I had coffee with Max, my friend who’s a plumber here in town. We usually talk about books, weather, and gardening… you know the usual stuff.
Yesterday, we talked about the “Latte Factor.” He estimated that 40% of his business comes from people seeing him around town! Folks see him and say, “Oh yeah, I was just thinking of calling you…”
Imagine that for a moment… 40% of your business coming from enjoying lattes, eating out for lunch and hanging out at happy hour.
That’s my kind of networking! It’s not a guarantee, but it’s an interesting spin on what some people avoid. Some people have a tough time connecting with customers in person, hanging out with strangers, being visible and available. (just to name a few.)
Here’s a basic calculation for the annual cost of my Latte Factor:
$4/latte x 5 days/week x 50 weeks/year = $1,000/year
The point is to bring awareness to the little things that can add up to a surprisingly bigger thing. $1k/year on coffee is a lot of money. But ask yourself:
- What’s the value of a new customer?
- What am I currently spending on advertising?
- Is that working?
- Can I track it?
- Am I having fun???
Now, if you’ve seen me on Instagram, you know I love my lattes. If you’re a tea, chai, steamed soy drinker… just substitute your drink-of-choice when I say “latte”. And forgive me and my bias…
I wrote about my Latte Factor, from the perspective of a business owner who works from a home office.
Here’s my spin on 7 benefits of “Jodi’s Latte Factor”:
- Going to the coffeeshop gets me up, showered, and dressed for the day. (No working in my PJ’s all day for me!)
- I see what’s new in the world; skim a few newspapers, post to Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter on my phone.
- I get introduced to people I might not otherwise socialize with. (*Note: this works both ways. Sometimes I work on building stronger boundaries…)
- I share what events I have scheduled, talk about my business, hand out business cards, and listen to their questions.
- I schedule back-to-back-to back meetings there. (*Super efficient: I save tons of time by not driving all over town.)
- I’m visible and in person, in an otherwise virtual company.
- I caffeinate!
So, consider adding some public appearances to your morning routines. Build in a little latte time and a budget, and see if it creates some new business connections.
I look forward to seeing you at the coffeeshop.
PS Remember, the best networking ideas are the ones you’ll actually do. So be kind to yourself and enjoy…
PSS My grandpa was a photographer in WWII. I found this photo in his stack; it’s titled, “US Forces and Girls with coffee.” I wish he were around so I could ask him more about it, and if he took this shot.