Tell A Story

One of the keys to landing some investment capital is to approach investors with a story. While some have taken this to mean that they should write a story (for example, Cindy Pichette and Kris Whiffing of Clean Stay who appeared on Dragons’ Den, Season 5 Episode 4 which aired October 13, 2010), this is about more than catching the interest of potential investors, but about catching your own interest.

The story is about the need your business or product solves. That is, you don’t want to be like Andrea Ross, Dan Giercke andScott Gullion of Gurutropolis, who spent their pitch talking at length without actually saying anything. You want to have a tangible reason for existence, and a story helps you do that.

Some stories are long and complex, others are short and simple. Ideally, you should be able to illustrate your point within 30 seconds, if you can get it down to 15 seconds, even better. It should help you connect to your [potential] audience, to the point where they can visualize themselves as the subject of the story.

Stories have the tendency to answer several crucial questions about the business – why does anyone care, what problem does it solve, how does it solve that problem. Everything else is fluff.

This is, perhaps, one of the reasons that businesses have slogans and mission statements – they help everyone in and around the business see the values of the business, and the reasons for its existence. If you and your business do not have that, perhaps you need to take a step back and evaluate why your business does exist, and see if you can rephrase that reasoning into a simple statement.