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Tips, advice, and information for South African business owners

02 Jan

What Is Your Story?

Take a look at your company’s website (or any other marketing asset). What does it say about your business?

Does it introduce what your business sells?

“We sell insurance.”

Does it describe how your business is different?

“We provide personalised insurance cover.”

Does it explain why your business exists?

“We believe everyone is unique, but the insurance industry treats us all the same. So we provide personalised insurance to cover your specific requirements.”

What, how, or why. Simon Sinek popularised this tripartite organisational model as the “Golden Circle” in his TED talk on how great leaders inspire action. The gist is simple: people are drawn to stories, and successful leaders tell compelling stories by focusing on their why rather than their what or how.

Clarifying your why is important for three reasons:

First, customers are more likely to choose you over everyone else if your story resonates with their values, beliefs, and worldview. (Conversely, companies without a clear or compelling story often end up competing on price because there is no other good reason for choosing them.)

Second, employees are more likely to go above and beyond if they feel part of a movement instead of stuck in a job. (There’s nothing particularly inspiring about working in a business where the only thing that matters is selling stuff and making money).

Finally, remembering why you’re in business to begin with is often all that separates inspired (and inspiring) entrepreneurs from burnt out business owners. (If your business feels like just another place to work then some entrepreneurial soul searching is long overdue!)

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