Creating a business presentation from scratch is never an easy task - you always have to consider and start from the type of presentation you’d need, the goals you want to achieve through it, your audience’s profile, needs and expectations, and the context of the presentation (how and where it’s going to be delivered and how much time will you have).
But when you have a guideline of how to figure out these elements and what you should include in your business presentation, then it all starts to make sense. That’s why we decided to put together several guides and how-tos on the most common business presentations out there. We started our series with the slides you should have in your pitch deck, followed by what to add in your sales deck and now in this article, we want to cover another very common type of presentation: the company profile.
We started this series with the structure for a pitch deck, followed by a sales presentation and now a company profile.
What is a company profile and when & where to use it?
Company profiles are presentations made to be used in introduction emails, to introduce your company before getting to specifics. You won’t need to actually present it, so make it explicit and easy to understand.
Compared to a live presentation, where your focus is on the audience, in a company profile it is ok to talk about you. The reader’s purpose is to get to know you.
A company profile is essential, from a startup to any major company
It is what most of your future partners and clients will see for the first time. What impression do you want to make?
It happens for a lot of companies to get so involved in making the company profile that they forget for who is actually made. Putting in all the information about you will make it boring for the reader and at the same time won’t leave any mystery about you.
As the Business Dictionary would define it:
A company profile is a concise description which, among other items of information, includes firm's history, number and quality of its human, financial, and physical resources, organizational and management structure, past, current and anticipated performance, and its reputation, and the standing of its goods or services.
But let’s not get wrapped around a definition and see how we can make a unique profile. Even if it's your company profile, we recommend you to focus on how your company helps your customers.
It can also take many forms, some companies have it in a word document, others in a brochure, or as a presentation. We will talk about the 10 elements any company profile should have:
1. Mission statement/vision
This is the moment where you tell customers what drives you to do what you do. Continue with your mission and what are the values the brand stands for. Without knowing all the details about your products, they judge you by your values and your vision.
What does your company aspire to achieve?
You probably know the mission’s company, as it is part of your brand identity. With it, or with some additional information, also cover here details as who are your primary customers and where are your operations active.
2. Brief history of the company
A very simple way to tell your history is with a timeline slide. This way you can put all the steps that got you to the present in a visual way that is easy to understand. For the important one you can always add a short paragraph.
Keep in mind that you should include both ups and downs from your company. Show your readers that you have been through difficult moments, but you overcame them.
3. Overview of the solution
Spark some curiosity. Before getting into more details about each product/service you have, do an overview of the solution you are offering. Talk about what problem your solution tackles and how it does that.
You can also walk the reader through the process of creating this solution, what were your drivers and aspirations. This slide is meant to paint the big picture of your work.
4. Development & Growth
Hit me some numbers. Use real facts and data to show the difference between where you started, where you are now and where the company is going. Based on the internal data make a connection with external factors. They will be of much more interest for the reader, and at the same time will be explained by your work.
Tell stories of how much effort all the company did to grow. It’s up to you if you want to share struggles your company faced or specific actions of improving.
5. Detailed Products & Services
If your company has only a few products/services you can present them individually. Each product/service needs to be described from a technical point of view ( specific characteristics ) and from a customer point of view ( how can it be used/ for what it is used ).
In case there are too many products/services and it will take a lot of space to write about all, put them in categories. Under each category make a list of the products that it includes and add a general description.
It would be very helpful for your potential client and also for you if you add pricing and offers for the products/services. This will save time and you will continue discussion with those who are interested even after seeing the pricing.
6. Industry recognition/position
Let your reader know what your position is in the market. Include details about market size, your contribution to the market and what is the course of the industry. Don’t forget to differentiate yourself from other players in the market.
Even better, if you have received any recognitions or awards don’t be shy to mention them. Your readers will trust your company more if they see you have been acknowledged by specialized institutions.
7. Client portfolio & Testimonials
Show your potential partner/customer with whom you have already worked. Having testimonials form the biggest clients will bring value to your brand. Try to get a quote from a well known person in that organization or from an authoritative one.
Real feedback will strengthen your image without being too promotional. And is more credible as it comes from an external source.
8. Case studies
A very good way to showcase your work is with a case study. This means that you take a client that you worked with and start explaining how you worked together, what were the challenges, how you handled them, what was your approach and what were the results.
This is the process from the first talk until the end of the collaboration. Focus on the relevant aspects that showcase your solution and your communication during the collaboration. It is also helpful to have feedback from the client here.
9. Team & Departments
Who are the people behind the company?
In a startup it may be easier to present every member of the team, their background and area of expertise and it is also more important. A strong team sends a clear message, that you are ready for business.
For a bigger company having only the ones in leadership won’t be as meaningful. They must appear in the company profile together with the departments of the company. You want to transmit the image of a united company where every employee has its contribution.
10. Call to Action & Contact
A must have in your company profile is a simple push toward the next step. If the reader doesn’t know exactly what to do when they finish going through the document give them a few ideas, like:
“For more information contact us”, “Let’s schedule a call to talk more”.
In the end put the contact info where you can be found, address, email, telephone number. You can also have more contact persons for different situations. This will make it easier for the reader and will shorten the contacting process.
Company profiles can get very formal and have a lot of pages, the difference is that you can make it more interactive. Use creativity and put yourself in the customer shoes to see what they would be interested to see. May it be in a word document form or a presentation format do the best to personalize it and add your colors to it (metaphorically and literally).