Writing a Business Plan: Company Profile

The company profile is the first component of a business plan and is, in essence, a description of the company.

In this section, you identify the company’s founders and directors, tell a story about their personal backgrounds (life experiences, passions, achievements and awards, and volunteer work) and professional backgrounds (education, training, skills, work experience, networks, industry contacts, and projects completed), emphasizing how their experiences and passions led to the foundation of your company. In describing how your company started, describe the following:

  • How did the idea come about?
  • When did you decide to do it?
  • What drove you to start this company?
  • Which of your founders’ passions directly relate to your business?

Then, introduce the company. Do not forget to mention the company’s name, legal status (active, not yet launched, etc), and legal structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, or incorporated); when the company was established; whether the company provides products or services; what does the company offer other businesses and other people; the steps the company has already taken to become a successful business (market research, prior sale records); and finally the company’s physical location and website address.

After introducing the company, explain the company’s differentiating factors. Ask yourself, “What is THE ONE key benefit/feature you are selling that distinguishes you in the market AND is sufficient to make people purchase your product or service?” Try to focus on either quality, service, or price because it is impossible to have all three. Common key benefits for a product or a service include: saves time, easier to use, minimizes risk, highly credible, increase enjoyment, greater selection, quicker delivery, caters o a market segment, better quality, convenient, reduces pain, socially responsible, saves money, friendlier service, strong credential.

If you find it helpful and impressive, you can add two more sub-sections. First, “where do you see your company heading?” and second, “do you have additional professional support from accountants, lawyers, bankers, business consultants, and mentors?”