6 Lessons Learned by Working From Starbucks



I absolutely love my work from home career! My morning routine consists of leaving my bedroom, grabbing breakfast as I walk through the kitchen and making it to my desk or big red comfy chair to begin my day with some motivational reading.  It’s a daily routine I rarely depart from.  For an hour or so I will seek motivation and inspiration and then make it to the shower to finally wake up!

On non-gym days, a frequent extended-stay trip to Starbucks or Panera Bread happens.  And today was one of those days.  Today I left the house with the challenge of brainstorming for upcoming blog topics.  While Panera Bread is my go-to choice, Starbucks won out this morning.  I arrived, ordered a bottle of water, found an available table and opened the Mac.  And I began to notice some things…. My morning trip to Starbucks reminded me of some lessons that are important to my work from home business and I want to share them with you all.

People Will Pay For A Good Experience

I go to Starbucks and I order water.  H2O.  Bottled Water.  I don’t even drink coffee, though the smell is simply heavenly. Others go and order their fancy drinks that I can barely pronounce and pay 3 or 4 dollars a cup.  There is a McDonald’s, Krispy Kreme and numerous places people can purchase their coffee cheaper.  Matter of fact, they could make it at home… I could have gotten my water from home.  But people are willing to pay for an experience.  People will even wait in a line in the drive thru around the building for the experience.  Even more impressive, people will even get up earlier so they can leave for work earlier for the experience.  Give your customer an incredible experience and they will go out of their way to use your service.

People Like To Be Served

I hear others complain about the price they pay for drinks at Starbucks.  Most of them are the very ones I consider Starbucks Addicts. But where else can you go and feel like you are being pampered for only $4?  I prefer eating at sit-down restaurants versus fast-casual places because I like to be waited on.  Yes, I am so lazy I do not want to walk back to the front to get a drink refill.  Well, actually, I’m not that lazy, I just like to feel pampered.  Starbucks does a great job of this.  The Barista kept calling customers by name and making small talk with them.  Even smiley faces and little hearts in their names written on the cups.  No, you just don’t get that at the McDonald’s drive thru. People want to feel special, pampered and treated kindly.

It’s Good To Change Things Up

Observing the activity around Starbucks, I was not the only person in there working.  There were several individuals, two small groups and a few couples working together.  I could have stayed at home but I wanted a new scene to spark creativity.  People often look at me funny when I tell them I get some of my best work done in Buffalo Wild Wings during games.  For some reason I can get in there, zone totally out and be incredibly productive.  It’s good to change things up when you work from home else we end up stagnant, bored and unproductive.

Good Service Keeps Customers Coming Back

I mentioned the Barista calling the customers by name.  Did I mention that was while they were in line or walking in the door? I heard “thank you” a lot, I heard “I hope you like it” and “I’ll see you tomorrow.”  When people experience good service, they keep coming back over and over again.  This is something we all know, but it really is pretty cool when you see it played out time and time again in a matter of minutes.  This no doubt is part of my obsession with Disney World and Zappos.  Good service is so rare these days and if you have it, you have something that will make you stick out from your competition.

A Smile Can Make Someone’s Day

So obviously as I’m at Starbucks this morning I found myself observing what was going on around me.  And someone smiled at me.  It reminded me how good you can make someone else feel with just a smile.  You have the ability to make someone’s day with a simple smile and I believe we all need to take the time to simply smile at those around us.

It’s Important To Know Your Customers

I did not see anyone order just coffee this morning.  What if Starbucks only sold coffee?  They would not have much of a business based on their current customer base.  Ironically, Dunkin Donuts customers want coffee.  Several years ago I sat beside one of the sales executives from Dunkin Donuts on a flight to Vegas. I was surprised to hear him say the majority of their revenue came from coffee, not the donuts.  They want people to come in throughout the day for coffee. What if they only sold donuts.  It’s really important to know your customers and what they are really looking for and how they really see your business.

Working from home certainly has its advantages.  I don’t even have to work at home!  And that Starbucks water, well, now it’s a tax write off.