Some time ago, i was approached by a friend who is into Sports management and he was seeking my assistance in finding a partner who would handle his organisation’s marketing activities for the year. I then used my network and asked any individuals that were interested to contact me. Many did, and i was inundated with calls from potential marketers. Many sent their company profile and portfolios, but there was one guy who said to me “I just don’t have a profile but i can do this”. I had met him before, so I knew very well that he could, but as I sat down with my colleague and briefed him about the outcome of my search, I found myself conflicted.
There were nice clearly laid out profiles some detailed and others not so, but as we evaluated them, what chance did the guy who had only sent his words stand. To cut a long story short, we ended up going with one who had submitted their profile and presented their work well. Maybe in another world, would he have been given a chance, but the harsh reality is that we live in a highly competitive world of business and one needs to always bring their A- game because the stakes are high. In this article, i will take you through the process of creating a company profile to keep you from falling into the same predicament as that gentleman.
Why you need a company profile
In essence, a good company profile will achieve the following:
• Gives the reader basic information about your organisation by summarizing its background, products and its operations
• Builds trust by presenting you as a reputable business
• Shares your intent
• Highlights your capabilities and capacity to take on certain projects
• Showcases your team and its talents
• Positions you as a professional
So when you start writing your company profile it is important to have those in mind. There is always the temptation to embellish the truth but try to be as realistic as possible and to ensure that all your facts can be backed up.
Contents of a good company profile
• Introduction/Background “Who we are”
Start by giving a brief introduction or a background stating the origins of the company, and how the founders came to pursue its mission. The idea is to be creative and to highlight your uniqueness even through your writing. Depending on your audience, even some humour could do.
• Your company mission, vision and values statement
Share your vision and what you are trying to build with the audience. This will tell them that you’re here to stay. Also share the reason why you are doing what you are doing. Share your mission and the desired change you intend to bring to the world. Include your values and if possible, go a step further and explain why they are important to you. Do not just pick a random list of words that sound good, but state exactly what you’re about. If honesty is one these, then make sure this holds true even in your communication and conduct. If excellence makes the list, then prove it too.
You can share your goals with the readers by outlining them in simple point form. Let them be clear, concise and not too vague or unrealistic.
• Products and services “What we do”
This section gives the reader information about your products or services. If you have thousands of products you can group them into a few broad categories, then list all the products in each category and showcase the main ones. Also include pictures, specs, other details and product variations. The same applies if you provide services.
• What differentiates you “Why choose us”
If you have a unique selling point or something that sets you apart from the competition, clearly state it in this section and then outline how your offering is superior to the next best. Be creative with your heading. f you have been tasked with some major projects in the past, you can highlight them here and explain how they were a success. Showcase the results, outcomes and impact. If you helped a client triple their sales, then this is where you can highlight that.
• Testimonials “What others are saying”
This adds on from the previous section. You are saying to the reader, “don’t just take my word for it. Hear what others have to say”. If you have been trading for a while, choose some of your best customers and ask them to help back up your claims that your product or service is the best with a testimonial. Try and get reputable or high profile clients and be respectful of their privacy. Ask for their permission and then add their comments to your profile. If you were featured in a national newspaper or were named your sector’s best company then add that to this section.
• Company structure- “Meet the Team”
Share your company structure, type of organisation, who the directors are, and key responsibilities. In the case of a conglomerate, highlight which companies are involved and their respective roles if you are bidding for a project. If you are part of an Association or a professional body that can also be added to this section. Share information highlighting your management team as well as your key staff and their qualifications and expertise. If you have a Harvard educated analyst or an Oxford Accountant this is the place to highlight and showcase it.
• Call to action “Contact us”
This section includes your contact details and other means of getting in touch with you. It has your address, phone number, email and social media links. You can also add a map pin-pointing your location and highlighting the shortest route to your office or factory from a major road.
• Additional items (Optional)
- Copies of your certificates of incorporation, tax clearance and other registration documents
- Certificates showing your membership to professional bodies and industry associations
- Referral letters and testimonials from past clients.
- Samples and corporate brochures
1. Format and layout:
Choose a lovely format and set it in your them colours. Make sure that your company logo and name are prominently displayed on the cover page, as well as in your headers and footers.
You can create your profile from scratch using Microsoft word, but there are a number of online tools and templates that you can customize and use. Sites such as Graphicriver and templatenet have great free and paid templates that you can download and edit using software such as Photoshop.
You might need to invest in a very good camera or the services of a great photographer. Get good photos and add them to each of the sections of your company profile. You can use online stock photos but these can disqualify you if they are misused. So choose them carefully and do not use those that include items which you are not offering. An example is a new construction company flaunting top of the range cranes on its profile. This might mislead the reader and raise expectations or come across as simply deceptive.
4. Printing materials:
You can choose to have an electronic version of your profile, but you will have to print it out in certain instances. So make sure your company profile is clearly printed on good quality paper. A blurry print can give the wrong impression or give off the wrong vibe.
Where to use your company profile
Once you have created your company profile, you can then start sharing it with potential clients, partners, investors, financial institutions and other stakeholders. It will be required when:
• bidding for tenders
• applying for loans
• making sales pitches
• hiring key employees
• media communications
In conclusion, present yourself as a professional from the beginning and you will be taken seriously. Remember to be as creative as you can be and to showcase your uniqueness even in your profile. I hope that you found this article very helpful and will go on to create an awesome company profile and take your business to the next level. As always, I wish you happiness, health and wealth.