car in snow story is secret sauce for profitable business

How to add the “secret sauce” for your business.

What turns an ordinary recipe into something extraordinary? A dash of the unexpected. A bit of "secret sauce."

As a business owner, it can be hard to get the attention of your audience. There is a LOT of noise out there.

To get noticed, one of your biggest assets can be your authenticity - and your stories.

Telling a good story is the difference between an endless straight-away highway and the twisty-turning back roads.

It’s the difference between McDonald’s and the blue-plate burger at your local greasy spoon.

The guy jumping out of the closet in a horror movie and a guy coming out of the closet in an old-school rom-com.

Your secret sauce stories are what your audience remembers about your business. It is your something-something.

Want an example?

Let’s say you’re a business copier company called Copiers-R-Us.

Let’s face it, this has the potential to be pretty boring – or pretty amazing.

Here are some (made-up) facts about Copiers-R-Us.

They have two locations and service about 100 small- to mid-sized companies in southeastern Massachusetts.

Copiers-R-Us was founded in 1977 by Paul and Steve, who used to work for one of the big copier companies.

(Are you falling asleep yet?)


car in snow secret sauce story for profitable business

Let's dig a little deeper into the little-known stories of Copiers-R-Us.


What if I told you that Paul went out in the Blizzard of 1978 (big in Massachusetts, look it up) pulling a sled of copier parts and paper to help keep the Massachusetts storm command center working?

Or that Steve has mentored four employees who started working for Copiers-R-Us in high school and now own their own businesses?

Here are more "fun facts" about Copiers-R-Us

Their business mascot is Corus, the third-generation rescue mutt with that name. Corus splits his time between Paul and Steve and the store locations.

Copiers-R-Us started a matching grant program to provide paper to schools in their service area.

Copiers-R-Us was the first company to exclusively stock recycled paper and started a paper recycling pickup program for businesses in towns without recycling facilities.

Steve and Paul started the business because Paul’s father insisted they go into business for themselves – and loaned them the money to get started.

Steve’s mother did their books and answered their phones for the first three years.

Paul’s daughter, Linda, is being groomed to take over the company.

Steve’s son Eddie is expanding their online and technical services.


My point is that every company—even the seemingly boring ones—has great stories to tell.

Without any imagination, Copiers-R-Us's story could be pretty short and boring: two guys found a copier company and are still at it almost 50 years later.

Or Copiers-R-Us could have a pretty amazing story to tell.

Copiers-R-Us's audience would enjoy stories about how their business began, including their successes and setbacks, and succession planning.

Their audience wants to hear how Copiers-R-Us keeps their business thriving and growing in a competitive business environment.

Local media would pick up on Copiers-R-Us community giving.

Environmental groups would like the story about Copiers-R-Us' commitment to recycling.

Paul’s father and Steve’s mother could tell stories about what it means to help children succeed and tie that into a story about Steve mentoring a new generation.

Wow. When you dig in, Copiers-R-Us actually has a lot of interesting stories to tell.

Stories about your business and its twisty surprise, fun facts, and weird little details give your audience an authentic connection.

Season your story with lots of details that are relevant to your audience. Illustrate with pictures, sounds, and video.

Take your audience on a journey they won’t forget.

What stories can you tell about your business?

How can these stories create a more authentic, deeper connection with your audience?

Patricia Browne

Patricia Browne

Patricia Browne is the author of seven books that help businesses grow and profit.

Read about The Profit-ize system and what it can do for your business

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