Many people don't think about hospitality and business working together. After all, when you walk into a local store, no one offers you refreshments... you just do your shopping, pay, and leave. You may have a brief conversation with a friendly check-out person or you may have a disgruntled check out person but, in most cases, you don't walk away feeling like anyone special.
A home business, at least in my mind, is different. When a client comes to me for a Wee Folk Toracles reading, I want to make sure that the time they spend with me is memorable. I want them to feel important, somewhat pampered, and to know that I've enjoyed their company. This means purchasing some extras, but I believe it is well worth it to do so.
If you don't own a coffee pot, now is the time to purchase one. You can get a decent, cheap one at Dollar General for about $15.00. You'll need coffee filters and coffee too, of course. My coffee of choice is Maxwell House as it seems to have a more robust flavor than Folgers, but this is your choice. Purchasing some type of powdered creamer is a good idea too. Also sugar - either in sugar packets or cubes - or just have some sugar in a small bowl near where a client will be making their coffee. Oh yes, don't forget some plastic spoons or stir sticks to allow them to mix the creamer and sugar in their coffee.
Cups are necessary too. If you don't have any coffee cups because you are not a coffee drinker, I would suggest going to the Salvation Army or Good Will. You'll want a heavier type cup as it is not as easy to spill - stoneware or ceramic cups are awesome. You don't want to go with Styrofoam as Styrofoam cups are very light weight and you might end up with your Wee Folk Toracles cards covered in coffee from an accidental spill.
I also have a variety of teas available for those clients who don't care for coffee, but do like hot tea and I make sure to have hot chocolate packets on hand as well. Also, bottled water.
Since I am an avid coffee drinker and always have a cup by my side, I offer my clients their choice as soon as they are seated. I don't want to be guzzling coffee while they have nothing in front of them. Sometimes, clients will bring their own beverage too as they don't expect "hospitality" from a business. They'll be pleasantly surprised that you have gone the extra distance to accommodate what they might need. Make sure you escort your client to where they can get their beverage, pointing out their options. Allow them to make their own coffee, tea, or hot chocolate as these are all beverages that people make differently. You don't want them trying to choke down coffee that has too much or too little sugar... you get the idea.
I do get up from a reading to re-fill my cup if I need to and that gives me the opportunity to see if my client needs a re-fill or, if they chose not to partake when you asked the first time, they can change their minds and request something. Asking more than once at a convenient time during the reading is a good practice. This also aids in making sure that your client does not go into the light trance state I talk about in the "Become a Skilled Card Reader - Featuring the Wee Folk Toracles Deck Ecourse". Movement and a change in subject matter brings the mind back into focus and this will allow your client to retain more of their reading.
I also try to have a small, healthy snack on hand - sitting on the reading table. This might be strawberries, grapes, a cheese variety - basically, non-messy snacks - but napkins are always good to have in close reach as well. Be sure you let your client know that they are welcome to snack during the reading.
If your client should inquire about using the restroom, don't just wave your arm in the direction of the facilities or tell them to go down the hall to the fifth door on the right. Escort your client to the restroom, then go back to the reading table. Escorting them makes them feel less unsure about where they are going and less self-conscious about walking through someone else's home. They'll be pleased that you took the time with them.
You can go as far as you'd like with hospitality for your home business. What I have suggested here are those things that I have found my clients really appreciate. Most repeat clients, once they have been to you two or three times, will feel comfortable enough to head straight for the coffee pot or beverage of their choice as you have made them feel at home. THIS is what you want them to feel - comfortable and trusting. Word of mouth is a powerful advertising method and going the extra mile for your clients will have them sharing good things about you, the readings you do, and what a wonderful hostess/host you are.