How bad businesses kill tourism in small towns

Good businesses do more to promote tourism in a small town than anyone else. Bad businesses destroy tourism.

Let me sketch a scenario for you. Joe saves the entire year for a holiday and decides to visit your town during the holidays. He arrives with his family full of excitement and anticipation. Before Joe decided to come to your town he researched a number of other options. He spoke to his friends and family and he asked Google as well.

So Joe decided that your town is the place where he will spend his hard earned cash. While on holiday Joe decides to take his family for breakfast. He drives around town and decides to go to Mary’s Coffee Shop. It looks nice and cozy and there are lots of people having breakfast. In no time the expectation of a great family breakfast turns into a disaster. The food is bad. The coffee is terrible and the staff have a serious attitude problem. Clearly Mary has no intention of servicing or keeping customers. What Joe didn’t know is that Mary has never run a coffee shop and doesn’t know a thing about making a good cup of coffee. Mary thought that it will be romantic to own her own coffee shop, but Mary shouldn’t own a coffee shop, ever.

This all sound too familiar don’t you think? It gets worse, because Joe has a number of these really bad experiences in your little town. There are more than 30 coffee shops and restaurants in your town and they all complain that business is bad. They seldom seem to survive past the holiday season. The next season there is another coffee shop that opens where Mary’s Coffee Shop used to be. And so the cycle continues.

What has happened here? In the first place, Joe went home feeling that he has been robbed of his idyllic holiday. The entire experience has left a bad taste in his mouth because of the bad service he received. He tells his friends and his family and instead of your little town turning Joe into a prophet, you have turned him into a terrorist. He is going around telling everyone he knows how bad your town actually is. So Joe never comes back because Joe has many, many choices. Why on earth will he come back to a place where the service is so poor?

In the meantime the towns business chamber hear about these things all the time but instead of acting, they turn a blind eye. Why? Because it’s not in the interest of the business chamber to expose businesses. The chamber collects membership fees and they won’t collect as much if they chase their customers away! So, these bad experiences are carefully swept under the carpet. Everyone in the little town knows that the emperor has no clothes, but they say and do nothing.

Top Twenty changes all that. Joe will in future search on Top Twenty for a place to eat breakfast and he will find those with the high ratings. He finds Susan’s Coffee Shop just off the main street. Susan is passionate about her business and loves serving customers. She has a high rating and many positive reviews. Now Susan gets all the business and the bad coffee shops get nothing. What happens? They don’t survive and some of them close down – for good reason. They shouldn’t have been in business in the first place. Susan on the other hand is starting to make good money and is steadily growing her business.

Bad businesses are everywhere, but in small towns they can cause enormous damage to the tourism industry of a town. Top Twenty ensures that good businesses are rewarded for good service.


Marthinus Strydom, President of Toptwenty shares his special knowledge and insights about rural tourism on his blog at Top Twenty assists small towns and their businesses in the development and marketing of their local business communities.

An inconvenient truth


You’re poor and earn a minimum wage

You’re poor because you don’t have skills that companies need. The better your skills the more money you make. Get off your ass and learn something that will make you valuable. Learn anything, but remember, becoming good at anything requires hard work. There is no short cut.

You hate your job

Get a new job. Get off your ass and go find a job you’ll enjoy. But you see, here’s the catch. Most people hate their jobs because it’s the only job they can get. Improve your skills in the career you enjoy and you will enjoy your job. Stop complaining about the fact that you hate your job. You actually just hate yourself for not having the balls to do something about it.

You hate your boss

You probably hate your boss because you’re getting pressure for not doing your job properly. You probably hate your boss because he/she doesn’t say thank you every time you do something that you are paid to do. Get off your ass and become better than your boss and you’ll eventually become the boss. Stop feeling entitled. You are entitled to nothing unless you earn it. You can’t earn it in months. It takes years. Learn from your boss and stop being jealous because you’re not the boss. You’re not the boss because you’re not good enough yet.

You don’t earn enough money

You work from 8 to 5 and you hardly come out with your salary. Shame. You need 8 hours sleep and another 2 for domestic stuff. That leaves 5 hours that you probably lounge away watching cricket or Desperate Housewives or some other mind-numbing drivel. Instead of working on your own goals you do nothing. I’m tired! I worked hard the whole day! Shame. Grow some balls and do something. Improve your skills. Start a part-time business. Sell something. Make something. You will not become wealthy with your day job. You can earn as much after hours as during office hours, thereby doubling your income. Catch is, it will require you to get off your lazy ass and do something.

You don’t have any friends

Maybe no one wants to be friends with you for a reason? Are you a nice person or an asshole? Look in the mirror. What do you see? Will you be friends with yourself? Stop blaming the world. Change. Improve. Make yourself better. Learn. Listen. Grow. 

You have really bad luck

We make our own luck. Garry Player once famously said, “The more I practice, the luckier I get.” 

Bad luck is just another excuse of weak people to try and justify their own ineptitude.

It’s an inconvenient truth, that almost everything that goes wrong in our lives is our own fault. Own up and get off your ass and do something about it.

Punctuality and Success


There is a worrying trend developing amongst young people today. I’ve seen it develop and increase over the years and I need to say something about it. There is a growing nonchalant attitude towards punctuality. I take this matter so seriously that I have actually fired employees on the spot for being late for meetings. Punctuality is the foundation upon which success is built. Successful people measure time in seconds and minutes. Losers measure time in hours, days, weeks and months. Punctuality is important to me because time is important to me. If you are 15 minutes late for an appointment you have effectively stolen 15 minutes from me. You have robbed me of the most valuable commodity in the universe. I would prefer it if you stole money from me, but not time. Time I can never get back.

Being late is being tardy. It reflects a number of things about you. It shows that you do not value time. Therefore you do not value success. You are not driven to be successful.

It shows that you have no respect. You do not see anything wrong with stealing time from another person. You can only steal from someone that you don’t respect. Respect is one of the most important cornerstones of success. If there is no respect then how can there be progress? How can there be synergy? How can there be mutual goals?

It shows that you do not respect yourself. If you respected yourself then you would take pride in your punctuality. You would take pride in being 5 minutes early at every appointment or meeting. You would take pride in the seriousness with which you view your own ambition.

Why is this so important? Because successful people only associate with successful people. If you have no ambition and you have no respect and you have no pride then you will never be allowed into the company of success. Successful people avoid tardiness like the plague. Successful people are never late.

Change your ways or be doomed to mediocrity forever. Success is something you DO, not something you GET.