A business narrative tells the story of your business. Writing a business narrative is the first step in formulating a business plan for your company. It allows you to brainstorm about the direction you would like to take as well as verbalize ideas for financing, vision and the direction you will ultimately go with your company. By the time you are finished with your business plan you should have a name, a clear idea of what your company does, what things make your company special or unique and how you plan to market it.
Name Your Business
Naming your business is like laying the cornerstone of a building. Once it is in place the entire building can be erected. Equally, once your name has been created, the entire image of your business can evolve. You want to make sure your business name portrays the image you are seeking. Look at any recurring themes or ideas that have occurred in your discussions and consider these for your business name. The name should reflect the mind-set and viewpoint of your company and create a clear picture in the mind of potential investors.
Describe Your Business
As a new or fledgling business it can be difficult to find the words to persuade investors to fund your venture. This is easier accomplished if they have a clear understanding of what you do. Your plan should clearly identify your business and describe what it does. Be as specific as you can in your descriptions -- being too general can cause confusion for customers and investors. Refrain from hazy or vague concepts because this impression could carry over to affect how your business is perceived. Make sure your company name and description tie into one another so they create one image.
Special Business Features
Consumers choose to buy something they either need or want, so it is important in your business narrative to focus on what you are able to provide to your customers that they can’t or won’t get elsewhere. Your narrative should show how your business is different or special: what it will provide for them that will solve a problem they have. Basically, you need to show what is in it for consumers to patronize your business.
Identify Your Market
After you have identified what you are marketing, you must focus on your target market. It’s not enough to come up with a good product; you also have to put it in the hands of the people who will be able to use it. The best way to do this is to create a picture of your ideal customer and how you will target your product to meet their needs. Once you know who your customers are, you can then formulate a plan to reach them.
Finally, create a long-term business prospectus for where you want your business to be in one, three and five years. Set reasonable, challenging but attainable goals that show a realistic progression of how you would like for your business to evolve. Describe what resources, if any, you will need to continue your business and express why you feel confidant your plans will be a success.
- Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images