I've fallen of the blog horse in the past week thanks to a busy schedule, but I'm back today with more interesting tidbits from the business world.
First, if you haven't already, check out my story on Nerd Net Cafe in Fort Mill. It's an interesting concept that apparently is catching on with local folks. As is the case with many stories we write, I had lots of stuff in my notes that didn't make it into the print edition.
--On choosing the name Nerd Net Cafe: Owner Chris Davis worked for Best Buy's Geek Squad, but considers himself more of a nerd. The difference? Geeks use the latest technology, he said, but nerds master it. "If geeks shall inherit the earth, then the nerds are going to rule it," Davis said.
--Among the goals for his store is to teach people know to integrate the various high-tech aspects of the lives (example: integrating your music with your xBox). "If you can take what they already have and show them how to get more out of it, that's a real benefit for the customer," he said.
--On future plans for the Fort Mill store: A long-term plan is to make Nerd Net Cafe the hangout for local gamers. To help get to that point, Davis plans to hold a series of gaming tournaments between Fort Mill's two high schools, Fort Mill High and Nation Ford High. A Madden football tournament is tops on the list. He plans to get that ball rolling shortly after school starts.
--Cheap books: Davis sells new books at the cafe and has a fairly sizeable selection. All new books are 75 percent off the cover price -- always. How can he do this? He takes advantage of closeout sales and overstock deals.
--On his target customer base: "My customers are basically 96 percent of the world -- anybody who owns a computer and anyone who loves coffee."
Davis plans to expand the business over the next 18 months with four more locations in the Charlotte area. I asked him if the goal was to make Nerd Net Cafe one of those ubiquitous stores, like Great Clips or Subway or whatever, that always pops up in new commercial developments. He said that, indeed, is the plan.
Most new small businesses take around two years to become profitable. Davis said he's about to reach that profitability threshold, and he's been in business less than six months. It will be interesting to track the company's growth.