What makes a great company story?

These five essential elements add up to a story that’s inspirational, memorable and fun to read

Photo by Ryan Johns on Unsplash

We’ve all read the classic founder stories about companies started in a garage/dorm room/remote town by a visionary/college dropout/iconoclast with a crazy idea and a few friends.

The founders overcame adversity/relentlessly pursued their vision/had an amazing stroke of luck, and now the company is a global brand/worth zillions/the owner of our most private thoughts.

The truth is, most companies don’t grow up with that kind of drama. But you don’t need it to tell a compelling company story. What you do need are these five essential ingredients:

1. Claims to fame

What makes your company stand out? What’s your company’s most remarkable asset? It could be pioneering thinking, a new way of doing business, a new technology, a new product or service, a commitment to achieving specific social or environmental benefits — whatever defines your company’s core value.

2. Inspiration

What sparked the founding of the business? Who was involved and what motivated them? What problem were they trying to solve? What was their vision and mission?

3. Vision

What’s next? What’s the really big thing your company is shooting for? What keeps people involved in the business?

4. Challenges

What challenges did the founders and their growing team face in building the business? (These could be internal or external, micro or macro.) What did they do to overcome them?

5. Accomplishments

Where is your company now? What has it achieved? What work is your company actively engaged in? What has your company’s impact been? To what extent has it addressed the inspirational problem?

The infographic below shows all the elements in action in our story about New Resource Bank’s founding, vision and mission.