I have come to the conclusion that the best marketing tool a small business can use is their story. I’m not necessarily speaking of your personal story but it might be inclusive of such. What I am talking about is the story of HOW the product, service or even the company came into existence. I will illustrate this by telling you one of my stories. In early 2000 I was to be married and we were looking for party favors for the tables. We came across the idea of small glycerin soaps. The soaps would be adorned with ribbons and a label that had our names and the wedding date on them. We found a soap making kit in a hobby store and set out to try and make these favors. While making the samples we realized the ease of the product and I ended up saying… this is so easy, I wonder if we could make a business out of these. Soon we launched a small soap business out of a 900 square foot apartment. We had absolutely no customers and very little product. Our entire stock of completed merchandise and raw materials fit in a linen closet in our apartment and the production was done in our kitchen. Our first client was a Bed and Breakfast on the East coast. They became a long time customer of the company. Within 3 years the company grew from a small apartment to a 1000 SF manufacturing facility where product was shipped daily around the world. We were soon being featured on QVC, Redbook Magazine and in Newspapers around the world. We were even listed in the Fortune 500 “Up and Coming Franchise” edition. We produced natural products at a reasonable price and this catapult our business. We were on a fast track to take the business big when circumstances led us to sell the company. I often asked myself why did the product sell? For one we offered a desirable product at a competitive price. But what I discovered was that what people really bought into was our story. A story of starting a business from a true ground up enterprise. We amazed everyone we talked to about it. Now, before you think I am some kind of super hero let me tell you that owning your own business is tough work and can bee a strain on a relationship. While I would often wonder what the company would or could have been if we kept it, I shall never know. As far as I know, the person who purchased the company didn’t take it anywhere and at this moment the website is no longer in service.
I believe that anyone with an idea and a desire to work hard can make something of themselves. Create a story worth telling, worth hearing, and worth buying into. Go for it!
Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/CEO of Maximum Change Inc. Elevating leaders and their organizations to the next level since 2005. Master Certified Coach, Philip A Foster, MA and his associates facilitate effective positive change by helping organizations, leaders and individuals in high demand — design and implement strategies that maximize focus and deliver results. Specializing in Organization and Strategic Leadership.