Written by Lori Thiessen

So there you are. A proud neo-bedouin worker, sitting in your local coffee shop and you’ve pitched your business ‘camp’ for the next few hours. The mug of java is steaming away beside the gently humming laptop. Being in a coffee shop instead of at home brings you into contact with other humans, away from your ever-growing pile of laundry, and helps you to feel like a real working grown-up. Working from a coffee shop also gives you an opportunity to network with others and promote your business.

There are a couple of ways to do this. One is to strike up a conversation with your fellow laptoppers, but be sure that you aren’t going to be interrupting them while they are working. If both of you happen to taking a quick break from work, then smile and say hello. As a friendly, talkative sort myself, I’m on constant guard to make sure that I’m not overstepping my welcome by talking too long. Going to the same coffee shop on a regular basis allows you to develop new connections gradually and naturally. Whatever you do though, go easy and be respectful of others time and space.

Two is by visibility. When you don’t have an office or a permanent place to hang your shingle, physical advertising becomes a challenge. However, don’t despair you do have advertising space available to you. In fact, you, your body is advertising space. A t-shirt with your company logo is one way of getting your business name out there. Frankly, I’d stay away from baseball caps with your company logo emblazoned on it, but that’s just me. You can also have a patch made with your company logo and have it sewn or attached to your laptop case.

Apart from your body, another physical space for advertising is the back of your laptop screen. A little like Les Nessman’s imaginary office walls (WKRP fans will get this, for everybody else talk amongst yourselves), the back of the laptop screen acts like an office door. So why not stick something on it to help promote your business. Stickers are fun and relatively inexpensive. If the idea catches on, sticker swapping can have the back of your laptop looking like a well-travelled suitcase. Of course, these ideas are based on how dignified or funky your business is, or you are.

Q: What advertising or promotional methods for laptop start-ups have you seen (and liked, or not liked)?

Thanks for dropping by and come again soon for another cup of virtual coffee and conversation!

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