CLEAR EYE FOR THE BIZ GUY

Think "The Apprentice" meets "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." Small-business owners now have their own reality makeover show, airing Saturday nights on the Learning Channel (TLC)--when else does the boss have time to watch TV? "Taking Care of Business" has its own team of entrepreneurial experts who will try to rescue a different small business every week. In last week's premiere episode, the team redid the Microchip Cafe in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Originally an Internet cafe, the company had grown into a confusing and unprofitable business mixing computer sales, repairs, videogames and smoothies. The TLC team redesigned the storefront and logo, simplified the food operations and consolidated the games into one room. In coming weeks they'll target a troubled barbershop, a candy store and an outdoor-sports-equipment retailer. TLC has committed to 13 episodes.

Business owners in the New York metropolitan area who want to get their tiny--and troubled--company on the program can e-mail the show's creator at TCOB@granadausa.com. If selected, they'll have their business revised by the show's "Dream Team," which consists of interior designer Christina Manca, business strategist Mitch Kates (whose clients have included Procter & Gamble), public-relations pro Richard Laermer and "Gut Instinct" guru Mark Becker, whose chain of Max & Mina's Ice Cream shops made the world safe for lox and garlic ice cream (no, not the same flavor). With taste like that, how can they miss?

CLEAR EYE FOR THE BIZ GUY | News