Working in Coffee Shops

Over the next couple of days, I’ll be writing a series of posts aimed at small business owners as I lead up to the launch of my new book, Getting Started with Social Media for Small Businesses on Friday, February 15.

Hi, my name is Rebecca, and I’m a small business owner.

I wasn’t always a small business owner. I used to have a 9-5, Monday to Friday office job. Much like most of you. But one day, that job disappeared, and I was faced with a choice: look for another job, or strike out on my own.

I launched Rebecca Coleman, Marketing and Media Relations on December 1, 2007, and I gotta tell you, I don’t think I ever want to go back to “having a real job.” Certainly, there are pros and cons: I love the flexibility of being self-employed, and I love being able to make my own schedule and to choose what projects I want to work on. But cash flow, and the stress of having no one else to rely upon but myself cause me a lot of stress. Another thing I don’t like about being self-employed is that I end up spending a lot of time alone. I’m an extrovert, and I miss the social interaction of the modern office.

 Working with coffee

So, I often work in coffee shops. Why?

First of all, it gets me out of the house, and sometimes a change of scenery can be exactly the jump-start I need to get writing that blog post or press release. Getting out of the house sometimes is also good, because it’s easy to procrastinate there. There’s always a load of laundry or a sink full of dishes to do. And when I’m procrastinating, I’ll even do tasks I don’t really like to not start the thing I’m putting off.

Secondly, there’s people in coffee shops! I started out by going to meet my friends who are in a similar circumstance to me: self-employed and not wanting to work from home all the time. But as time goes on, I meet more and more new people through the coffee shop, that are also self-employed and that has lead to networking and opportunities to work with and share ideas and info with others.

So, if you’re self-employed and feeling a bit stuck, grab your computer and get out!

What do I look for in a good coffee shop?

  • Fast and free wifi
  • Outlets/plugs for my computer, because it’s getting older and the battery dies faster
  • Lots of natural light and big tables
  • Good coffee (of course!)

My favorite Vangroovy “offices”?

Further reading:

 What’s your favorite coffee shop to work in? Share it in the comments below.


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5 thoughts on “Working in Coffee Shops

  1. I work in coffee shops all the time. My favourite is the Gladstone Hotel – mainly bevause their main (bar) is empty during the day and so they’ve opened it up for folks like me who are looking for a work spot. They get all my client meetings lunches drinks business as a thank you.

    Given that the coffee shops you mention are probably also small businesses, I have to second the “buy stuff” argument. A cafe owner told me that a purchase once every ninety minutes seems fair.

    Also a pet peeve? Please don’t take up a double or a four top for you and your computer. I make a point of it if working in a cafe to automatically look for the lone computer user and ask to share their table so that when three people come in for coffee, there’s somewhere for them to sit.

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