A business is often started by identifying a need or want in the market. Then, for most of us, we mould and adapt the business to address the needs and wants for many reasons, from pure survival to a sense of purpose.
What we tend to not focus on or ignore completely is our Business Story. This is often avoided because we struggle to articulate it into words or feel like we’re bragging, asking ourselves like ‘Who really cares?’. However, your business story should form a big part of your Marketing Strategy and therefore, also influences your Business Strategy.
Storytelling is effectively how history is created, a means of building longevity and legacy. As a human race, storytelling has been how we have shared life experiences or how we entertain. Storytelling is part and parcel of human evolution. So, why don’t we share our business story then?
Stories emotionally connect your business to your market; it effectively becomes the foundation of your brand and is essential in creating Brand Loyalty.
A story communicates and is understood in a far more meaningful way when compared to facts, datasets, or a slide show. A good story can also isolate your business from your competitors.
The 30-second Elevator Pitch
We are all told at some point about the 30-second elevator pitch. But are those 30 seconds better spent giving your audience a list of “things” you do or rather the benefits of these “things”? Or, how about telling the story of your business and how you got it to where it is today? Would that not be more impressive and have them asking more?
In marketing, if your audience or market wants more information, your chance of closing a sale increases substantially.
If having a business story is so beneficial, why are most businesses not actively telling their stories? The simple answer is this; it’s hard to put the story together. I have spent many sessions with clients where we work, sometimes over multiple sessions, just to get the one-liner of why their business exists – their WHY!
Your story is constantly evolving
So, start putting something down and let it evolve organically. Then, start sharing your story and test it in your market to see how your market responds.
When developing your story, think about your customer’s need and how your business was started to fulfil this need.
Our story? OptiGrowth was realised after we left a business where we were managing 200 staff, supporting recognisable blue-chip corporates and, servicing about 60% of the South African market, and knowing we still were learning.
When we left this company and reflected on the value of the sale of shares from the business, the key areas affecting that value and how hard we worked in this business, we realised that many business owners were going through the same struggles we had just experienced.
If you take a step back and assess your business, what you’ll realise is that what you’re struggling with is achieving the goals that you as the founder set out to accomplish when you started your business – the ability to control your own time, wealth creation, supporting your family and an establishing an exit plan. This could be because of either a lack of business knowledge or just not taking a step back and objectively viewing the business.
As OptiGrowth, and a collectively holding over 60 years of experience, we can package those experiences and share wisdom with our clients. As a result, we effectively help business owners on their journey of building the business structure that leads to them taking back control, giving them the opportunity to grow and ultimately freedom.
Business Owners, helping Business Owners.
You’ll notice we haven’t shared what we do or how we offer our services. We instead focused on sharing the purpose of our business. As you read our story, you may have felt that you could relate to a few of the aspects shared. Furthermore, you’re hopefully also wanting to reach out and find out how and what we do. That’s what your story should do; help your customer relate to your business and emotionally connect with you.
Lastly, once you have developed your story, you’ll pull bits and pieces out to build marketing content and plan a strategy to build and generate a following. Your story also helps your team buy into your business and personally relate to the business’ values and culture.
Effectively your business story becomes not just a critical part of your marketing strategy but also your business.
One of my favourite sources on why it’s essential to connect with your market emotionally is Simon Sinek’s Ted Talks about the Golden Circle and your “Why”. Give it watch.
Otherwise, feel free to contact us, and we can share more about this and other aspects on how to build and relate your business story.