Time Management – Catching Up Over A Coffee

Catching Up Over A Coffee.

In the 1980s, business was often discussed over a bottle of Beaujolais in a wine bar; in the ‘noughties’ it was most likely Chez Barista.

Advanced and ubiquitous communications technology available today has encouraged busy owners of small businesses to replace these hour-long meetings with a few minutes’ coffee break from their desk – or from wherever they happen to be – for a friendly business catch-up with people, without wasting limited time travelling to neutral venues.

Is this a good thing? Managing time is extremely important for an entrepreneur to be successful. If the average travelling time saved is 1 hour per meeting, per day, what could be achieved in that time? If nothing else, you could take some much deserved time off at the weekend.

What are the exceptions? Sometimes, face-to-face meetings are inevitable. Here are five reasons to consider leaving your desk:

  1. New business. If a new client wants to meet with you or a contact is introducing you to a potential new client, this is worth the investment of your time. It is often the only time you will meet those clients as they are busy too. One meeting will establish the necessary rapport to continue exchanges via email, telephone and skype.
  2. Continuing Business. Keeping good clients is paramount and if a client wants a meeting, they should be given priority. After all, satisfied clients can also be your best sales outlet.
  3. Investors. If someone is willing to risk their money in your venture, they will usually want to meet you in person before making a final decision.
  4. Suppliers/Distributors. When other small or more established companies work with a start-up, they seek reassurance from ‘the Boss’ in the absence of any historical data.
  5. ‘Old Pals’. Sometimes, a sociable meeting with a long-standing business associate generates new business ideas, referrals and introductions to useful contacts. And, even if they don’t, a busy entrepreneur should take an opportunity to relax in pleasant company every now and then.

Next time you receive an invitation for coffee and a chat, find out why then decide whether you should (or want to) make the time.