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The key to getting your small business to stand out in Hoboken’s noisy marketplace is to be your authentic self. Spoiler alert: it’s not as simple as it sounds.

The two most common types of entrepreneurs I’ve known are those who are born to do it and those who are accidental entrepreneurs. Both types of self-starters get heard in the Mile Square by knowing the value they bring to their customers and staying true to their visions.

For entrepreneurs and small business owners, expressing these two characteristics through every part the business organically creates an authentic personality.

Yes—your business has a personality. It’s more than an image. Instagram doesn’t offer a filter for it. Influencers can’t pose with it. It’s about a consistent confidence and approach to life . . . for real.

Whoa—back to earth, now. Here’s a small business with a limited budget for marketing and advertising. Is SEO, digital advertising, social media marketing, influencer marketing, and all the rest worth the time and money?

Take my friend, Henry of Gold Roast located at 600 Harrison Street, for instance. He landed here from Oz and set up a staple of Australian culture that, here in the states, is so utterly mind-blowing, it has disrupted my perception of what a coffee shop can be.

JR: That woman is drinking wine in your coffee shop. People feel right at home!

H: We’re fully BYOB and, more importantly, we want people to feel exactly like they are at home. Come down, spend the day, hang out!

JR: I’m now following you on Instagram. The food photos are amazing, and the menu makes me feel like I want to hang out.

H: Thanks. This isn’t just about, come grab some coffee. It’s about, bring the family, stay all day, let us take care of you and be the center of your day, from free Wi-Fi to food to entertainment.

JR: Tell me more about the food.

H: I cater to everyone and their needs. I have items on the menu, like freshly prepared sandwiches, Australian meat pies and fresh baked good, but tell me what you want. I’m here to create what you want. Hospitality is my passion and love. I love serving a community with the freshest quality ingredients and coffee.

JR: Let’s go back to my needs. I want to host a meeting for seven people, it may run up to two hours, and I need to serve an organic lunch that is free from gluten, dairy, and corn. Some of us will stay after the meeting for wine.

H: You got it. Schedule the date and time.

JR: Really? It’s that simple?

H: Absolutely, mate! There are so many high-quality restaurants and specialty shops right here in Hoboken that I can arrange anything you like and have it here at my café. No problem.

JR: Nice! So, now, let’s say I need to drink beer and bar-b-que.

H: No better place to do it than here! Back home, the café is a very safe family environment. And now, that’s exactly what I’m bringing to Hoboken. So, I want to cater to that need for everyone in this area, and Gold Roast is my opportunity to do it. I’m scheduling art classes, musical entertainment, outdoor bar-b-ques . . . everything!

JR: It’s like my living room, but I can get food made for me.

H: That’s one way to put it. You can have it delivered here, too.

JR: This is so much better than rewards points.

H: I want to organically grow the business, as we do in Australia, by creating the relationships first. And, we actually do have reward points. Just FYI.

JR: So, if I have this right, you saw the opportunity and planned out your vision, and now your marketing plan supports that vision through social media, relationship management, and good, ol’ fashioned word-of-mouth. It sounds so simple, but I know the simplest plans take extensive strategic planning.

JR: Thank you for showing me how much I need an Australian café in my life. It’s been a pleasure being here while you do you.

Poo tip: here are some conversation starters for when you visit!

  • The namesake of the café is the Gold Coast on the eastern shore of Australia.
  • Brisbane is 40 miles away from the Gold Coast and hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
  • Drop bears are imaginary predatory koala bears Aussies talk about to scare tourists.