The business world is not immune to fads, but there are a few that have stood the test of time. The principles in How to Win Friends and Influence People and Think and Grow Rich have been guiding business people to success since the 1930s.
One recent “fad” is storytelling. The number of people who list “storyteller” as their occupation (I didn’t realize it existed outside the kids’ section in Barnes and Noble) on LinkedIn is incredible. Yet, everyone from StoryBrands Donald Miller, a former screenwriter, to the travel industry’s own Richard D ’Ambrosio are singing the virtues of applying the practice to your own business narrative.
Is it a fad? I don’t think so. According to Miller, business stories typically follow the same predictable framework as a successful screenplay. His story script is “A character has a problem and meets a guide who gives them a plan and calls them to action that ends in success or helps to avoid failure.” provides a framework from which to craft yours.
There is another story. This one is not written in words but when read properly, your numbers can tell a master work of non-fiction.
There are three ways to become profitable. Sell more, minimize expenses, and ideally a combination of the two. Here are five numbers that will help you tell your story.
- Leads, Quotes, and Sales – The chapter of revenue. If you know your close ratio, you can accurately predict the number of leads you need to hit your revenue targets.
- Cost of Sale – This is a number based primarily on the value of your time and the cost of overhead and marketing.
- Overhead Expense – How and where you spend your money is very telling. I work out of my garage office; and I am often asked why I don’t rent office space. Because every penny out of your pocket is money in someone else’s—so spend wisely.
- Break Even -What is the minimum you must earn to pay your monthly, expenses except owner compensation.
- Subscription Services – Virtually everything is available via subscription (Microsoft Office365, Adobe Acrobat, Dropbox, etc.) These can add up quickly. Only pay for what you use regularly.
Storytelling has been around since the beginning of time. We all have a narrative to share. The question is: will yours be an inspiration or a horror story. It’s all in the numbers, so make sure you know yours!
Dan Chappelle is a professional business advisor and best-selling author. His training and consulting firm helps develop sales focused business leaders and entrepreneurs in the travel and tourism industry.
His book, Get Your S.H.I.P. Together: The Wealthy Travel Agent Guide to Sales, is available on Amazon.com. For information on the Wealthy Travel Agent Academy’s business transformation programs, visit: www.DanChappelle.com