One of the things I love about Indianapolis is the business cooperation, especially among the small businesses and entrepreneurs. I saw a lot of this when several of us would get together at The Bean Cup in Greenwood for a Mobile Work Day.
It’s actually an efficient way to work. Many times I learned about new information, heard about new services and best practices, and even got some help fixing a couple problems that had plagued me for months. It was also a way to strengthen friendships and working relationships. I have a few more people I feel comfortable calling for help and/or referring business to.
Since then, I’ve tried to start up Mobile Work Days in other areas of town. I’ve had them at Gourmet Grounds of Geist in Fishers, and Hubbard and Cravens in Broad Ripple. While attendance has been small, the idea has been embraced by the social media pros and entrepreneurs in the area. I think Mobile Work Days may be a new way of doing business and boosting our local economy.
So we’re going to try to make this a real thing, a real way of doing business.
What is a Mobile Work Day?
A Mobile Work Day (#MobileWorkDay) is where entrepreneurs and small businesspeople hang out in a local coffee shop and get some work done with other entrepreneurs and SMBs.
We pick local coffee shops, as opposed to Starbucks, for a number of reasons:
- Free wifi. None of this paid wifi or AT&T crap. I know some Starbucks now offer free wifi, but that’s because the locals have been doing it for years.
- The coffee is better. ‘Nuff said.
- Local shops are more conducive to groups. A lot of the locals have tables you can shove together for groups of 6 or more. At the Bean Cup, we would sometimes take up half their tables and have 16 – 20 people working together in one long row of tables. Unfortunately, they may have had the biggest seating available, so that option may be lost to us.
- Money you spend at local shops come back to the community. When you spend $1 at a local shop, $.40 stays in the area. When you spend $1 at a Starbucks, only $.13 stays.
There are no rules or expectations for what you work on, how long you stay, or when you show up or leave. Our only request is that you spend some money at the place. Get a cup of coffee and a refill, or a latte and a muffin. Buy some lunch and a water. Just make it worth the coffee shop’s while for having us take up some tables for a few hours.
Ultimately, Mobile Work Days are good for the community. Hosting one at a local coffee shop helps their business, and it boosts our own local economy by supporting local merchants. Besides, if we want local support for our own businesses, we need to support them. If you’re an entrepreneur who has meetings at big chains, don’t be surprised if your local community can’t or won’t support you in return.
Our next Mobile Work Day is Thursday, November 19 at Hubbard & Cravens at 6229 Carrollton Rd., in Broad Ripple. We’ll start at around 8:30 or 9:00, and go until about 4:00 or 5:00.
We’ll start holding these on the 3rd Thursday of every month, and we’ll try to come up with some different places to hold it. If you have any suggestions, let me hear them. Our criteria is free, reliable wifi, the ability to hold a group of at least 10 mobile professionals while still taking good care of their regular crowd.