The message of your company is the central theme you wish to communicate to your potential clients and customers. It is the combination of words and images you use to let people know what you are about, what you want to sell them, and how you are going to accomplish that sale. Oddly, incorporating your personal core values is intrinsic to establishing this foundational message. As you begin to think about your company message, and core values, you may discover you are also writing a version of your personal value statement as well.
So, what is included in this message, and how do you go about the business of writing about your business? First, there are some questions you will need to answer. Remember to be as honest as possible - the more honest and open you are with yourself, the more value you will see in the result. When there are questions about you, answer them. Those questions are intended for you to reflect, they are not about your company, but instead the person behind the business. Always be gentle with yourself.
What matters to you personally. I tend to rely heavily on the examples of other corporate giants that have paved the way for small businesses to thrive. Let's take another look at Chick-Fil-A. They explicitly state their company message to include wanting to glorify God. That is an example of a personal belief translating into a business practice. Because they choose to honor their faith background, the founder established a business principle to be closed one day a week mimicking the Biblically based story of Creation that accounts of God resting on the seventh day. As they honor that personal belief through the practice of their business, the elements that are important to the founder - the person who originally established the company message - remains in tact. So, to start coming up with your company message, consider what matters to you most. Oddly, that question can sometimes be challenging to answer.
How do those things translate into your business and business practices. Now that you have thought about what you want to say, it is time to think about how that looks for your business everyday. How will people know what is most important to you when they encounter your company? Do you have appropriate things in place that let people knowow what matters most to you before they ever have a conversation with you? And then after that, does the message of your company show through the initial call, the follow-up email, the facebook post later that day.
"The message of your company has a role to play in the way you do business."
If part of your message pertains to caring for people, then follow-up with each customer so that they feel "cared for" will be a key business practice. Likewise, a business with a company message centered on supply and demand, will always need to have sufficient stock. In other words, if your company message includes something like "we ALWAYS have everything you need!" Then an imperative business practice would be to have a smooth supply process that keeps your inventory fully stocked. What does your company message require you to accomplish in your business practices? Make sure as you are thinking about these things, that you are able to keep up with what you are saying you will be able to do through your message. If your slogan is "service with a smile," but you frown all the time, either practice smiling, or adjust the content of your message.
What do you want people to know about your company? We are "fast," "efficient," "creative," "on-time," "reliable." What attributes best describe the kind of company you want to create, and how can you effectively incorporate those things into a message to represent your company? Spend some time writing down some things you want people to know about you, and your company right from the start. If you want someone to know that you are an expert in an area, incorporate that into your company message. It could be something like "With over 10 years of industry related experience, we offer high-level expertise to our clients for all things pertaining to branding, and brand image." With a line like that as part of the company message, everyone knows that they are able to expect a level of expertise when they do business with this company.
What makes you stand out? When we think about what makes us stand out in business, we often try to come up with a unique "edge" over the competition. A slogan, a product, an add-on service that sets us apart from the crowd. What you may not realize is that your most unique asset is right in front of your face every day. You! Because your brand is as unique as you are, when we talk about the unique contribution of your company, we are talking about the thing that is unique about you personally. In your branding, you should always be willing to tell your story, so that goes without saying. What we are talking about now is going to ring closer to what we most often call purpose. Purpose is that unique thing that only you can do for the people you
Now that you have answered these important questions, you are in a better position for formulate your company message. The message should follow this basic form:
1. An introduction of the company name,
2. Followed by a declaration of the core principle,
3. Why that core principle means so much to you, and
4. Close with an explanation of how that principle is applicable for your customer.
For example, Maven is founded on the principle that all people have a right to thrive in business. We believe that small businesses are the foundation of the national economy, and we will work tirelessly to see anyone who is interested in becoming an entrepreneur equipped with the tools to reach their desired level of success. Our company is founded on a decade of entrepreneurial experience that has been leveraged into teachable lessons we wish we would have had when we first started out. Our hope is to help our Mavens save time, money, and personal resource in the pursuit of their dreams, while encouraging each one to take care of themselves in the process. We are here to help, and support you as you work to become the Maven you have always wanted to be.
Your message can be several sentences, even up to a paragraph, but you want to keep the message concise so it is digestible for the reader. Most importantly, you want your message to be compelling, relatable, and fun to read. Anyone can write a boring, factual company message, why not take this opportunity to convey unique elements about why you do business, how you plan to do business, and the kind of business owner you intend to be.
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