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View Full Version : Advice needed on business meeting rooms in London



Kaitlin
08-30-2009, 04:24 PM
Hi everyone! I'm thinking about starting up a small, home-based business, but I'm not sure where I should meet up with my clients etc. I've come across a couple of places specifically adapted for business meetings, like this club in London offering conference and business meeting rooms. What do you think about such a solution? Could you recommend any cheap clubs in London of this sort? Many of them look great and seem to be offering great service, but my budget - at least for now - is rather tight. Cheers guys.

Patrysha
08-30-2009, 05:08 PM
I either meet clients on location at their business or at one of the local coffee shops with wi-fi access - if I am meeting face to face, which is not always required even with local clients.

I don't think having a place to meet clients is always necessary if there are free and inexpensive ways around it.

I wouldn't spend money I didn't have on getting a space...but would book a place if there was a specific reason that was paid for by the activity (ie. a paid consultation as opposed to a free exploratory meeting)

Boots
08-30-2009, 05:41 PM
Hi Kaitlin,

I agree with Patrysha. Since you are just starting up, try to think of creative ways to to not spend money. I have found that for most things, a meeting place is not required.

There are some businesses where it can be very beneficial to bring clients, for instance if you have an office set up which will enhance your chances at getting the sale. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like you would be able to customize these meeting rooms to match your own style or branding.

One final thing to think about if you really need a dedicated place. Don't count out using a spare room in your house, decorated as an office, as a place to bring clients.

I recently read a very good article by Walter Biscardi at Creative COW about this same topic for a multimedia company. I found it very well written and helpful. This is from part 2, but includes a whole discussion about whether to pay for commercial space or not. Your Own Business, Part 2: Setting Up Shop (http://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/277/your-own-business-part-2-setting-up-shop)

vangogh
08-31-2009, 12:50 PM
I'll agree with the above. With most of my clients I've only met them through email and the phone. On occasion I've met local clients in a coffee shop or somewhere else in town where we could talk. I've never felt the need to set up a meeting room.

Of course it likely depends on your business. What kind of services will you be offering and who do you see as your clients?

Vivid Color Zack
08-31-2009, 07:43 PM
I would rather see something like this than a coffee shop meeting. Executive suites and shared conference rooms can portray a much more trustworthy and successful business e even when you're still small.

I'd say upwards of 25% of my clients utilize something like this for their small businesses and every time they seem so proud of their fancy accommodations. If I didn't have a great meeting location at my office I would definitely shell out the monthly fees to have access to a professional conference room.

Remember a lot of times it's not how big you are, it's how big you look. Don't expect to land big clients by looking like a little guy who might not be able to handle their volume or needs.

vangogh
08-31-2009, 11:12 PM
Don't expect to land big clients

That's why I asked about what kind of clients Kaitlin is looking for. If you're looking to land big clients then yes I agree it's a good idea to meet someone in a more professional environment. The thing is not everyone wants big clients. In my case one of the reasons I choose not to work with big clients is because I don't enjoy the little extras that go with it like having to rent a meeting room or maintain an office or having to create big presentations to land the client. That's not to say there's anything wrong with any of those. They simply aren't me or why I went into business for myself.

If you're looking for smaller clients, which most of us here likely are, then you really can meet them anywhere, if you even need to meet them at all.

It really depends on the type of business and the type of clients you're looking for.

janiels
09-04-2009, 06:35 AM
like what you all said, coffee shops will do when it comes in meeting clients, but don't you think it's the most common or traditional way of meeting up clients, what if we need to entertain them in a way that they won't get bored, any suggestions coming up on your minds?

business is business but there are more than just what we read in the books.

vangogh
09-04-2009, 01:05 PM
It really depends on the client and what you mean by entertaining them. Personally I'm not in the business of entertaining clients, especially ones I haven't met. If they need to be entertained in order to decide if they'll work with me, I prefer to move on and work with someone else. For me the meeting is about business and all we really need is a space for that. For a bigger client that needed a presentation you might want a room with a conference table and the technology to present a slide show of sorts.

If you're looking to keep your client from being bored then I think you have to know enough about the client to determine what would bore him or her. That's going to be an individual thing. I can think of lots of things that would bore me that other people would probably find enjoyable and I can think of plenty of things I would find enjoyable that would probably bore most people to tears.

KristineS
09-04-2009, 02:39 PM
Because we now have so much technology that lets us operate from virtually anywhere, I think the need for an actual boardroom style meeting has become less. It's much harder to get everyone around a table when the tables are in four or five different cities or countries.