90% of businesses are family owned. Navigating the details of business gets exponentially more difficult when you add your family to the middle of it. If you’ve ever struggled with how to run and grow a family run business, StoryBrand Guide Alex Schauer has some great advice for you. On this episode of the ROI Online Podcast, she talks with Steve about her experience working for her family’s business and becoming a StoryBrand Guide to help others market theirs.
Alex's background is in family business manufacturing from working for the family business she married into. She learned quickly that being part of the family meant working for the business, even if you don’t quite have the necessary skills like was her case with marketing.
That led her to StoryBrand, which was a challenge for the business to implement for two reasons: 1) everyone in the company was used to sharing their message around her father-in-law who started the business and 2) they had to pare down the number of products they featured on their website. Alex and the company quickly realized that it was more important to feature the customer in their story and to focus on only one products.
What they found, was that clarifying their message and focusing on the feature product helped them increase their online revenue 417%. The company’s new message? “Do you know those pretreating coat hooks that stick out at eye level when you go through schools? Those are really dangerous for kids when they're hung at eye level. So we have a flat profile coat hook that makes school safer.”
It directly speaks to what their customers are looking for.
Other challenges that came up for Alex were typical of family businesses everywhere. How did they keep important conversations from happening on Easter? How do they communicate with one another without making assumptions? What happened when management needed to transition?
Most of their struggles were answered by focusing on the customer first. Difficult conversations about percentages and roles were manageable when focused more on who they were helping.
Alex herself then became a StoryBrand Guide to help other companies clarify their messaging. She has helped over 100 companies and counting and enjoys working with family owned businesses to navigate the unique challenges only they have to deal with.
Her best advice for other business owners is to hire a guide to help you implement your own StoryBrand—even if it’s not her. Creating her own StoryBrand for their company took three months of agony because they were so close to their own message. That outside perspective is huge and can save you tons of time and heartache.
You can learn more about Alex here:
Read the books mentioned on this episode: