great solution for those who can’t afford a full-term office lease or don’t want to risk taking investors back to their homes.
2. Restaurant Banquet Rooms.
If you’d rather go the more traditional route and would like to host a “business lunch” or “business breakfast,” make the experience a little bit more intimate so that you can actually discuss business by renting out a private restaurant banquet room.
Waiters will still be attentive and keep glasses full, but being in your own space means little or no distractions from the hustle and bustle of the restaurant—some banquet rooms are even equipped with televisions and projector screens for slideshows and presentations. And reserving a banquet room doesn’t mean that you need to book one at one of the most expensive and up-scale restaurants in the city either.
Some smaller, inexpensive national chain-restaurants like Panera Bread, Hard Rock Café, Rainforest Café, and the Cheesecake Factory offer banquet rooms as well.
3. Hotel Meetings Rooms.
Hosting meetings in hotel rooms used to be popular in the past, but there are too many issues with this option—sitting on beds aren’t professional and being in such a confined space may make your client or investor uncomfortable.
Not to mention that claims of sexual harassment may come out of the blue (even if this is not true). A safer, more reliable option is to rent out a hotel conference room. Many hotels offer packages that include Wi-Fi internet access, beverages/food and are equipped with TVs and projection screens for presentations.
Some might even throw in some office supplies like pens and writing pads to makes sure your meeting goes as smoothly as possible. Rates will naturally vary depending on the amenities you want, the length of time you need to conference room for and of course the branch/type of hotel. But if you are really aiming to bring out the big guns this might be the perfect option.
Of course these are not the only lucrative options available for meeting places, but they are good places to look into. If these options are out of budget, other options can include renting out the club house in your neighbor/apartment or you may even consider hosting a “virtual” meeting via web cam.