We've all been there. You're staring at the computer, hands on the keyboard, but your brain's just not firing. A thought begins to form, but then it's gone again. Your colleagues are even beginning to wonder what's come over you. The problem? You need coffee. Badly.
Having coffee on hand at the office isn't just a luxury; it's a necessity. But if you're a small business of 20 people or less, you probably don't want to invest in the kind of heavy-duty machine used by larger corporations.
Luckily brands like Starbucks, Keurig and Bunn all make solutions for your small business needs. The modest-output machines will maintain employee productivity, while delivering these other benefits as well.
In a small business, everyone's contribution counts. Often, people juggle multiple roles. Coffee needs to be accessible. If you can't immediately get it, you're forced to leave the office and go down to the nearest retailer, interrupting your work flow, prolonging your day, and potentially annoying other colleagues who are depending on you.
Coffee maker manufacturers know this, and have built their machines accordingly. Keurig, for example, touts their simple push-button technology. The K145 OfficePRO model is designed for smaller operations, but their machines all more or less work the same. You load your K Cup (or pod) of choice, and simply push a button. Fresh, hot coffee is ready in under a minute.
If your goal is simplicity, you really can't go wrong with Keurig's K Cups. For the uninitiated, each cup is a concentrated blend of coffee, and contains a specific roast from specific companies like Green Mountain, Folgers and Tully's. It yields one cup, so that every person gets to choose exactly what she wants.
However, some enjoy the comfort of a traditional, ready-to-pour hot pot of coffee. For those people, Bunn offers its VPR 12-cup model. There are no surprises with this machine, just delicious coffee that's ready when you need it. Pour cold water in the top of the brewer, and percolation begins immediately. The initial order comes with decanters and filters, so you're ready to brew right out of the box.
Buying coffee for the office every day adds up. It's an easy expense in the moment (everyone needs caffeine; the one-time price tag isn't too extreme), but at the end of the billing cycle, your expense report can be downright shocking.
Coffee machines save you money in the long run. Here's a breakdown of some of the expenses involved in small business machines:
- Keurig K145 OfficePRO
- List price: $129.95
- K Cup boxes of 24 hover around $15.00
- Bunn VPR 12-cup
- List price: $289.88
- Starbucks Verismo 580 Brewer
- List price: $119.00
- Pack of 12 individual coffee pods: $11.95
While the initial cost might seem a bit high, the savings add up over months and years, especially when you factor in time. Rather than making a coffee run, your employees can now spend that time completing a task. A few minutes here and there can positively impact productivity.
Additionally, most companies have order forms online. You can place your coffee order from your desk in a matter of seconds. To make things even easier, Starbucks has a subscription service that automatically delivers customized coffee orders to you on a regular schedule.
While coffee provides a necessary caffeine kick, it's not everyone's preferred drink of choice. Today's coffee marketplace includes other beverages as well, and most manufacturers try to accommodate everyone's needs.
For example, Keurig's K Cups cover everything from herbal tea to hot cocoa (and flavored coffees as well). Meanwhile, Starbucks wants to bring its brick and mortar experience to your office by offering a wide variety of add-ons. From Pumpkin Sauce to Vanilla Syrup, you can virtually visit the store. You can also use mocha powder and one of their signature espresso pods to make a more complex drink.
While these options may not be right for every small business, you certainly have many appealing possibilities from which to choose.