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The importance of sharing your business story

Attending last week’s Telstra Business Awards, I was again struck by how many inspiring businesses there are in this country – and how many ordinary, hard-working Australians have followed their passion to create their own quiet success story.

Meeting this year’s national award winner of the MYOB Small Business Award, Robert Sheppard of the Northern Territory’s City Ceramics, just before the awards were announced, I was struck by how down-to-earth and unassuming he was – especially for a man on the brink of winning one of the country’s largest business awards.

Robert and I talked about what he was going to say if he had to get up on stage during the awards. My advice was that he just get up and tell his story. Because behind every great business there is a fascinating story, one that sums up the challenges you’ve faced and the inspiration that not only got you started, but keeps you going.

And for every other fantastically successful business owner in Australia we’re yet to see made famous, my advice is the same. You’re the drive and the dedication behind the business. And it’s your story that encapsulates not only how you got to where you are, but also the things that truly define your business.

That genuine passion is something people find very engaging – whether they’re your customers, your staff or even your bank manager.  And it’s something people can always relate to on some level.

So how can you tell your story, and provide a daily dose of inspiration in your business?

Put something of yourself in your brand – a good brand will communicate who you are on many levels. Customers more and more look for the story behind the brand, giving them another way to relate to, and help them choose, the right product or service for them. Whether it’s your commitment to creating a unique product or service model, supporting local industry or protecting the environment, if your brand – and marketing – can help you tell more of your story, it will also bring you closer to your customers.

Share – and celebrate – success stories – although you’re at the heart of the business, if you have staff, everyone makes a contribution to it. So make time, with a regular meeting, or informal catch-ups, to share some of the everyday successes in your business with your team. It will not only help inspire them, it’s also a great way to build productivity by ensuring staff are aware of the workings of every part of your operation.

Network it – for many people, the idea of business networking can be pretty daunting, or just time-consuming when there are so many other things to focus on. But – for very small businesses particularly – it’s a great way to find like-minded business people to work with. And, even in these high technology times, people still do business with people – and usually people they like; so sharing a little of your story with your peers can be a great way to establish valuable business relationships.

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Julian Smith

Julian Smith

Julian Smith is responsible for MYOB’s corporate affairs, government and public relations in Australia and New Zealand and is also New Zealand general manager. The qualified lawyer has spent much of his career at large multinationals in a range of senior legal, sales, marketing and customer management roles. Julian is a regular keynote speaker and business commentator and sits on a number of government and industry boards and advisory panels. Julian can be found on Twitter <a href="http://www.twitter.com/JulianTSmith">@JulianTSmith</a> or contacted via email Julian.smith@myob.com

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