I often hear from entrepreneurs who have read one of my articles in the National Post or PROFIT Magazine. I think they go "harrumph. My business is much more interesting than the business he's writing about today," and so they email me about covering their business.
Once I got a letter from someone who said, more or less, "Loved your story about the company that makes animal tracking devices. My business does the same thing. You should write about me."
I told him that the fact that i had just written about the animal-tracking business constituted a pretty safe guarantee that I wouldn't write about it again for at least seven years.
I got a similar letter from an entrepreneur today. In my reply, I told him what makes a great story for me. I thought you might like to know, too.
(His name has been omitted for obvious reasons.)
Hi -----------. Thanks for getting in touch.
When I write a story about a company, there's usually a theme or lesson on it that other entrepreneurs can learn from. Because business owners are way too busy to read just for general interest.
So I'm wondering what you think the theme might be of a story about (your business name here)? What major challenges have you had to overcome? What "secrets" of survival and success have you learned?
These are the essences of a good small business story for me.
Thanks very much.