What is a Company Overview? Meaning, Roles, Tips, Template

A company overview is intended to provide individuals with basic information about the organization and its operations.

For the convenience of investors and consumers interested in purchasing a company’s products, company overviews are frequently made available in multiple locations. A company overview assists clients in understanding a company’s core values. 

What is a Company Overview?

A company overview provides the reader of your business plan with basic background information about your company in order for them to comprehend what you do, who your management team is, and who your customers are.

The firm description is the second section of a business plan, following the executive summary. Similar to the executive summary, the overview of your company will be succinct and to the point. Even if your reader has limited time, they must be able to comprehend what your company does and who its customers are.

What is a Company Overview?

Why do I need a company overview?

The company overview is the section of your business plan that describes the organization’s foundation and history. It is the foundation upon which the remainder of your business plan will be built.

The reader must be able to make an informed decision about your business if you want to attract investors or potential customers. They must first comprehend what your business does and who your customers are.

Lenders require a reason to continue reading, as they routinely receive numerous business proposals. The company overview provides these answers and can assist you in gaining a deeper understanding of your business in order to solidify aspects such as your marketing strategy.

What should I include in a company overview?

There are a few essential components that must be included in every business summary, regardless of the specifics of the organization.

After you’ve covered the essentials, you may include any additional details that will assist the reader in forming an informed opinion of your organization.

Basic company information

Consider the company overview as the introduction to your business. You must include fundamental company information in the opening paragraph of your executive summary. This includes:

Your company name: This should be the official name of your firm, just as it appeared on your state registration documents.

Business structure: Your reader will want to know if your firm is a sole proprietorship, an LLC, a partnership, or a corporation.

Location(s): Share the location of your company’s headquarters and any additional sites it owns.

Ownership and management team

Specify who owns your business and what role each owner plays in its operations. Who owns what percentage of the corporation? Provide the firm with the names and major responsibilities of your highly involved management team.

Company history

The history of your company contributes to its uniqueness. Moreover, even startups have a past. Don’t place too much emphasis on this section, but if possible, add some personality and interesting details, especially those that relate to your company’s culture.

Mission statement

Include your company’s mission statement in the executive summary. It is acceptable for a company not to have a mission statement. Consider your company’s mission statement to be its raison d’être.

If one does not already exist, you may create one with your team. Optionally, a problem statement could serve as the mission statement. The objective of your business concept should be to resolve a problem or annoyance for customers. Describe the issue and the company’s intended response. Essentially, this is your mission statement.

What is a Company Overview?

Product/service and customer

In this section of the company summary, you may include specific company information. Describe the product or service you provide and the audience you serve. You can include a few numbers here, but in general, statistics should be reserved for later in the business plan.

The executive summary should provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding of your company, product or service, and target market. If they are interested in learning more, they will schedule a meeting with you or read the remainder of your business plan. Keep this section brief and straightforward.

Future goals

While precise statistics and facts about your company are essential for anyone reading your company summary, it is equally important to communicate your objectives and vision. If you are preparing a business plan for an existing company, it is highly likely that you are seeking funding to expand or resolve a business issue. However, if you are just starting out, you are likely seeking startup capital.

Include a concise summary of your business growth objectives in the section concerning your future business goals. Where you are currently provides a great deal of information to the reader, but they also want to know where you intend to go.

A summary of a company consists of numerous subsections. Each section provides additional information about the company.

Tips for writing a company overview

Even though a business summary is merely a compilation of your company’s facts, it may be challenging to write. Utilize these guidelines to simplify the process of writing your company overview: divide it into manageable sections.

Start with the elevator pitch

If your firm is already operational, you probably have a pitch prepared. Your elevator pitch can precede your company’s executive summary.

The first paragraph of your company summary should contain only a few phrases describing your organization and its mission. The greater the concision and clarity, the greater the likelihood that the reader will comprehend and continue reading.

What is a Company Overview?

Stick to the basics

It is tempting, when writing a company summary, to include as much information as possible. Remember that many of the specifics of your company, including financial projections, will be addressed in later sections of your business plan. Your organization’s summary should include only the most vital details.

Be passionate

When discussing the organization’s history, mission statement, and future vision, it is acceptable to demonstrate enthusiasm. If you didn’t enjoy your occupation, you wouldn’t be in business.

