And with that, I show the exception to prove the rule. If your business is a private island hotel, you’re sort of a business that is an island. But even so, you still need allies and resources to keep things running, keep people coming.

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The island pictured is Protestant Cay in the USVIs, but nobody calls it that. The people on the main island of St. Thomas call it “The hotel on the island,” and even the hotel’s own WiFi calls it “The Hotel on the Cay.” The cruise travelers who arrive en masse on paid “beach break” excursions call it “that island the cruise excursion brought us to; it was so nice.” Nobody knows or cares about the Protestant bit.

There are a few things boutique business marketers/owners should immediately take note of from the above paragraphs. 1. This tiny hotel on its own island in the Caribbean has strong, reliable WiFi. 2. Mainland businesses send tourists over there to use the beach–which may be free to access, but the hotel-operated ferry ride is not, so the hotel automatically makes money from any visitor. 3. As small as this place is, it’s figured out how to work with massive cruise lines.

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Moral of the post: Even if you ARE an island, you can’t surround yourself with silence (or water), or cut yourself off from the ecosystem, and expect to be a sustainable business. In fact, the smaller and/or more distant you are, the more you need to be creative in connecting with the outside world. Cooperating with other local small businesses is a great place to start.