You have launched your new company. It’s exciting. Now, it’s time to let others know all about who you are and what you do. Whether it’s for potential investors, potential customers, or simply a document that keeps you on track, you need a company profile. And you need it in writing.
Your company profile should answer the question: “What is it you do?”
But you should also consider that profile to be a resume – something that highlights your background and experience, and tells your story.
Here are the basics of putting a great company profile together.
1). Gather Everything You Have Already Written :
You may already have a website; you may have been working on product descriptions; you may have notes scattered about with ideas you have generated for marketing, for a slogan, etc. Whatever you have written down anywhere, pull all of it together.
Start by reviewing all of these. Hopefully, you will be able to recall why you wrote something and your thoughts behind it. Think about all that you have written down and how it relates to why you started this business and what you plan to accomplish.
2). Answer the Important Questions
Here are the questions that you must answer that will eventually become a part of your profile:
- What do I sell (if multiple products, put them into categories)?
- What value do my products or services bring to my target audience?
- Who is my target audience (if there are multiple targets, group them into segments)?
- Who are my competitors and how are my products different from and/or better than theirs?
3). What is your Story?
You want to think about what makes your endeavour unique. And what is unique about you and how you decided to start this business. Here are your questions:
- Who launched the company? It may be only you, but you also may have a partner or two. What are your back stories?
- Why did you start this company? What need are you filling?
- Is there anything that makes your company unique? Are you using only recycled products? Are you socially responsible in some way? Do you have a mission that incudes helping others? (this is a huge concern for millennials and Gen Z’ers)
- How did you name the company?
- Is there a small story that may be of interest to others? How you came up with your idea? Some challenge you faced?
4). Identifying and Refining Your Mission and Your Vision
Here, you are really talking about the goals you have for your company, both short- and long-term.
But as you talk about these goals, think in terms of what value you bring to your potential customers, not the amount of profit you intend to rake in. Your audience wants to know what’s in this for them, not you.
As you identify your mission, and ultimately reduce it to writing, remember that it is not a business plan that you are submitting to a bank for a loan. You want to use simple conversational language that anyone can understand. And lose the industry jargon or other terms that the average person will not know.
You should touch upon your values as a company and the value proposition that you bring to your customers. This all goes to branding yourself as a business that cares about being transparent, ethical, and focused on the needs of your audience.
5). The Details
Details may include where you are located, why you chose that location, the educational and experiential backgrounds of your team members, how your products are made, where your raw materials come from, how your business is structured (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation), and the work environment and culture you promote.
These things will provide the reader with a much fuller picture of your brand and you as a person – these are the things that make connections and relationships.
6). About That Length
A business profile is not a business plan. Those are lengthy documents that are prepared for major lenders – banks, angel investors, large investment enterprises, etc. If you are looking for lenders from your business profile, then you are looking for smaller and more casual investors, such as those you find through venues like Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
A business profile can be a document about one-page in length – something you can pass out at events, meetings, etc. or digitally send to parties that may have an interest, perhaps influencers in your niche. In some cases, it can be a highly detailed document of up to 25 pages.
Based upon the above list of items, your business profile should have at least five sections, with an appropriate Title (heading) at the top.
- The heading need only state the name of the company, the fact that this is a business profile, and perhaps the location and contact information.
- Each of your sections should have an engaging sub-heading, so that the reader is drawn in and wants to read on.
- Coordinate your sub-headings in style. Start each with a verb or, keeping it simple with the pronoun “Our” – our mission, our story, our team – followed by a catchy phrase.
Editing and Polishing
You will probably have a document that is far longer than one page. So, now begin editing and polishing. Do this one section at a time.
Can you condense ideas or points? What is irrelevant that can be provided later on your website, blog posts, or even social media profiles? Remember, this is a resume – a short preview.
The polishing part is all about the grammar, punctuation, spelling, and basic sentence structure. If you are not highly skilled in grammar and composition, get some help – either from a friend or colleague who is or by investing in an edit and review by a professional business writing service. You won’t regret it.
In the End…Your Profile is a Fluid Document
The profile you write just as you launch will not be the same document you will want once you are established and “on your feet.” Your mission may be further refined; you may want to highlight your social responsibilities more; you may have taken on a partner and changed the legal structure of your business.
Essentially, you should review your company profile regularly and modify as your circumstances change
What are your thoughts on this? kindly let your opinion known in the comment section below.
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