New business stories are essential for all communities, especially small ones. Chronicling the economic ups and downs of a city or town is essential for journalists, and profiling businesses as they emerge helps give a boost to the businesses as well as the public.
Interview your subject or subjects. Go to the new business and get a tour from the owner. Take notes of any interesting artwork or equipment as you walk through. Ask the owner any questions that come to mind but also have some prepared. Remember to get the basics like name spellings, hours of operation and contact information. Probe the person for unique anecdotes or facts about why she decided to open the business.
Gather your information. It is always a good idea to come back to your computer with more information than you need to write the story. If the business offers a product or service that may not be well known, research the topic on the web to get an idea. Aside from interviewing the owner of the business, talk to any customers who have patronized the business in its opening days. What did they like about it? Why do they think the business is important for the community? Do they think the products are reasonably priced?
Write your story. New business stories can be written in a straight news style or, if appropriate, in more of a feature-story tone. Decide which approach will work best for this business. Is it something that runs in a family? Did the owner always want to open a business or was it a fluke? Include eccentric and interesting details about the owner and the business.
Take a break. Once you have a draft. Step away from your story, close the document and do something else for at least a few minutes. This allows you to detach from the story so you can edit it clearly later.
Edit your story. First, go through and look for areas where more information is needed. Find sentences that lack clarity and change them. Find unnecessary phrases and repetitive facts and delete them. Edit for grammar and AP Style (the style that most newspapers use as their standard).
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