Places to Meet Clients and Prospects When You Work From Home
Picture this: you’re a solo professional or small business in Hackensack, or surrounding areas in Bergen County, trying to make your mark in the world. You’ve just received some great news that a prospect wants to meet with you and discuss some potential work. Okay, so far so good. The only problem now is that you work from home. Even if you have a nice place, it’s still home and so may not do much to make a good first impression. You may come across as a bit cheap, temporary or not serious, especially if the “home office” doesn’t have a dedicated space and tools to boost productivity, like a whiteboard and large TV to project to from your computer. This is one occasion where the kitchen table or living room just isn’t going to cut it. Thanks to our Office Evolution Hackensack coworking space, you don’t have to panic, but before we move on to that, let’s first explore your other options.
Safety – the First Priority
Even if you’re okay about meeting strangers in your home to discuss business, you still should think about the safety aspect. When all’s said and done, you have no idea who these people are, and now they know exactly where you live. Most visitors will be just fine, but it only takes one oddball to create a bad experience. Women should be especially cautious, particularly those living alone.
Just because you’re a home-based business, that doesn’t mean all business has to take place there. This is especially true if you run a mobile operation that requires little more than a few files and a connection to the internet. In the US right now, around 50%+ of all small businesses are home-based according to Small Business Administration (SBA).
Places to Meet Prospects and Clients
There are plenty of places to meet your prospects and clients outside the home. The most important consideration is that first impression. There are no second chances here, so it’s crucial that you get it right. Where you meet really matters, more than a lot of folks recognize.
Here are some popular (though not all ideal) places to meet clients and prospects:
- A coffee shop
- Hotel (lobby or rented room)
- Member’s club
- The great outdoors
- Friend’s office
- Professional on-demand meeting space for rent
#1 A Coffee Shop
The coffee shops in and around Bergen County New Jersey, are often in easy to find central locations. They’re also comfortable and offer free Wi-Fi. On the face of it they provide a perfect solution. But anyone who has used coffee shops for business meetings will tell you that they can be unpredictable. For one, you can never guarantee there’ll be available seats when you need them. It might also be too noisy inside. Wi-Fi connections are not always secure or stable either. Nor is there space to brainstorm ideas. There’s no room for a whiteboard, or place to project your presentation on a large screen. Huddling around a laptop doesn’t cut it. Some coffee shops will work in certain situations, but if your aim is to come across in a more formal, professional manner, and have an uber productive meeting then it’s not worth the risk. None of these things are issues for those who use our on-demand professional meeting rooms or conference rooms at Office Evolution in Hackensack.
#2 Hotel Spaces
Rented hotel conference rooms can work, though they’re usually better suited to larger gatherings, plus they’re expensive. It’s also important to note the locations of the rooms. If their doors open onto a main corridor there could be noise coming in from outside. Some hotels have nice comfortable lobby areas, but once again these spaces are unpredictable with regards to noise levels. You may not be able to offer your attendee(s) a drink either. These may seem like small issues, but they can result in unfavorable consequences.
#3 Private Member Clubs
Whether your meeting succeeds in a private member’s club or not depends on the structure of the club’s layout, privacy, and location. Also think about how easy or difficult a place might be to find for out-of-towners unfamiliar with the area.
Our coworking center in Hackensack, NJ is centrally located, and near major roads like Routes 4, 17 and 80, which makes us very easy to find. We also have ample parking for you and all your guests.
#4 Outdoor Locations
It’s a lovely thought, but it’s best to leave such informal settings to informal meetings, with people you know. The last thing you want is to be chasing after papers blown away by a sudden gust. There are all kinds of things that can go wrong with outdoor meetings, so the advice here is to forget them. The only exception would be for people who like to think on their feet. For example, you could come across a client who’d prefer to discuss things on the go, while walking around a park or over a game of golf. Always let them make such suggestion and never offer outdoor locations as an option to strangers.
#5 A Friend’s Office
If you have a friend with an office, and they’re happy to let you use one of their rooms for your meeting, that’s great. But before you jump in, think once again about the basics. How easy is the friend’s office to find? What about nearby parking? What about space—is there enough room and privacy for what you need? You’ll want some peace and quiet too. So although it seems like a perfect low-cost or no-cost solution, it might not be.
#6 Professional On-Demand Meeting Spaces for Rent
Finally, we have the professional meeting rooms and conference rooms available for rent on-demand options. Our rooms at Office Evolution Hackensack qualify because they are designed specifically as professional meeting spaces, with meeting productivity and success as the focus. We have different sizes and costs—but all are cost-effective compared to alternative rented space. How long you rent a room depends on how long you need it for—it’s that simple. Perhaps you only want 15 minutes, and that’s fine. Otherwise, you can rent by the hour. If you need the space for a day or more, you have that option too. This really is a perfect and cost-affordable solution for small businesses and solo professionals who need to meet clients and prospects in a practical and impressive setting. Office Evolution Hackensack’s meeting rooms are modern, plug-n-play ready spaces that will impress anyone who walks through their doors. For example, there are large TVs to connect your computer to, whiteboards and speakerphones. You don’t have to worry about noise, interruptions, or connectivity issues either. Parking is easy and the location is simple to find. Plus, there are other amenities, such as a staffed reception to meet your guests and a complimentary beverage bar with a variety of coffees, teas, and filtered water.
Remember, you can win or lose a contract on first impressions alone, so think carefully about where you meet. The better the room, the bigger and more successful you appear to others. And the better equipped the room, the more productive the meeting will be. Just because you work from home, that doesn’t mean your business meetings need to center around your residence, and nor should they.
The Hybrid Home Office Setup
A home-based business doesn’t have to center around the house or apartment all the time. You can put your home office on steroids and create something called the hybrid setup. This is a flexible solution and one that provides the best of both worlds in terms of affordability and effective business functionality. Use our virtual office solutions at Office Evolution’s Hackensack business center to increase your productivity and professionalism when necessary. The only person who needs to know you work from home is you.
As far as your clients and prospects are concerned, you run a successful outfit from a professional building in a business central location. And if you want more room and perhaps the chance to network with other professionals, turn to our coworking spaces. Here you can enjoy a break from the house, and have everything to hand that you need to work effectively. Heck, there’s even a free beverage bar where you can help yourself to free drinks whenever you fancy.
A typical home-office, virtual-office hybrid setup looks something like this:
- Swap your home address for a professional Office Evolution business address
- Have all your business related mail delivered to your Office Evolution private mailbox (no need to include your mailbox number on your address, the suite number is enough)
- Meet with clients and prospects in Office Evolution’s ready-for-action meeting rooms and conference rooms
- Combine working at home with working in the Office Evolution coworking lounge
You can still keep your home setup of course. But consider supporting it by backing up your business and business image with the virtual office solutions offered at our Hackensack coworking and virtual office center. This way you can remain small yet look bigger and be more productive than you actually are, and that’s a good thing. You’re then setup to go on to achieve better and better things and enjoy a brighter future.
At Office Evolution Hackensack, we provide virtual office, coworking, and private office solutions. We offer meeting rooms, offices, a coworking lounge, a shared reception, a business address, and virtual receptionist services. We have many options and price points, and all terms are flexible. Plus, you become part of a community of like-minded professionals.
Whether you live in Teaneck, Bergenfield, Maywood, Teterboro, Hasbrouck Heights, Moonachie, Little Ferry, Rochelle Park, Dumont, Bogota, River Edge, New Milford, Hackensack, Englewood, Paramus, Tenafly and other communities nearby in Bergen and Essex counties, choosing Office Evolution Hackensack in New Jersey will help you be more professional, productive, and profitable.