A business overview, also known as a business plan or company overview, serves as a summary of your company’s products, services, missions, and goals. This includes how your company compares to other competitors in the same market. Ideally, this should be a simple explanation for potential investors about your plan. A great business overview should show that you as the business owner have a dedicated and well-thought plan to make your business succeed on every level from idea to implementation to competition.
At its basic, your business overview will need information such as your business’ name, location, and legal structure. You may also need information such as:
- List of your management team (including partners)
- A decisive mission statement
- History of the company
- Products and services
- Target market
At a first glance, readers should know exactly the information they are looking for, from your business’ name to your goals and objectives. Instead of winding around your business’ conceptional ideas, give clear points as to your business’ specific goals. What are your goals in the first year? What are your goals in the first five years? What are your goals in the first ten?
Research Your Market
Before ever sitting down to write out your business overview, research is crucial. You need to know the ins and outs of the market you are trying to break into in order to give your company a fighting chance. Readers, especially those with experience in the industry, will be able to tell the difference between experience and inexperience. Even if you haven’t worked or opened a business in the industry, you can still show your expertise by doing the proper research.
Compare Your Business to Relevant Companies
Part of doing research is knowing which companies will be your competitors. No matter how unique your business, with millions of businesses all over the world in various industries, you will have competitors both large and small. It is important to identify your biggest competitors—such as those who have the largest stake in the same market—to show that you are not only ambitious but practical. This can help you point out the ways your business is unique, as well. Identify the strengths of your business where your competitors are weak or services and products you offer that your competitors do not.
Choose Experienced Management
Experienced management is crucial whether you have experience in the industry yourself or not. Having experienced managers on your side can give you an edge in an industry and give you credibility as a new business owner. It proves that you are willing to seek advice from experienced sources and have access to those sources. It also shows that people within the industry have faith that they can be successful with you, your product, and your business.
Make Your Mission Statement Impactful
Look up mission statements for some of the most influential brands and businesses in the world. All of them have two things in common: they’re clear and impactful. A mission statement should not be confusing or idling. It should be a single sentence (at most two) that clearly states the goal of your business and its market. It does not have to be catchy like a jingle or catchphrase, but it should express honesty and leave an impact on the reader. Mission statements generally take multiple revisions, so take your time to hone your business’ mission statement.
Separate Ideas into Digestible Sections
One important piece of your overview is readability. Make sure each point is separated into clear sections. There should be a section for each goal, for example, under which should be an explanation of how you and your management team will meet that goal for your business.
Make Graphs for Your Business’ Success
Potential investors, partners, and other readers of your overview will want to see how successful your business has been so far from peaks to lows. Lows won’t necessarily ruin your chances of success, keep in mind. Having lows can show how your business and management team adapted to hardship. Showing that you can come back from a low point is valuable and encouraging information to those reading. Especially when you can explain why there were lows in your business and how you came back from it.
Starting a business is an exciting and nerve-wracking venture. Make sure you have the best resources and the best insurance possible so that you can set yourself up for success.