Mobile Entrepreneurs Meet Clients at the Coffice

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Advice from Mobile and Work-at-Home Entrepreneurs

1  Working from home requires discipline and professionalism. "You can't just roll out of bed and feel you're ready for work," says Cynthia Kitagawa, president of Insight Consulting & Training. "You have to set up a workspace and get into the work frame of mind." For Kitagawa that means donning business attire and setting work hours at home just as she would in an office.

2  With a mobile "coffice" or working from home, you have to be your own tech support. Making sure you're familiar with your tech needs or who to call. "You have to be really comfortable with technology," Kitagawa says.

3  Keep your work in an area designated as your workspace. "If the work is scattered all around the house it's hard to find everything," says interior designer Carol Kozlovich. "It's not professional and it's not very healthy."

4  Your workspace should not be your bedroom. "If you can see the bed from your work area, you should make it every day so you can't look at it and be tempted to get back in," says Kozlovich.

5  If you're working from home, "use a P.O. box on your business cards, not your home address," Kozlovich suggests. "Business cards are often given out at random and if you're working from home you don't want someone to show up at your doorstep when they're not expected."

6  Back up computer files daily with an external hard-drive or in the cloud. "That's probably the biggest security issue when you're mobile, protecting your information," says accountant Sean Kleeman.

7  Consider storing files in the cloud, as a backstop and for access on multiple devices. "I keep my calendar not just on my phone but on the platform Google Calendar," says management consultant Kimberly Miyazawa Frank. "I can access it from anywhere even if my computer is stolen. As well, my business partners can also view my calendar if they want to book meetings. You can have different levels of access (for others) with either details of who I'm meeting with or just available dates depending on the access level."


In addition to Blue Hawaii Lifestyle, Burgers on the Edge and Good to Grill, Melissa Chang's favorite coffices in urban Honolulu are:

Yogurstory on Keeaumoku Street, with outlets upstairs and free Wi-Fi throughout. "They encourage you to camp as long as you like."

Kapahulu Safeway, which includes a comfortable seating area with outlets nearby for computers, and a nearby restroom. Visitors have even been known to bring their own printers and Wi-Fi.

Glazers on King Street near Puck's Alley.

Kissaten Café on Piikoi Street, open 24 hours, but bring your own Wi-Fi.

Starbucks everywhere, especially the one in Manoa, and the one downtown in the Bank of Hawaii building. The former offers a lot of outlets in different spots; the latter has loads of tables in the back, including a large worktable on which to spread out materials.

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