Telling Your Small-Business Story

Zao cake

The idea festered for a while before I actually did something about it. I had been working as marketing director for nonprofits for almost a decade by then. In my role there, I had gotten involved in the Nevada Chamber of Commerce and became president, and I was also serving on the Young Professionals of Ames board.

That’s when and where I first met the rockstars of our community — the small business owners who inhabited the main streets and business districts of Story County. They were the backbone of my community, the spirit. They had big dreams and commendable goals and aspirations.

What they didn’t have was time. They were struggling to get the word out about their products and services. They couldn’t afford an ad agency and often didn’t have an in-house marketing person to do the work. They didn’t get into business to design fliers, and they didn’t have enough hours in the day to keep up with the ever-changing industry.

Someone really should help them, I thought. The thought returned to me on my lunch break, in the mornings as I drove to work, while I enjoyed dinner at home. The thought never really left me.

I wanted to help these small business rockstars.

So when a friend of mine posted a job for marketing help at the cell phone retail store in Hampton that she managed, I jumped at the opportunity. “I can do that for you!” I said. She was my first client.

Then I found another to help. Then another. And so on and so forth.

Before I knew it, Zao525 provided more business than I could handle on a part-time basis. This part-time side gig I started in 2012 became a full-time venture in 2016. And the rest is a history I have yet to write, but it’s one I am excited about.

That’s my small-business story. What’s yours?

Why Would You Want to Know My Story?

The art of storytelling dates back to ancient civilization.

Stories resonate with people. Stories make deeper connections. Stories help others better understand ideas.

When you share your small-business story, people will connect with you, your brand and your mission. The small-business story especially delivers a narrative that many want to stand behind. And who knows, you may even inspire another entrepreneur like yourself.

How Can I Tell My Small-Business Story?

When you’re writing your small-business story, remember to:

  • Tell your story with a clear beginning, middle and end (the end being the start of your small-business adventure!)
  • Edit out any details that bog your story down — people have short attention spans as it is
  • Include “the why” of your business — what compelled you to care about your industry and who you serve?
  • If you’re struggling to get your story out, talk through it with a friend or family member and either record yourself or have them write it down. Your words will be more natural.

Want to share your story but don’t know where to start? Contact us and we’ll get our word wizards right on it!

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