Regional small businesses and solopreneurs embrace cafés as flexible workspaces


If you’re a small business owner working from home then you’ve probably at some point missed the interaction and productivity you once had before ditching your corporate workspace. But you’re not alone in this, with nearly one million people in Australia running a business from their residence.

Thankfully the flexibility of working from home means you’re actually not confined to this space and there’s an increasing number of cafés that are providing easy access to broadband, relaxed meeting spaces and strong flat whites.

Connected cafes are set to be a game-changer for ‘solopreneurs’ looking to break down their cubicles and go it alone, according to KPMG Demographer Bernard Salt.

“For many people, there’s no need to have an office in today’s working environment. Small business owners can experience everything from managing their accounts in the cloud to video conferencing international clients all from the corner of a cafe, hotel room or airport lounge,” said Salt.

“Widespread access to fast broadband means the office is no longer the anchor; it is simply a touch down point as new technology liberates businesses from the confines of set working hours or spaces.”

House of Bec small business owner, Rebecca Stern, runs a small craft business online/in her studio. She says working in the studio can often get lonely so she likes to head to the local café for a coffee and business.

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Rebecca likes the flexibility of being able to work from anywhere she wants and feels it is a much more productive way of working as she can run her business around her busy life.

“While starting your own business can be liberating it can sometimes feel isolating as I work alone throughout the week so it’s nice to have some friendly faces when working from my local cafe,” said Rebecca.

“When I drop my son off in the morning I tend to have a spare hour to myself so it’s the perfect opportunity to hook up to Wi-Fi over my morning latte. I run an online business so I need fast broadband to communicate with customers and process orders efficiently.”

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Ben Salmon of nbn™ said, “As the nbn™ network rolls out across Australia, many businesses will be able to take advantage of new technologies which provide them with the opportunity to access customers and suppliers more efficiently, regardless of where they are.”

“Were seeing businesses across the country already jumping at the chance to test out this new way of working as local cafes make Wi-Fi over the nbn™ network an essential business offering.”

Ana Benson runs Café Macquarie and says her nbn wi-fi offering is as important as her coffee beans. She often has small businesses/freelancers, like Sarah Candlin who is a freelance photographer, popping in during the week for a coffee and workspace.

Because Candlin usually works from home she finds the café an excellent place to hold meetings/upload large files.