Tip Sheet | March 2018

Interviews and photos by Kyle Cochrun


For this edition, we asked three small business owners what they believe is the most important thing a small business must do well to be successful.


Joel Schinn, Lay’s Guitar Repair

Repairs guitars and gives advice to the strummers of Akron and beyond.

“Customer service. You have to be personable. You have to talk to your customers, listen to them. In our type of market, guitar repair, sometimes you’re trying to figure out what the person is trying to tell you they need fixed. If it’s not playing right, why? If it’s buzzing, where? You have to start asking questions and not automatically assume you know what’s wrong.”


John Buntin Jr., Kenmore Komics and Games

Sells comic books, games and other comics-related esoterica.

“You have to treat your customers right and take care of their requests. As a hobby store, I have to make sure they have a lot of stuff to look for. I have to make sure I find stuff for them if I don’t have it, order stuff they’re looking to get and pay attention to what they’ve bought in the past.”


Carrie Acree, The Dragon’s Mantle

Sells metaphysical supplies, like herbs, essential oils, books, incense and gemstones.

“Advertising, of course. Word of mouth goes such a long way. And just keeping at it. When you’re your own business there is no forty-hour work week. You have to be prepared to put in a lot more time.


Mr. Evans, E & S Hobbies

Sells model trains, cars, rockets and other models and model-making accessories.

“Have plenty of inventory, because if you don’t have something, they’ll either go someplace else to buy it or they’ll buy it on the internet.”