Business Storytelling – From Brand to Pitch Part I
Business Storytelling –
when done correctly, can effectively support a brand by connecting with readers, listeners, or viewers. And these stories should then become part of your elevator pitch, with different stories for different audiences.
We’re going to address small business retail – on and off premise storytelling – from your brand to your pitch.
What Do You Do?
The age old question asked by business owners, human resource manages and friends, needs a 10 - 30 second response. Crafting that response is really not hard, but if you have done the heavy lifting of creating your brand, it’s even easier.
We’re going to start you down that path with this 5-part series on how to take your business plan and build a brand and your elevator pitch. Everyone needs to be able to answer the question – What Do You Do?
First, you need to have a solid business plan. Not a financial, social media or inventory – a business plan and that starts with writing your answers to these 5 questions –
** and remember to write them in your business journal for future reference **
- Who Am I?
- What Do I Want To Do?
- How Do I Want To Do It?
- Why Do I Want To Do It?
- Who Do I Want To Do It For?
Who Am I?
Use this topic to describe yourself and your life. Describe where you are in life and what makes this the right time to start a business. This is about your family as well. Do you have children, are your married, how will you fit all this together? Is this a second job while you work full time? How will you handle the load?
Don’t think about how others will view you, this is the place you need to write down all your feelings and your fears of starting a business (if you have them – and there should be a few).
What Do I Want To Do?
This is partly what you want to create and part what you want to achieve.
Let’s look at achievement first. Remember, this I still about you! When writing about what you want to achieve you might be talking about what problem you’re trying to solve for yourself.
For instance, we had a young married woman with a toddler who wanted to remain a stay-at-home mom, but help with the financial needs of having a young family. Her dream was to create jewelry to sell and make enough to help fill in the family budget. Her art work was lovely and she could, with hard work and dedication, develop her business over time. But between the lack of art shows due to the pandemic, and the need to spend quality time with her family, she had to put her dream on hold.
She invested a lot of time and money trying to achieve her goal, but had not identified all the good, bad and ugly of her plan. Her customers, at first, were her family and close friends. They told her how beautiful her jewelry was and paid top dollar for it. But when she tried to sell it online, she discovered the hundreds of other women creating jewelry to fill in their budgets and the cheaper prices they were charging for their work. She couldn’t make enough to solve her problem, and she didn’t know how to help them with their problem. Did they even have a problem finding jewelry at a price they wanted to pay?
Be clear, is this about solving your problem or your potential customers problem? One of the best reasons for having a journal and using it is keeping track of your journey and making notes of steps you need to take.
How Do I want To Do It?
Knowing how you want to help people solve their problems is critical to your success. Spend as much time as you need to write about your dream business. The How is your vision for your daily process. This is where you can identify how your company could be structured, and how you might fund it.
Let’s look at our Jewelry Artist again. She wanted to create Silver and Gemstone jewelry. She would create finely crafted pieces to sell while her child slept or Grandma kept her busy. That allowed her enough time to create the pieces, but that’s not the end of the selling process. To be a successful lifestyle small business, she needed to photograph the piece, write a description, post it online, sell it, pack it, and ship it.
When she created her business, she was thinking about the creating side of the process and not the process. Go back to your journal – take time to identify your selling process. Whether it’s for goods or services, identify what you’re going to sell and how you will sell it. Then identify some time per week you believe it will take to compete your process. Add lifestyle hours to that, i.e. managing your home, spending time with your spouse/partner, and time with your kid(s).
Be honest with yourself. What are the barriers to success and how will you overcome them, if you can.
Why Do I Want To Do This?
The why of your business is one of the most important questions to answer and should drive the majority of your brand statements. Along with your vision, your why should reflect your passion to do more than make money. And it should reflect your values.
Young, would-be entrepreneurs ask me why I volunteer at the Women’s Business Center of Utah. When I tell them I “pass it on” through those hours in honor of those men and women who helped guide my journey and achieve success, they understand my why.
What will drive you to achieve? What values are at the core of your journey? Write them all. Write all that comes to mind, then edit down to your main passion. Include money if you’re looking for a way to give back through a non-profit or employee benefits, etc. This part of your dream needs to be on paper.
Expect to be surprised with your thoughts Once you start writing, don’t edit anything until you have said it all. There could be many reasons “why” you want to build your business.
Who Do I Want To Do It For?
In some ways, this is the hardest question. But not if you focus on a different question.
What problem will you solve?
Businesses, service and retail, have always solved a problem for the consumer. From pioneer times to today, dry goods stores provide goods to feed and clothe people with bolts of fabric, sacks of flours, or oil lamps and oil. Dentists have cared for toothaches, and plumbers have fixed the pipes.
What problem you solve and how you describe it should be the heart of your pitch. How you help consumers or other businesses succeed through your solution is your story. Start writing it today.
Journal Writing For Your Business –
- Who Am I? – Describe yourself and your life in a journal.
- What Do I Want To Do? – What business do I want to start?
- How do I Want To Do It? – How will my business be structured?
- Why Do I Want To Do It? = This should include your vision and your values.
- Who Do I Want To Do It For? – What problem will I solve?
Journal Writing Matters – use a journal every day as you travel along your business journey. Whether you travel in your business, family or professional life – keep a travel journal. Your businesses will thrive and your life will be less hectic.
Need help? Please do sign up for a free 30 min. coaching session. Or post a comment after this Blog Post and I’ll reach out to you. I had to take down my comment link because of spam, or request to join my Facebook Group - @JanasJournals