Home | TrendTracker | PowerBlog Reviews | The Experts | Newsletter
SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS brings you daily updates on trends that influence the global small business market.
Anita Campbell, Editor
Past life: CEO, corporate executive, tech entrepreneur, retailer, general counsel, marketer, HR ... (more)
email me
free business magazines
Trade publications FREE to qualified professionals. No hidden offers and no purchase necessary.
On Wall Street
The Deal
Computing Canada
Employee Benefit
Oracle Magazine
100+ additional titles. Click to browse.
Previous Small Business Trends articles can be found at the links below:
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
Or, use the search box below to find a
specific post:

Sign up for our FREE Small Business Trends newsletter. (View Current)

We publish regularly and promise we won't share your email address with anyone. (Privacy Policy)
* Don’t have time to read several dozen blogs a day? Pick two or three. Your brain will thank you for it.

Small Business Trends Radio
Tuesdays, 1:00 PM Eastern U.S. time
on Voice America network
Click to listen

November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Thursday, February 05, 2004
The Coffeehouse Environment & Small Business
With a Starbucks or one of its imitators seemingly on every corner it's time to take a look at the coffeehouse as more than a beverage-dispensing trend. Sure people go to these little islands of caffeine for a taste of the bean, but that's not the only reason, and maybe not even the main reason.

For city dwellers, a coffeehouse is a special kind of space. Part restaurant, part living room, and part office, it's a public place that people treat as if it were private. Even in the burbs people will drive to a coffeehouse to read a book, play a game of Scrabble, or work on their laptop. All things they could easily do in their homes or offices.

There's something about these warm, sometimes funky, spaces that just makes people want to sit, sip, interact, and contemplate. Smart operators are taking advantage of it. After all, there is a huge profit in selling colored water for upwards of a buck and a half a cup.

But there are more opportunities for business than can be poured into a cup, and the trick to taking advantage of them is in bringing people back and having them stay a while.

Starbucks has been making WiFi (wireless Internet access) a part of the equation for a couple of years now. Other "consumer services" are finding their way into coffeehouses just as coffeehouses have found their way in to other consumer spaces -- think Borders and Barnes & Noble. The typical coffeehouse of the future is likely to become a multifaceted selling environment, and the environment of the coffeehouse is morphing into retail outlets.

Tearooms have already sprung up in cities everywhere, and chocolate cafes such as the Moonstruck chain, out of Portland, Oregon, are beginning to appear in the urban centers. The possible environments for coffeehouse-like spaces are just beginning to be explored.

So what's it all mean to the small business marketplace? Well for one thing, the coffeehouse environment is great for meeting with small business owners. They're out of the shop or office and you've got their undivided attention. It takes less time than lunch and isn't as expensive. Another possibility is building a coffeehouse into your physical sales environment. That has worked wonders for bookstores. What might it do for a Staples or Office Depot? What about working with a coffeehouse to set up product demos for area businesses? Send out the invitations offering a free coffee break and wait for the prospects to come through the door. Coffeehouses and their ilk with their warm environment are a trend waiting to be harvested by those selling to small and midsize businesses.
More news... more trends... more insight...

Home | Privacy | Terms | SmallBizTrends
(c) Copyright 2003 - 2005, Small Business Trends LLC. All rights reserved.