The way we conduct business keeps changing and will keep changing. It used to be the golf course was one of the best places to do business outside the office.

While the golf course may continue to be a valuable place to build and maintain solid business relationships, the coffeehouse has re-emerged as a place to meet new connections, reconnect with old friends and colleagues and collaborate with others as you work on new possibilities in life over 60.

As technology advances and more and more people have the freedom to work virtually, cafes and coffee shops like Starbucks, Tim Horton’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Caribou Coffee, Panera and scads of others are quickly becoming favorite venues for doing business. And, let’s not forget the independent shops.

 
 

Why is that? Here are some of the advantages coffee shops offer.

Networking Your Way to an Encore Career

Coffeehouses tend to put a lot of effort into creating an atmosphere that is comfortable and welcoming. This is perfect for putting others at ease during a meeting. Meetings held in offices or in business centers tend to have a sterile feel to them, which makes the entire interaction less personal and comfortable.

A casual environment is perfect when you want a place to have a first meeting with a number of different people – potential partners, possible associates or would-be employees, new friends and old friends.

Surmising how others would fit into your business, or reflecting on a pending opportunity someone brings to you, may come easier for you in a coffee shop. The environment is both familiar yet detached.

Collaborative Connectivity

Almost every coffee shop worth its beans offers wireless Internet access – and if they don’t, they probably won’t be around for long. With the hyper-connectivity of millennial entrepreneurs, your neighborhood coffeehouse serves as a meeting place to create new business concepts and enable online collaboration. Years ago, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs launched their start-up in a garage. The next pair of brilliant entrepreneurs might launch their dream while sipping a latte at their favorite hang-out.

It’s an atmosphere everyone can enjoy. You can meet up with others to work together, mentor and share, whether it’s to co-author an e-book, share background for website development, learn about the latest in social media or brainstorm about new ventures.

Thinking Outside the Box

Many of these establishments have smaller, separate rooms that are perfect for an offsite or private meeting. Instead of holding an office meeting at the office, this comparatively more social environment can be great for spawning creative solutions for any issues your company may be facing. And, to stimulate creative problem-solving, you have the great coffees and other menu items that help energize the mood and create a moment perfect for brainstorming and strategizing.

So, whether you are a golfer or not, consider the benefits of connecting at a local coffee shop. They’re a great venue for building relationships, solving problems and discovering new opportunities.

Have you ever scheduled a meeting at a coffee shop? What is the name of your favorite coffee shop? What draws you to a place and keeps you coming back for networking and other opportunities? We invite you to share in the comments.

Susan SpauldingSusan K Spaulding is an author of Recalibrate for Life 2.0, Transition Stories for Business Leaders and Recalibrate, An Accelerated Guide for Strategic Growth, and principal of Recalibrate Strategies. She focuses on collaboratively facilitating great outcomes for her clients whether establishing a new brand, cultivating new markets, or recalibrating for personal and business success.

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