Entrepreneur Matt Becker wanted to blend his love of coffee, linking the community and outdoor adventuring and endurance sports.
In October 2019, Becker opened Le Sommet Coffee, a new specialty coffee roaster in Doylestown to fill the void.
“Le Sommet Coffee offers a different approach to coffee,” Becker explained. “We align with all of the focuses other coffee roasters do around responsible sourcing and creating quality coffee experiences, but we take it a step further by bringing a connectedness to the outdoors while supporting endurance sports in the area.”
As a solopreneur, Becker had so many questions prior to launching the business. He reached out to SCORE Bucks County, a local chapter of a national nonprofit organization committed to providing mentoring services to new and existing businesses. He began working with mentor Peter Niche in March 2019 and leaned on him for trusted advice. Niche, founder of Niche Advisory Group, has spent the last 40 years leading organizations in financial, operational, ethical and executive roles as an advocate for growth.
“Matt had his basic plans in place and needed someone to listen to what he wanted to do and steer him in the right direction when he was moving away from his plans,” Niche said. “I was pleased to help Matt realize his dream of opening a coffee roasting business. He had a good holiday season and is looking forward to continued growth.”
Becker credits Niche with helping to make his upstart a success.
“The focus is on me and my company. He wants to see me succeed,” Becker said of Niche. “He is compassionate, understands the challenges of what I am dealing with; yet offers advice even if it is something I may not want to hear in the moment knowing it is what I need to understand.”
As a first-time business owner, Becker has learned that no one expects him to have it all figured out. He has instead accepted that mistakes happen and are good learning experiences.
“Experiences drive better decisions,” he said.
Not having a business partner has presented challenges, but Becker has used Niche as a sounding board for ideas or obstacles that have cropped up along the way.
“Most important is having a person you can open up to for trusted advice that has experience in the domain of building a business,” Becker said. “Trust is built over time and I am lucky to have found that right away with my mentor.”
For other entrepreneurs starting out, Becker suggests putting away as much capital as possible to serve as a cushion for the business’ unexpected financial situations.
Sharing ideas with your network and talking to others outside of your industry are other pointers that Becker offers.
“Build a strong network of trusted people,” Becker said. “What you will gain is not measured in profits or losses, but in experience and connecting with people.”
When business owners get into a rut or are struggling with launching the business, for example, he suggests looking ahead to goal-setting three to six months in the future.
“For me, it has reduced the complexity and anxiety of when I reach those key moments to make critical decisions,” Becker said.
Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 8.5 million aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, SCORE provides small business mentoring and workshops to more than 375,000 new and growing small businesses. With 50 members across the county, SCORE Bucks County provides over 1,500 free mentoring services annually to local small business owners through one-on-one counseling and small business seminars. To stay up to date on news and happenings, join SCORE Bucks County’s email list. Text SCOREBUCKS to 22828.