Many times as a small business owner we start a business around what we are passionate about or what we are good at. Often times we do not think about the running of the business portion of it. Small business owners can get burnt out and end up hating what it is they once loved because it has become about running the business instead of being about passion or love of what they do. This is very well explained in the book the E-myth. A must read for any small businesses owner.
One of the elements people miss most when they run their own small business is the interaction with co-workers. People can often get a little stir crazy without daily communication with other people. There are ways to have some interaction and a community as a small business owner or a solopreneur.
Coffee shops can be a great place to work for a small business owner. They are free minus the food or beverage you consume, there are other people around and you never know who you will meet. Coffee shops can be difficult for some people, though. The coffee shop worker is becoming more and more popular, so sometimes you may be unable to be a good seat. A coffee shop is there to make money and each seat is worth a dollar amount. If people are just sitting there working and are not buying anything, the shop is losing money. Many coffee shops will limited WiFi, or have limited power outlets. I have even seen some reduce the amount of seating or seating with tables. Another drawback is that is can be loud and hard to focus or have a meeting with another person. A coffee shop is a good solution if you are traveling, meeting someone or need something in a pinch. I would not recommend it as a base of operation.
Another option as a place to work that is a relatively lower cost is a co-working space. These are becoming more and more popular as more people are starting their own businesses. Each co-working space is a little different, but the idea is the same. Usually, you pay a fee to belong to the space. There is usually an open area with desks or table that people sit at and work. Table space is on a first come first serve basis. Sometimes there will be a dedicated desk space where you can pay more to have your own desk. If you wanted to move up a step you can often get your own office within the space. These options vary from space to space, but one great feature that is common among most coworking spaces is the conference room. Typically a good coworking space will have one or more conference rooms or private rooms you can reserve. This is great for client or group meetings. Angry Ape Creative belongs to a coworking space called Launch Fishers, in Fishers, IN. I have met other small business owners in a wide variety of fields as well as it is my go-to place to meet a client if they do not have an office to go to.
Another great resource for meeting and interacting with people is a networking group. There are many different types of groups that fill just about every niche. Some are free and some are paid organizations. Goldstar and BNI are probably the two most popular across the country. Rainmakers is popular here in Indianapolis. Angry Ape Creative is part of Rainmakers and Goldstar. Finding a good networking group is all about how you like and need to interact with people. The idea behind most of them is for each person to help other people get more business and make introductions. If there is not a good structure they can become expensive social groups. Although they are meant for business, it is often a great way to personally interact with people. There are a lot of people have been where you are now in business and some great advice you can get. I co-chair a Rainmaker event called ThinkUP which is based on that exact principle. Basically, the meeting becomes a mini-mastermind group of 4-5 people for an hour.
Just because you are starting a business on your own, you do not have to be alone. There are many ways that you can still interact with people on a daily basis in your work life. Whether it is just working at a coffee shop or getting involved in a networking group there are other people out there you can talk to or meet with who are looking to connect with other small business owners too.