Over the years I have mentioned several times how important it is to have written “your story”. It is important to have it ready when you call on prospects and clients. It ties into all your marketing material. The most important benefit is that you now have a concise, short story to share with others when asked what you do.
Writing your business story is a factual account of your business’ life including all your victories and defeats, things that have been tried and things that have been abandoned. This story should be written by you, from the depth of your heart and should be, what I call, brutally honest.
In order to plan a strategy for the future growth of a business it is important to know its history. It is virtually impossible to build a structure without a solid foundation, and that foundation is its history.
I like to receive this story prior to a planning session so that I have time to read and digest what has happened. It also gives me a great insight into the owners thought process and provides me with an opportunity to ask meaningful questions and also to better understand what the business is all about.
When I make this assignment, I emphasize the importance of it being complete and that it must be given a lot of thought and time. Prior to the actual development of a plan, my discussion with the owner, based upon the contents of the story, is one of the most important phases of the process.
While this business story system works with any size company, it is modified to fit the current size of the company, how long it’s been operating, and the participants in the planning process.
Building a new business plan is not the only reason to write your business story. As a coach I ask for the story to better understand my client’s needs and how I can best help them achieve their vision.
Several of my clients started a weekly business journal as a result of my asking for their business story. It helps them review their progress on a weekly basis and makes planning for the following week easier.
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. Mark Twain