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Thriving In A Bad Location

Make your business succeed in a location where others have failed.

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This story appears in the December 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Every neighborhood has one--a particular retail store or restaurant location that seems to consistently fail. One business after another moves in, each succumbing to the same bleak fate. The location itself seems doomed to fail. Can any business succeed there, or is the spot just jinxed?

The Portland, Oregon, location of entrepreneur Allen Tackett's coffee-house could certainly be considered jinxed. In the seven years prior to Underdog Coffee'sresidence, at least three businesses had come and gone--including another coffee shop that couldn't make it work. Not easily discouraged, Tackett bought the failing coffeehouse in early 2005 (it was being run under a different name) and completely revamped it. From giving it the Underdog Coffee moniker and sourcing higher-quality coffee to creating new, eye-catching, backlit signage to draw in crowds, Tackett, 29, set out to unequivocally break the curse.

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