The way you tell the story of your business will change the way both you and your customers think about your company.

Many entrepreneurs begin their company story on the day they sold their first product. Others neglect to tell a story at all, concentrating only on their product’s benefit and features. Before you sit down to plan out new content for your website or your next marketing effort, you need to write your story.

A good story is engaging and draws the reader in. The who, what, where, when, why and how of your business will tell your customers more about why they want to buy your product than you think. When you use your personal story to build a relationship with your customers, you earn their loyalty and interest in your product.

The first step to telling your story is to identify your “aha” moment. Your story begins well before you put up your website. Think back to before you started your business and what was happening in your life that made you realize it was time to change your path. This is where your story begins.

Like all good stories, the middle needs to build up to a climax. You customers know you succeeded, because they’re visiting your online store, but what about the times it didn’t look like you were going to get there?

Write about the challenges you had building your business and what inspired you to keep going. Recounting the hiccups and and the small success you achieved along the way will help your customers understand your passion and dedication to your product.

Now you’re at the part where most small businesses begin their stories: how you help your customers. Don’t just list off the benefits of your product, tell its story. How did you hit on the final recipe for your hand-crafted soap, or what did the first glowing email you received from a customer say? Drawing your customer into the benefits of your product, rather than just offering them a list will help them imagine your product in their lives.

Help potential customers see themselves as part of your story by highlighting the stories of current customers. Write about how using your product make their lives easier or simplified a task. Identify the common threads all of your customers have to help people see themselves in your story.

Your story will help your customers get to know your business and trust you faster than any PR campaign. Use it as a networking tool to meet other like-minded business owners and to inform the tone of your blog posts and social media contacts. Weave narratives into your product descriptions to unite all of your marketing content into one engaging story about your business.

The way you tell the story of your business will change how both you and your customers think about your company. Here's why you need to write your story.