Developing a Business Narrative


In order to market your business - and indeed, in order to more fully understand and enjoy what it is that you do yourself - it is wise to develop what is called a ‘business narrative’. This is a back story for your business, and it really is a story, with characters, a plot and an overall ‘feel’ which will be incredibly useful to you in marketing yourself and what you do.

Here are some questions that will help to get you started on putting a business narrative together:

1. How did your business start (your back story) and by whom was it started? Who were and are the key players in your business’s history?

2. How many different kinds of customer have been represented in your database over the years? Take a look at elements like gender, age, nationality, desires, successes and so on, concentrating on the most positive aspects.

3. What has your business’s growth been? Year by year? Or month by month if you’ve just started. If your figures are low still, talk in terms of percentages - for example, if you had five customers one month and now you have seven, you can say ‘The number of customers increased by 40%’.

4. Talk about any community outreach programs, facilities, how they started and how they have grown.

5. Talk about any recognitions: have you received any awards? Any mentions by famous people? Anything achieved in the community?

Feel free to elaborate on any question until you have a story - an actual narrative that has a beginning, that has some drama, and that describes something exciting that is ongoing.

You can build into it the following useful guides:

‘What happened next?’ (Enter a little drama and suspense.)

‘What was really going on?’ (Describe how you realised something which changed things for the better.)

‘What was the right thing to do?’ (Did you make moral choices which altered your direction?)

‘What is the business really all about?’ (Describe how you developed an understanding of what your business was really doing for customers and how that helped.)

All of this will come together with a little work into a marketing backdrop. You’ll be able to draw authentic, living campaigns from this material; customers will sense that you are more ‘real’ and will feel more affinity for you.

Try it. And let me know your results.