Three Stories Entrepreneurs Must Tell
All entrepreneurs need to be storytellers. For once you are in business, no matter what business it is, you are also in the storytelling business.
When one starts out, there is nothing but a dream. That dream needs to be backed by belief, action, great talent and investment for it to turn into reality. And some luck. Each of these is a scarce commodity, not to be found easily — however a good story can play a big role in attracting investment, talent even the first customer. Here are three stories all entrepreneurs must practice and be ready with at all times:
The Vision Story: When you start, all you have is an idea. Just like a General cannot win a war alone and needs an army — an idea needs believers: investor, talent, buyers, vendors, and partners. What is the vision you are showing them? What is the station that lies at the end of this journey — the Promised Land? An entrepreneur has to tell the vision story again and again so it is worth the effort to spend some time crafting it. A good way to craft the vision story is to paint a picture of the kind of world you are building. Or to let people know clearly how your idea is going to impact the world and make it a better. Use a metaphor to bring live the impact your idea will make on people, the magnitude or size of it. It is not easy describing a new idea to people and this is where metaphors come in handy. Keep it inspirational. And keep it short and crisp.
The Team Story: Investors don’t put money on an idea alone, they look for a team that inspires confidence. Do they have what it takes to scale up a hundred times? A thousand times? Do they complement each other? The key question investors are asking themselves is — can this team be trusted? What stuff are they made of? What have they learned from their previous failures and successes? What are they motivated by and what are their strengths and weaknesses. What are their individual stories and how do they fold into a collective story that is aligned to the story of the Startup. Spend some time thinking about the story of the founders.
The Sales Story: Why should anyone do business with you? What is in it for them? A new idea often requires a customer to take a risk or change behavior — why should anyone do that? The first sale may be the most difficult one but that does not make the second or third one any easier. The sales story must highlight the key benefit of your product or service but it must go further and inspire confidence in your brand. Spend some time crafting the sales story — the more you tell it the more it gets refined.
Spend some time thinking through your stories. Keep them authentic and tell them well. Like someone said, ‘Great stories happen to those who can tell them’.
Author — Ameen Haque