Your passion for your company may pique the reader’s interest and keep them engaged with your executive summary and business plan.

Keep it succinct

When you are enthusiastic about something, it is easy to get carried away. Consider that your business strategy offers ample room for specifics. The business summary should include only the most essential information for someone to understand your company.

It is acceptable for your initial business summary draft to be lengthy. Every time you read it, simply delete superfluous information and phrases to make it shorter. Clear and concise explanations increase the likelihood that your business plan will be read and encourage the reader to continue reading.

Have structure

Your business overview is only one facet of your comprehensive business strategy. Formatting your business plan clearly makes it easier to read. The same holds true for your business summary.

One of the chapters in your business plan should be an overview of your company. Then, you can divide the text into subchapters for easier scanning and reading. Use bold headers to indicate these content breaks.

You may divide each section of the company overview with bold headers according to the above guidelines, but you may also interweave some information, such as the organizational structure and leadership structure of the company. Each segment should consist of only a few words.

Write it later

Return to your company summary if you are having difficulty writing it. First compose the remainder of your business plan, then your executive summary.

Despite the fact that this may seem counterintuitive, knowing what will be included in the remainder of your business plan will allow you to concentrate on the most important aspects of the company overview and omit the rest.

Get a test reader

If you are unable to condense your company summary, obtain a test reader. Ideally, you should ask a person who is unfamiliar with your business. They will help you determine whether your message has been effectively conveyed.

Proofread

Proofreading is the final step in the revision process. This type of editing looks for typographical errors, misspellings, and grammatical errors. Many of these minor errors may be difficult to detect in one’s own writing; therefore, it is important to consult with someone who has not reviewed multiple versions of your company summary.

Company overview examples

If you don’t want to spend money on business planning software but still need examples of company overviews to get started, there are numerous online resources, such as the Small Business Administration and SCORE, that may be able to help.

Numerous successful companies also publish a version of their company summary on the profile page of their website. Obviously, there are differences between the stages of a company overview listed above, but you can use the language and tone of these examples as a guide.

  • Starbucks company profile.

  • Puma company page.

  • TaskRabbit About page.

  • Peloton company page.

  • Nestlé About page.

Example 1

For national retailers, Lavoro Marketing develops and enhances customer loyalty programs. This limited liability company has facilities on both the East and West coasts in order to serve our extensive customer base.

Hugo Pazzo, an industry expert with more than thirty years of experience, founded the company five years ago. He realized that loyalty programs were an innovative approach to attracting and retaining loyal customers.

He decided to establish Lavoro Marketing to focus on this concept and develop innovative tools to assist businesses in better managing their customers and data.

The growth of Lavoro Marketing over the past three years has been 150 percent. This expansion is a result of our desire to find new clients and markets, and we intend to quadruple it within the next two years.

What is a Company Overview?

Currently, we are seeking a $60,000 investment in order to develop our workforce and expand our business nationwide. In addition, we intend to use these funds to continue enhancing our software to provide clients with engaging and rewarding experiences.

Example 2

By providing inexpensive and organic skin and body care products, Bailey Body Care enables its customers to feel their best. This new Atlanta, Georgia-based company is owned and operated as a sole proprietorship by Beatrix Bailey.

Two years ago, Beatrix founded her company after realizing that none of the body care products on store shelves met her requirements, and those that did were prohibitively expensive.

Therefore, she began researching the best natural ingredients and formulating a body lotion that would make her shine. Each time she appeared at a local market, her merchandise was quickly purchased out.

Beatrix hopes to expand now that it has achieved local success and established a presence in downtown Atlanta. Bailey Body Care envisions a world where everyone can afford to practice self-care.

By the end of the following year, the company intends to increase its clientele in the southeastern United States. In order to accomplish this, the company is forming partnerships with local businesses and hotel chains to promote Bailey Body Care products at their locations.

What to Include When Writing a Company Overview

Provide the date and location of your company’s founding in a few concise sentences. The majority of potential investors prefer to invest in local businesses, making location crucial.

Briefly describe the legal structure of your organization. The most common alternatives are Corporation, Limited Liability Company, Sole Proprietorship, Non-Profit Organization, and Not Yet Incorporated.

