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We love the idea of taking one thing and doing it so well that people want to tell their friends about it. When you focus on one thing, you can invest in making it better, more remarkable, more meaningful, and more personal instead of doing a bunch of mediocre stuff.

Here’s how three small businesses are doing it:

1. One customer at a time
2. One specialty product
3. One niche audience

1. One customer at a time

Kurt’s Cuts Barbershop in Denver has only one barber chair and only one barber, which means they serve only one customer at a time. The intimate atmosphere makes it so that you’re the barber’s sole focus, and you get much more care and attention to detail with your appointment. You can also text Kurt to set up an appointment and once you have one, there’s no wait time either. Personalized attention is a rarity these days. It makes your customers feel important, and that makes them want to talk about you.

2. One specialty product

At EVOO Marketplace in Colorado, you can buy extra virgin olive oil or vinegar infused in almost anything. They have barrel-aged Italian Balsamic vinegars, olive oil infused in blood oranges, green chilis, or basil, among other speciality flavors. And the store is covered in tiny sample cups, practically making it a tourist stop. The shop will also show you how to cook with them and make unusual desserts, like raspberry balsamic ice cream. People bring these oils and vinegars home as souvenirs, gifts, and as something to show off at a dinner party. When you specialize in something and make it really, really good, you can make almost anything remarkable — even kitchen staples like vinegar and olive oil.

3. One niche audience

Beardbrand sells products for beards. But instead of just selling their customers products, they also create a sense of belonging. They reach out to a very specific audience, which the owner calls the “urban beardsman,” or what you may think of as a bearded hipster. And they put just as much emphasis on the customer as they do their stuff. They share photos their fans post to social media, they have a blog, and they created a YouTube channel. Focus on the one audience you’re talking to, and talk to them a lot. Then, they might talk about you, too.


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  1. Bruce McCallum, Realtor®

    This is so true! Whatever business we might be in, do it better than your competition and people will speak about it. Much more affordable than the black hole of paid advertising

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