This is the business version of the previous article (change your story, change your business (and your life)).
This article IS suitable for people that prefer their information delivered in bullet points.
First, how can you recognise if you have a business story that is worth changing?
If you often say things like this:
- We must educate the market before they buy us
- Our clients don’t really understand us
- We are probably ahead of our time with our technology/services
- Our business is too creative for our customers
- Our sales cycle is 18 months or more
- Our employees are lazy and demotivated
- Our employees are not engaged for the most part
- Our management is greedy and ineffective
- Our clients don’t have budget
- Our clients love our business but don’t want to spend the money
If any of this applies, it is the time to change your story.
Changing your business story has 3 components:
- Purpose: it must be aligned with the unique purpose of the business
- True: It must match reality. It is not a science fiction story
- Actionable: It produces a series of actions that can be implemented
Before we do this, what are benefits of changing your story?:
Changing your story will unblock the flow of events in your business in a way that will surprise you. It will energise you and your employees and will allow you to connect better with your perfect customer.
How do we do this?:
- Write your current story.
For example: “We are an innovative technology company with a new product in the market. Even when our product is better than the incumbent, the market cannot deal with us. We are ahead of our time. The customers don’t understand us. They seem to like us in the initial engagement, but then they don’t buy our products because it defies the way they have been operating until now and they have fear of change. It takes us 18 months to get a sale.”
- Ask yourself, what am I up to in the world with my business?
For example: “Our purpose is contributing in the way of xxxx so our customers have more effectiveness in the way they do their work and are happier. We really care for our customers and like them as human beings. We would like to have a business in which clients are known to us personally and we know exactly how we have improved their lives. We usually become friends with many of them and know them and they families at a personal level. Our employees feel like a big family and also our customers”.
- Assign uninterrupted time to write a better story to fit the purpose that you have described in Part 2.
For example: “ Our business is the result of distilling the experience, the knowledge, the training and the passion of its amazing leaders. These leaders came together for a purpose that is bigger than them. They are so excited about what they are up in the world that is contagious for employees and customers. The employees are really excited about our vision. Customers come up from everywhere and are aligned with our values. They have big visions as we do. We want to contribute to 1 MM people and their families with our technology in the next 10 years. We have come together, leaders, employees and customers to create something extraordinary. We have a lot of fun while we get there. The best part of these business is the amazing people that we meet.”
- Ask yourself, what actions come from this new story?
For example from part 3:
- We must keep up the passion and sense of mission with what we do
- We are visible in talks and social media sharing what is important for us and how we want to contribute
- We drop the cynical view of our customers
- We ramp up the appreciation of our existing customers
- We demonstrate the human values that we want to see in our customers
- We have fun in the journey, not only in the destination
- Take Action consistently
- Measure profits before and after you took the new actions.
- Read the story often for yourself and all the stakeholders. Make it part of your culture. Repeat all the actions.
Do this consistently and you will be amazed at the results. Or call me up to implement it for you...:)
Either way, come and share with us if you do any of this, or would like to do it and why.