Only half of all small businesses survive five years, according to the Commerce Department ”” the number is much lower for food establishments. But at his original location, Mr. [Duncan] Goodall said, he’s figured out some rules for indie coffeehouses. These are rules that he has now evangelized to all the mentees, “about 20,” who have found him on the Web.
“You have two types of people” who come for mentorship, Mr. Goodall said. “People who love coffeehouses, and people who love coffee. But there’s no requirement for either of those groups to know anything about business.” So what he offers mentees is like a quickie M.B.A. for people whose background is in ”” to use the Owens’ example ”” preaching or nursing.
Mr. Goodall is emphatic about Rule No. 1: “Figure out your niche.” If you’re attracting the artsy crowd, don’t worry if your employees have crazy tattoos ”” it might be better if they do.