Many business newbies ask me for advice and coaching – something that I do with a genuine sense of giving. By sharing I believe we will all create better businesses and build deeper relationships amongst our colleagues and our customers.

And I know starting a new business is challenging and exciting with that edge of seat feel. It is also about stepping outside your everyday comfort, finding a new pathway, and spending time delving into what it is you do and why you are doing it.

Your new business is about bringing to life a truly authentic experience for yourself and your customers. And it’s about coffee.

We all love to catch-up with old friends, business colleagues and new connections in a cafe. This contemporary environment is a great way to open conversations and kickstart something more formal. A catch-up coffee feels like it takes the “sales” out of the conversation and can be a great way to ask for help, brainstorm ideas and get some advice.

And this approach makes good business sense.

However, if you are going use this approach then it is important to be upfront with people who give their time freely with love and a genuine interest in helping others.

Here are my recommended “coffee” three actions to implement:

  1. Sign-up for a blog or e-bulletin so you know what area your mentor specialises in (this ensures you are on the same topic)
  2. Send an email or LinkedIn message clearly outlining what you are looking for and be honest (allowing your mentor to know what to expect)
  3. Always pay for coffee, follow-up with a thank you and pass on the favour.

And a 4th point (especially if you live in Melbourne) – ensure you go to an interesting and fun cafe that encaptures who you are. Here are my random favourites:

  • A Thousand Blessings – a great local Richmond haunt
  • Kinfolk – its all about social good at the bottom end of town
  • Melbourne School of Life – coffee with philosophy down by the rails of Spencer Street
  • South of Johnson – a quiet street in Fitzroy/Collingwood
  • Self Preservation – the only place to go at the top end of town
  • Two birds – a grungy laneway off Little Collins running into the Mall
  • 50 Acres – on the busy strip of Bridge Road
  • Big Little Sugar Salt – amongst the craziness of Victoria Street
  • Grain Store – tucked behind Collins Street
  • The Little Mule – a sneaky laneway off Little Bourke
  • Kinship – a hole in the wall along Gallagher Place