Next, describe your organization’s services briefly. This section describes your company’s products and services, as well as any other distinguishing characteristics. Mention any essential clients, partners, or suppliers to the success of your business. Describe briefly each of the company’s primary objectives.

Include a sentence or two about the history of your company, highlighting any significant milestones or achievements. If you are a startup, this section is a great place to discuss your management team or key positions, as well as the conception of your company.

As indicated previously, describe your company’s achievements to date as applicable. These achievements or benchmarks may include the following:

  • Sales (e.g., reached $100,000 in sales on [enter date])
  • Number of customers served
  • Prototypes or products built
  • Location built out and/or lease secured
  • Employees hired

Finally, describe your organization’s revenue generation. This may be achieved through the sale of products, services, or other revenue streams.

You should be able to provide the reader with a concise summary of your company that explains what you do, who you serve, and your accomplishments in just a few lines.

How to write a business overview

Follow the steps below to start drafting a business overview to include in your business plan:

1. Start with your pitch

The first sentence of your executive summary should serve as a concise introduction to your company, describing who you are and what you do. In your pitch, you may emphasize your company’s offerings and the demographic you serve. Try to illustrate what sets you apart from the competition.

2. Provide the basics

After your pitch, you typically provide the most vital information about the organization. These facts provide potential stakeholders, such as investors, with a basic overview of your company and pertinent information. You might include the following:

Use the registered, formal name of your organization as the company’s name.

Your management team: In some situations, you may wish to include the names of the company’s owners, founders, or other notable individuals.

Your legal structure: Indicate whether the organization is a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a corporation, or a limited liability company (LLC).

Your whereabouts:

Describe your company’s location or where it conducts business.

3. Include unique details

You may also choose to include company history and a mission statement in your executive summary. The company’s past may help shape its culture and impart some of its personality to the executive summary.

For instance, you may have an interesting story about the origin of your company or its journey to this point. Or, if you are seeking financing, highlighting your company’s past successes may make you more attractive to investors.

Next, you could provide the mission statement for your organization, which explains its purpose. This is typically a one- to two-sentence summary of the problem your organization is attempting to solve and the proposed solution. Consider your long-term objective or vision to ensure this statement’s continued relevance.

4. Define what you offer

Next, describe the products or services you provide and the intended market. If you want people to invest in your business, you must ensure that they understand what you sell and why it is significant. You may include any relevant numbers or quantifiable information, but these specifics will likely be included in other sections of the business plan, such as the market analysis.

5. Finish with your goals

At the conclusion of your executive summary, describe your objectives and how you intend to achieve them. Depending on the company’s stage, these objectives may vary, such as whether you are seeking investors to launch the business. You may also specify your desired outcomes in terms of development and size.

You may also summarize this information in your vision statement, which provides an overview of your company’s objectives. Typically, this statement explains the organization’s overarching goals and serves to inspire and unite its employees.

Additionally, you should ensure that your enthusiasm shines through when defining your objective and future vision, as this will encourage your readers to continue reading.

6. Proofread your work

As with all other sections of your business plan, thoroughly proofread your executive summary to ensure it is error-free. A document that is error-free protects your organization’s professional reputation and leaves a positive impression on internal and external stakeholders.

What is a Company Overview?

Additionally, you should evaluate the summary to ensure that it is concise. This section is meant to provide an overview of your business; you will provide more specific information about your objectives and target markets in other sections of the business plan.

Examine the document for redundant or unnecessary information that can be removed. You may want to have someone who was not involved in the writing process evaluate your work, as they can provide an objective evaluation of how well it flows, informs, and engages readers.

Conclusion

Company overviews are presented in the form of a company profile that highlights pertinent or interesting information about a company. The location of the company’s headquarters, as well as contact information, the company’s full name, the industry in which it operates, and whether or not it is publicly traded, are provided.

Firm overviews may also contain background information, such as the date the company was founded, its past activities, and its participation in mergers and acquisitions.

It is possible to provide information about key personnel and points of contact so that individuals are aware of who is now in charge of the organization. Some corporate summaries include brief personal information that may be useful, such as the educational institutions attended by leaders and their industry expertise.

The corporate summary may also include a discussion of the geographic regions in which the company operates.

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