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a blog by Chris Barrow

Thinking outside The Fox

At only 3.5 square miles and 300 inhabitants, Jost Van Dyke is one of the smaller British Virgin Islands but a popular destination for European sailors and also those who power over from the nearby U.S.V.I. at weekends to drink beer and make lots of noise.

Foxys Bar has acquired iconic status and the old man himself can often be seen outside his bar, waxing rather insanely for the sake of tourists (he loves an audience) but becoming somewhat more reflective on a 1:1 basis. Foxy understands the business of business and has built a nice commercial empire for himself with a healthy revenue from consumables including t-shirts, baseball hats and a host of other branded accessories, to add to food, drink and live music.

Here is the great man himself, chatting early morning to my sailing buddy Dave Rogers.

Foxys is an institution with a world-wide reputation.

Which begs the question – how do you compete with that along the beach front at Great Harbour?

Answer – be different and work harder at it.

Meet Corsairs Beach Bar & Restaurant, whose tag-line is “think outside the Fox” – clever.

Here’s how they do it:

  1. a great theme – Corsairs is a biker bar with the atmosphere of a Colorado Hell’s Angels chapter

  2. super-friendly staff, including the owner, who are genuinely interested in the patrons

  3. fantastic food

  4. excellent music

  5. open all hours – breakfast, lunch and dinner

  6. a well-stocked bar

  7. making it about the customers and not about the owner (see the photo gallery on their web site)

  8. maximising the use of social media

  9. specifically requesting a Trip Advisor review

  10. adding value (I bought a t-shirt and they gave me some free extras – I bought early morning coffee and was offered a complimentary drink(!) to go with it)

  11. a sense of humour

Yet again, an interesting metaphor for those of us who face competition from bigger, more established businesses.

Foxys is tired, Corsairs is wired.

If a corporate or a super-swanky private clinic opens up in town, what do you do?

Step 1 – get over it.

Step 2 – think outside The Fox and determine what you are going to do to make your patient experience that much more memorable and remark-able.

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