Setting Up Shop
Eva Negron cannot wait to get her new business started! She graduated from college last month with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. She had paid many of her college expenses by working part-time at a campus coffee shop. After graduating, she interviewed for several jobs, but none of them appealed to her. Then she came up with a great idea! She would combine her interest in computers with what she had learned by working at the coffee shop. Eva plans to open a shop filled with computers in Milwaukee, her hometown. She will call the shop Café Net. For a small hourly fee, her customers will be able to access the Internet in a relaxed atmosphere where they can also sip specialty coffees. In addition, they will be able to munch on fresh bagels and other delicious bakery items. Eva’s target customers are mostly people who want to join the online community but lack the skills or equipment—or both. Her employees (just Eva at first) will be available to answer customers’ questions and help them navigate the Internet. The customers will also be able to use the Café Net’s word processing, spreadsheet, and graphics software; color printers; and scanners. Shortly after opening, the shop will begin offering courses in using the Internet and various software applications. Eva hopes local businesspeople will also use her shop as a comfortable meeting place. They will be able to use Café Net’s computers to access their own networks remotely. Business travelers will also be able to check their e-mail while they sip their favorite coffee. Eva has talked with her uncle, Ramon, about going into a partnership with her. Until recently, Ramon had been the manager of a small restaurant in Milwaukee. It had been torn down as part of an inner-city renovation plan. Eva and Ramon will be general partners. This means they will both be responsible for operating the business and liable for its debts. Eva will manage the computer aspect of the business, while Ramon will be in charge of the coffee shop. Two of Ramon’s friends, investors from his former restaurant, have agreed to be limited or silent partners in this new business. They will not be involved in the day-to-day operations, but they will provide most of the money for rent and the computer setup. Then they will share in the profits.
1. What are the roles of speaking, writing, reading, and listening in this new business?
2. What communication barriers might Eva face as she works with her uncle?
3. What barriers might Eva face as she helps her customers use the Internet?