Tag Archives: micro businesses

Is Your Business Extraordinary–or Ho-Hum?

Most micro businesses have a lot of competition… I mean a lot! Just check out businesses in your city or town that are listed in the Yellow Pages—print or virtual—and look at the competition in each category.

Everyone’s question then becomes “How do I get noticed above all the competition? How can I drive customers to my business instead of going to my competitors?”

Maybe the answer is… “Be Extraordinary!

Here’s a short video created by Tom Peters on this subject—take a look:

Email subscribers view video on my blog.

Video from the Tom Peters “Little Big Things Video Series”

Yes, Tom is using an example from big business in his video, but we’re talking about competition here and what industry has more competition than the fast food industry?

So maybe it is time for you to sit back and take a look at your own business.


However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results  —Winston Churchill


When you do this, think of the video where Tom said: “Ho-hum could be worse than awful!”

Let’s look at Tom’s questions to us in his video: “Do you really pop? Do people say ‘wow’… this place really looks like it is up to something interesting? Or is it—heaven help you—ho-hum?”

So, what about your business:

  • Does your business “pop?” Why not?
  • Do your customers say “wow, this place is interesting?” (For an advertising example, click here.)
  • Even if you are doing “nothing wrong” are you still just “ho-hum?”
  • Or, even though you do everything right, is your business just like everyone else—just ordinary?

Also remember that what was extraordinary yesterday will be ho-hum tomorrow. Your competitors may not be leaders in your industry, but they’re all very good followers and they can help make your business look ho-hum quicker than you might think.

What have you done lately to take your business out of “ho-hum” and into “extraordinary?”


“1 Million Cups of Coffee”–For Entrepreneurs

The single biggest reason for small business failures is a lack of (real) business knowledge on the part of the business owners.

Too many people start a business without knowing about the speed bumps and pitfalls they will encounter along the way. The result of this lack of knowledge is shown in the free pdf report Business Survival Reality.

Classroom education and books can only go so far in training an entrepreneur—the real learning occurs from listening to, and interacting with, others in the business community.

That is why the Kauffman Foundation created the “1 Million Cups of Coffee” program. The concept and format are simple, and were developed by the foundation at their Kansas City headquarters.

This idea has now spread to a couple dozen cities across the U.S. from coast to coast, and is rapidly growing.

For a little more insight into this program, take a look at the recent video of their 1st anniversary celebration held in their Kansas City headquarters:



Meetings in each city are sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation, with local involvement, and are held every Wednesday morning—with lots of coffee served.

“I Million Cups” brings entrepreneurs (established, just starting, and aspiring), mentors, advisors, and experts all together in the same room to share what they have learned about entrepreneurship.

This program is for all entrepreneurs, including those who are only thinking about starting a business. The opportunity to learn from those who have gone through the trials of entrepreneurship is a matchless learning opportunity.

Every person starting, running, or aspiring to start a small business needs to be involved in some kind of local business network. If you are lucky enough to be in one of the cities holding “1 Million Cups” events, you really should spend some time at them—you will learn things rarely discussed in formal classes.

For more information on the “1 Million Cups” program, go to the 1 Million Cups website.

To find a city near you that holds “1Million Cups” events, go to the website’s events page.

If there is no such event in your city, contact your Chamber of Commerce or business development organization to see if they can’t start one up. It takes community involvement, along with support from the Kauffman Foundation, to get a successful “1 Million Cups” event program established.

I would like to hear from anyone who has attended one of these events—or have experienced the benefits from local networking with other small and micro business people.