When starting a new business, you need a way to let people know who you are, what you do, and why you do it. That information needs to be available whether you are approaching potential new clients or people are seeking you out.
Luckily, a company profile does just that. An all-encompassing "about us" that is aimed at everybody – not just investors – it's designed to offer a glimpse into why your company exists and what it hopes to achieve.
However, as with all such public communications, it can be slightly tricky to write – particularly if you are not creatively minded. Therefore, we've selected six company profile examples that show how it should be done, regardless of your industry.
First, though, it's necessary to establish what exactly a company profile is.
What is a Company Profile?
At its core, your company profile is a document that informs clients, the media, shareholders and anyone else interested in your company of its services, products and structure.
Usually found under its own section on a company website, it is designed to help people outside of the organisation understand what differentiates your company from the competition, and explain your story in a succinct and digestible way.
However, a company profile can also be used to accompany press releases, or emails to prospective clients. Whenever you are reaching out to an audience that may not be familiar with your organisation, a company profile will let your business speak for itself when you may not have the opportunity to.
What it isn't is a mission or a vision statement (although these form part of a company profile), which are instead designed to summarise your goals and your values in one or two sentences. A company profile should contain more substance, and be written more as a description than as a motto.
In the current landscape of digital communications, you may also find that you have to create different versions of your company profile to align with various mediums. What you publish on recruitment websites or LinkedIn, for instance, will be more comprehensive than what appears on, say, your Instagram page. Regardless, though, it should still establish a consistent message that can be communicated across multiple mediums.
So what should you include in your company profile?
Examples of a Company Profile
The structure of the document is up to you, but the best company profiles all contain the same basic elements. These include:
- Business details such as location and contact information
- Your mission and vision statements
- Brief descriptions of your products and services
- A brief history of the company and your growth expectations
- Details of core staff members
- Any awards or media recognition received
You can include as many or as few of these elements as seem appropriate for your business; just make sure that you can weave them together to create a compelling narrative for your organisation, as the following six companies have:
Few companies have managed to take such a simple message and conveyed it to a worldwide audience in the way that Nike has, and the mastery of this approach is visible in their company profile.
Using sparse text, compelling images and leading with their mission, the company invites the reader to explore some of the core focuses of the business, including innovations in athleticism, their global team and their commitment to community, both local and worldwide.
This introduction then leads to a much more comprehensive portal that allows the reader to explore the company in more depth. Ultimately, this is an excellent example of a business profile, because it engages the reader and then allows them to learn as much as they need to about the business.
The shoe retailer sets up their profile by opening with the story of their business, and how their twenty-year journey has shaped who they are today. In particular, it explains how that journey has informed critical aspects of their corporate culture, and enabled them to position themselves as a key player in their industry.
The profile then diverts the reader to the section that is most relevant for them. Here we find links that direct audience members to the appropriate area, such as a press kit for journalists, or corporate culture pages and job openings for potential hires.
Starbucks presents a more traditional, text-based company profile to its audience, focusing instead on telling a compelling, engaging story of what the company has accomplished, and what it still intends to achieve.
In three sentences, the profile establishes the dominance the company enjoys in the coffee industry. Next, it discusses the company's mission and provides a no-nonsense description of its basic goods and services, as well as Starbucks' commitment to its team members and the communities they are a part of. The profile also offers information that is relevant to investors before ending with a piece describing their commitment to sustainable practices.
On the other end of the spectrum is Philips. This business profile uses brash visuals to capture the reader's attention and guide them through the document; these visuals grab the reader before directing them to a list of ways to learn about the different facets of this vastly varied company.
The profile keeps the reader informed about any recent developments, with the wide range of products and global reach meaning that investors and media figures need updates on any changes. However, despite this contemporary focus, the profile is still anchored by a single paragraph that outlines the company's history, influence and mission.
This clothing retailer takes an approach that utilises text and images to tell a compelling history of the company. Framed as a timeline of the company, it traces the 100-year-plus journey that the company has undertaken to date.
Within this framework, the profile describes how the company expanded to become a dominant retail chain. Innovations in online retailing are included as well, painting a full portrait of the business' reach. As the timeline reaches the present, it also includes biographies of the avant-garde fashion designers that the company works with, as well as how they have aligned their business to give back to the communities and the markets they plan to expand into.
Brevity is the name of the game for Google's company profile; the only real text to be found is the mission statement that opens the profile. However, the portals the profile offers represent a sort of interpretation of Google's lofty goal to organise the world's information, sectioning relevant details into categories to explore.
Attention-grabbing images also send readers to learn more about what Google products do, how they have impacted lives around the world, and how the company has committed to its corporate social responsibility programme. Further down, you can find the things that round out a more traditional company profile, including the history of the founders, shareholder information, locations and basic information about working for the company.
Putting together a good company profile will not only help people outside your business learn more about your company; it will also allow you to take stock of where your company is and where it is going. Therefore, ensure that you take the time to write one, so that the world can have a clear picture of exactly what your business is about.
What other company profiles have impressed you? Let us know in the comment section below!