The History of Your Business

I am in the process of writing a history for a winery association that has been in business for more than three decades. I am spending time finding information about the roots of the association; which wineries were the first members, who the past presidents were and basically what happened when.

This got me thinking about whether or not individual businesses archive the things that will be important when they have been in business in fifty, seventy-five or one hundred years from when the business was started.

The history of your business is going to be important to future generations when they are ready to celebrate the fifty or one-hundred-year anniversary. Here are some of the things you need to be thinking about now so that your descendants are not moaning about the fact that their grandparents or great-grandparents never kept anything useful about the start of the business:

Photographs are a big part of connecting people with your past. Do you have photographs of the owners, casual photographs of the owners dressed in their regular 1970s, 80s, or 90s clothes? Older fashions are always good for a laugh.

Keep the photographs in digital and printed form and don’t forget to name everyone involved and what their connection to the business is/was. Make sure each picture is dated (day, month and year.)

Take pictures of your employees while they are working (once again, name and date the photographs.)

Keep a file of major happenings in the business and the photos that relate to these occasions:
– The day you opened
– How you got the idea for the business
– Your first medal or award
– Anecdotes that will amuse or interest your future customers

Make notes on company tradition and what was important when the business was started.

In years to come, your company history will be a great boon to marketing and allow the future owners to promote the traditions that have come down through the ages.

Take all the things you collect and keep them safe, dry and away from rodents and add to them over the years. Lastly keep them somewhere that will make them easy to find in the future.

This is just a beginning. But it’s a great start.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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