I've been noticing quite a few inquires on coffeegeek lately of ppl seeking "professional" advices on opening shops/roasting/professional equipments/etc. I found this both irritating and insulting at the same time.
First of all, coffeegeek is a "home" enthusiast site. Sure there are some pro's lurking around but main user base are made up of a really niche group of coffee drinkers. In fact, I am speculating that coffeegeek prob represent less than 5% of your actual customers. As such, the feedback you get back from the forum is very skewed toward this user base. Also, since most of the knowledge is focused on home users, the advices you got will most likely be not applicable in a business setting. Seeking advices regarding the coffee business on this site just showed how lack of knowledge you have. If you need help from coffeegeek, you really should not be in the business.
I also found this VERY insulting as a person who is somewhat connected to the biz. Pay your dues and do your own research. The answers are out there. Looking for a easy answer is just pure laziness. Please do not call yourself a coffee professional if you cannot even do this.
Oh btw, free advice is just that. Sometimes it takes a lot of time and money to educate yourself. That is just a fact of life.