Table of Contents
ShareThe downfall and resurrection of a mom and pop
How to start, grow and manage a business that lets you break free from the grind.
Issue #52 Sad but true March 29, 2022
Hey , When I was a teenager I got coffee at a place called Java City. It was the happening cafe on the corner of 18th Street and Capitol Avenue in Sacramento. It had metal tables outside on the sidewalk, a roaster inside and it oozed rustic caffeinated cool. The Java City crew did well for 26 years, until June 19, 2012, when they closed their doors forever, even as demand for coffee skyrocketed. Here’s why. First, some updates:
Three levels of entrepreneurship and Java City's weakness There are three levels of entrepreneurship: self-employed, business owner, and investor. Most businesses fall in the self-employed category. The owners never escape the trap of self-employment to become strategic business owners. The self-employment trap killed the Java City cafe. They were doing fine as long as there were no options, but as Starbucks crept in from the Suburbs, Java City couldn't compete. Starbucks and Java City both sold coffee. They both had lattes. Their milk foamed the same way. Java City had better beans. But Starbucks had a machine. Starbucks has defined more than 80,000 individual products that they can deliver consistently across 32,660 locations. They invest in awareness, retention and even have stealth innovation Starbucks stores in Seattle where they can try new stuff. Java City had teenagers with Aprons, a nifty espresso machine, and incredible beans. The owners created a nice job for themselves, they were happily self-employed. But they didn't build a machine that could stand up to the Seattle steamroller heading for their patrons. (Well, actually, they did, but I'll get to that in a second) Breaking free of self-employment means that you build a machine. You focus, define products and processes, and find others to work with you. Now, the Java City story isn't all tears and nostalgia. They realized that their skills, their Queen Bee Resource, was selecting and roasting coffee rather than serving it in ceramic mugs. So they built their machine around that. Instead of competing in the Cafe battle, they focused on what they did best. Now 2000 other businesses, cafes, and restaurants rely on their roasted coffee. Today is mom and pop business day. I bet you didn't know that, did you? According to the SBA (and some round math I contributed), mom and pop businesses (which I define as less than five employees) make up about 91% of all businesses in the United States. Java City was on the large side of mom and pop but fit the category nonetheless, until, that is, they focused and built their own machine. So here's the question. Do you want to break free of mom and popism and build your machine? A great place to start is defining your core activities, or your Queen Bee Resource, which you can work on right here.Enjoy, Jeff
You need a team to grow One key aspect of leaving the mom and pop world behind is finding the team and the resources to grow your business. How do you build a machine that you've never built before? Well, that is why we created Thrivers360, and you can start building your machine here for free.
Your Irresistible Value Statement
You've heard rumors, but could they be true? A value statement that leaves unique sales propositions quivering in the cold? A way of communicating that is so engaging and so powerful that it has earned the ultimate marketing adjective, irresistible? Oh yeah. Its hear. It works and it is free for you.
Other great stuff from around the web 🧪 SAT business model innovation - how to get people to care about the SAT and encourage kids to study? Turn it into a one-off, winner-takes-all massively multiplayer game of course. Read More. 🛌 Still working from home and not motivated to make the bed? Well, someone actually took the time to find and gather the best backgrounds. Here you go. 😐 Look, social media posting is not a good marketing strategy. And it can really get in the way of getting things done. What happens when you dump social? Read more.
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