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How to Develop an Effective Company Profile -- and Why
by Ann Hackett

What is a company profile?

A company profile is essentially a resume for your company that you use to establish your credibility with the market you serve. Your company profile helps potential customers to understand your business as well as to understand your company's approach, unique strengths, and relevant experience. Your company profile demonstrates your company's ability to effectively meet customer needs. Your company profile also helps others who are in contact with you such as lenders, the media, and job candidates to better understand your business.

Who would benefit from having a company profile?

A company profile would benefit any company wanting to establish its credibility including:
bulletA consulting firm where it's critical for the company to establish the basis for its expertise.
bulletA service provider with a service that can't be evaluated before the sale where the prospect assesses the company's ability to provide the service based on its assessment of the company itself.
bulletA company that lacks a recognized name in the market it serves.

How can a company profile be used?

There are many ways to use a company profile such as:
bulletIncluding it on your web site as a means of establishing your company's credibility.
bulletUsing a print version as a sales tool at trade shows or in mailings to prospects.
bulletProviding it to lenders to help you secure financing.
bulletAdding it to your media kit and including it with press releases to give the media background information about your company.
bulletUsing it as a recruiting tool to promote your company to job candidates.

What should be included in your company profile?

As a guideline, shoot for a company profile of approximately 250-400 words in length covering each of the following key areas:

Summarize your company's background information

Use the first paragraph of your company profile to summarize your company's background information. Include in this first paragraph the year the business was founded, where the business is located, a top-level description of the products or services your company provides, a top-level description of the clients and industries you serve, and the geography you serve. Also include details about your company's philosophy and approach to serving customers. Finally, be sure to mention achievements that quickly help to establish your company's credibility such as awards, the number of clients you have served, or the size of your business.

Provide more detail on your company's products or services

Use the second paragraph of your company profile to list the products or services your company provides. Use this paragraph to touch on the expertise and experience your company has that enables your to meet customer needs in these areas. You can also use this second paragraph to further define your target customer for the products or services you provide.

Highlight your company's strengths and successes

Use the third paragraph of your company profile to highlight your company's unique strengths as well key successes your company has had. To develop this paragraph, take the time to list the top 3 competitive advantages you feel your company has over businesses in your market space. Weave these competitive advantages into this paragraph of your profile. Next, list the top 3 successes your company has had and incorporate these successes into your company profile.

Include qualifications of your company and your staff

Use the next paragraph of your company profile to demonstrate your company's qualifications by emphasizing areas such as patents, publications, business partnerships and alliances, tools or technologies used to meet customer needs, accreditations, certifications or the educational background of staff members.

Summarize your selling statement

Use the final paragraph of your company profile to provide a 1 or 2 sentence closing selling statement that explains why a client should work with your company.

Close with company contact information

After the final paragraph of your company profile, provide your company's contact information including the mailing address, phone number, fax number, e-mail address, and web site URL.

Whether you use internal resources to create your company profile or work with an outside resource, your business will benefit from having a company profile to establish your company's credibility with prospects, lenders, the media, and job candidates.

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Ann Hackett is the founder and President of Quest (http://www.questcareer.com/). Quest helps businesses develop effective company profiles. Quest also can help with development of professional bios for business owners, consultants, and key executives. Ann can be reached at 952-929-4197.

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