Successful Entrepreneurs always have an engaging story to tell about how they got the idea to start their business and how it solves a problem for some group of people.
However, after some years in business, they need to have the courage to jettison their startup story and create a new story.
They need to explain how they have moved on and are now clear in their thinking as to how best to support the ones they can help the most.
This has particular relevance to start-ups in the social entrepreneurial space as they are often telling very personal and dramatic stories that have affected them deeply and as a result, they have done some fantastic work to help and support people in similar circumstances to themselves.
It’s unfair and also very stressful to keep expecting these people to keep going to the well, telling their story over many years.
Ideally, you want the individual and the business they have fostered to move on, while still telling stories of how the organisation has evolved into something that provides support and help for lots of people.
Last week I heard some 20+ pitch presentations from a most enthusiastic group of social entrepreneurs, whose ideas can change the lives of the people they support and Ireland as a nation, given the support they require and desperately need.
There are enormous demands on government agencies and others who support social innovation, hence the need to tell stories that demonstrate that the funds they seek will be put to good use.
It’s about Relationships
Here is a template you can use to establish and build relationships.
This template was developed by Marshall Ganz and used by Barack Obama’s speechwriters; for more detail read Ganz’s article ‘Telling Your Public Story‘
- A story of self
- A story of us
- A story of now
Here is my expanded explanation of ‘Self – Us – Now’ presentation template with social innovation start-ups in mind
- Self: Start with a personal story (it does not need to be yours)
Good relationships are established by engaging your prospect with a story that affects them or someone they care about!
- Us: The bigger more universal story
When step one is complete you will need to expand the story to demonstrate how you can roll out your services to lots of people.
- Now: Tell us why this needs to be done NOW!
Help your audience to see the immediate benefits you provide to people they care about, plus the wider world.
Call for Action – the most important of all the steps
Agree on the next specific action that needs to be taken.
e.g. Pilot Programme funding, visit your premises, provide office space, cover some costs over an agreed period of time.
All these actions help to build and cement relationships, allowing you to ask for more next time.
Note: Most decisions are made based on emotion and then justified with logic.
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