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Even an online business needs to be placed somewhere
Every business is writing a story, whether they know it or not.
Take two fish & chip shops. For the sake of argument, let’s say they both serve good food and they’re both clean and hygienic and neither of them offers home delivery.
One is on the High Street sandwiched between a charity shop and a nail technician. The other is in a seedier part of town opposite a badly lit park frequented by people you don’t really want to look in the eye.
There’s no easy parking along the High Street and the main residential areas are just on the wrong side of easy walking distance. This shop has two distinct busy periods — lunchtime and going-home-from-the-office time (we’re talking pre-lockdown) but is mostly quiet at other times.
The other shop is slap-bang in the middle of a residential area and there are no parking restrictions. People have to keep their wits about them when they pop down but this shop is always busy. It opens at 11am and stays busy until long into the night.
How these shops factor the setting into their story
Both shops have their own environmental, logistical, and social dilemmas to deal with. These factors are fixed and the story these businesses write has to make the best of things.
The High Street shop reflects its setting through easy-eat packaging, smaller portions, and meal deals.
When people think about this shop, they know they’ll get a clean experience from something that’s usually greasy and messy.
The seedy-area shop has good lighting outside, prices are set to attract a certain demographic (but has a happy hour,) and the shop lets people order by phone for minimal wait time.
When people think of this shop, they know they’ll get hot tasty food easily and safely.
The setting to include in your online business story
Your business is online, but it still has environmental, logistical, and social dilemmas that need to be “storied.”
These “settings” include things like:
- Available time
- Family priorities
- Your talents, preferences, and ambitions
- Your own limiting beliefs, insecurities, and preconceptions
When you’re looking at writing a narrative for your business, these foundational factors will influence the way you create and present your offer.
But oddly enough, these are the factors that are easiest to ignore… until one day the lack of customers makes it known that the setting hasn’t been factored into the narrative.
All businesses are writing a story, and all stories need a setting.
What environmental, logistical, and social dilemmas do you need to address in your story? Let me know.