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Recently I met up with a man who has been running his own kitchen and bathroom fitting business for the last 25 years.

He needs a new website, which a friend of mine is designing for him. My friend asked if I’d meet with them both and consider writing the copy.

So I did, and I was impressed.

The business owner – let’s call him Graeme – was very clear about the audience he wanted to reach. He was also very clear about the messages he wanted to get across, particularly showcasing ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of his work to illustrate the quality craftsmanship that goes into his work.

As we talked, I learned more about Graeme’s business. He now employs about 10 people directly and has strong relationships with another four or five plasterers and tilers. He employs these people as needed because he wants only the very best quality work for his clients.

I was also interested to learn how he works with his customers. I discovered that he always takes them to a major trade bathroom and kitchen supplier so they can see the products before choosing them. He told me that when customers are making a major purchase, he thinks it’s important to guide and assist them at every stage.

In short, he has a quality offering and he wants to attract local clients who want their new bathrooms and kitchens to be of a very high standard.

So far, so good.

But what I really wanted to know was how his business got started. I find there’s often a lot in a company’s backstory that can be used to make them stand out and which appeals to potential customers.

So I asked him how he came to be a bathroom and kitchen fitter. I was truly impressed by what he told me.

After leaving school, he had a number of really tough and unpleasant jobs, including one which involved rendering animal carcasses. Unfortunately, he later became unemployed.

At the time he was newly married and his wife was in work. Firstly, she supported his studies as he picked up the relevant gas and electrical accreditations he needed to work in his chosen trade.

But when he got them, he found it impossible to get a job. So he knocked on the door of one major bathroom and kitchen fitting firm and offered to work for free in return for learning his craft.

The business owner accepted and Graeme spent six months working for nothing. Having got the experience he needed, he knocked on the door of another local business owner and asked for a job.

He got one, and spent the next few years honing his skills before finally setting up his own business. And 25 years later, it’s thriving.

What impressed me about Graeme’s story is the fact that he never let setbacks put him off. He used his initiative and courage to gain the experience and qualifications he needed. His ambition in life was to be a highly skilled bathroom and kitchen fitter and he got there – creating employment for over a dozen people as he did so.

That aspect of his story is like gold dust. If you wanted a new kitchen, would you go with the company that seems to do good work, or the one that seems to do good work that’s also run by a man who fought every inch of the way to make his business succeed?

You’d choose the latter of course.

While I know it can be hard for many of us to talk about our personal journey through life, it’s always worth looking to see if there’s something in it that will make you and your business stand out.

It can make the difference between getting a new customer or watching them go elsewhere.

So tell your story to someone and ask if there are aspects of it that would encourage them to work with you.

If there are, they are bound to appeal to a very wide audience.

Avatar for Ben Locker
About Ben Locker

Ben Locker is a copywriter who specialises in business-to-business marketing, writing about everything from software and accountancy to construction and power tools. He co-founded the Professional Copywriters’ Network, the UK’s association for commercial writers, and is named in Direct Marketing Association research as ‘one of the copywriters who copywriters rate’.

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