How to Write a Company Overview | Bplans (2023)

How to Write a Company Overview | Bplans (1)Your team matters just as much as your great business idea.

A company overview (also known as company information or a company summary) is an essential part of a business plan. It’s an overview of the most important points about your company—your history, management team, location, mission statement and legal structure. It usually appears after the executive summary in your business plan.

This is typically the shortest chapter of a business plan document, but that doesn’t reduce its importance. If you’re presenting this plan to people outside of your company, this is your opportunity to introduce yourself and your business, and you are going to want to put your best foot forward.

Imagine that the person reading your business plan document has never heard of you, and doesn’t know anything about your business.

What should be their takeaway? What do they need to remember about you and your company?

When composing this section of your business plan, focus on the highlights: who you are as the founder and owner, other prominent team members, your product or service, and why it is unique. Think of this chapter as the “who, what, when, where, and why” of your business.

(Video) LivePlan - Writing a Company Overview, with Tim Berry

Who is your intended audience?

Developing a business plan that suits your purposes means tailoring it to your audience. Sometimes that can mean eliminating a section that isn’t applicable to your current project. If you’re writing this chapter for an internal business plan, you could approach writing a company overview as a status update on the company. How did you get to where you are today? Who is currently in charge?

Depending on who is viewing and working with the business plan in the company, this chapter may not be necessary. However, an employee who is new to the company or project may appreciate some background information and context.

If this plan is for outside use or investment, consider the perspective of your audience. They won’t know your team, facilities, or legal structure yet—you want to fill in the blanks for them in a polished and organized way. Present your company like it is well poised to accept their financial backing and hit the ground running.

The company overview in your business plan will include the following sections:

  • Company overview (or company summary): This is where you’ll briefly sum everything up.
  • Company history: Provide the back story, including date of founding, and who was involved.
  • Management team: Details about who runs the company, and other key roles.
  • Legal structure and ownership: How you’ve decided to structure your company, and who owns what percentage of it.
  • Locations and facilities: Details on your workspaces or plans to acquire them.
  • Mission statement: A concise statement of the guiding principles of your company.

Now that we’ve set the groundwork on what should generally be included in this chapter of a business plan, let’s break it out section by section for more detailed information:

Company overview

This is the meet and greet section of your business plan. If you were to eloquently write down your elevator pitch, you could put it in this section. Keep this brief, as you’re going to be expanding on what you say here in the next few sections.

Company history

This is the “Once upon a time…” of your business plan. The company history section will start out with when your business was founded and who was involved, and will go into a little of the backstory.

This section is going to vary depending on who this business plan is being presented to and what stage your company is in. Is this an internal plan? Historical data may not be essential. Is this a plan to seek funding? In that case, investors will want to know your backstory, and this section will allow you to provide some context for your business plan. Include how the company started, how it grew and changes made along the way. What led you to this point?

(Video) The Explainer: What is a Business Model?

If you are an existing business seeking funding for expansion or a new project, the company history section is going to be pretty significant. You’ll want to make it clear that you have a strong track record of successful projects, weathering the tough times, and making good business decisions. Who did you decide to partner with? Have you launched new products over time? Made improvements to facilities or services? Streamlined operations?

If this is a business plan for a startup, you won’t have a company history per se, but you could use the company history section to give a concise description of how the founder or founders decided to start this venture. What was the “light bulb” moment? Who was involved?

Management team

The management team section of your business plan is your opportunity to paint a picture of your team and showcase their finest attributes. Again, for internal use, this may not be applicable, though you could use it to highlight new employees being brought in or existing employees that are taking on some new leadership responsibilities.

If you’re a startup or looking to expand, there may be team members you know you’re lacking. In that case, mention those roles, and what your plans are to fill those holes. Include which people might currently be taking on multiple responsibilities or sharing duties.

If you plan to present your plan to a bank or other potential investors, this is critical data. Who are the leaders in your company? What qualifies them for their positions and inspires confidence? Be sure to include details about yourself, usually at the beginning. Work experience, past successes, MBAs, and other degrees can be referenced for each person. You want to showcase everyone in their best light, remembering that investors invest in people first and ideas second.

Legal structure and ownership

Related to the management team, you may want to include a separate section outlining the legal structure and ownership of your organization.

The legal structure of your business is important data for any funding source to have. Are you an LLC?A C-corp?An S-corp?A sole proprietor? In a partnership? This will also affect how you file your taxes.

(Video) How to Write a Business Plan | Bplans.com

The ownership structure of your business is going to be important data to include. Who owns what percentage of your business? Banks and investors will want this information to be clearly spelled out.

Locations and facilities

Use this section to describe where you’re going to do business. Are you going to be purchasing a building for manufacturing? A storefront? Do you already have a great space?

Explain the circumstances of your use of any space mentioned in this section. Include whether you own or lease, and what the pertinent terms of that lease are if you have one. Make it clear what the long-term plan is for any space that you have, or what your needs will be for a future facility. If you have a home office, include that here as well.

Mission statement

Be as succinct as possible when crafting your mission statement. What idea can you distill into one or two sentences that conveys the primary mission of your company? This might be something you want to create with your management team if you have one, so it conveys a shared long-term vision.

Further reading

For more information on the chapters to include in your business plan, and how to use a business plan to secure funding, here are some articles you’ll find helpful:

  • The Key Elements of the Financial Plan
  • How to Write a Business Plan

Do you have any questions on writing your company overview? Tell us on Twitter @Bplans.

Would you’d rather leave the business plan writing to the pros? Check out LivePlan’s business consulting—you’ll get an MBA-written business plan in five business days.

(Video) How To Write a Business Plan: Overview

FAQs

How do you write a good overview of a company? ›

What should I include in a company overview?
  1. Basic company information. Consider the company overview like an introduction for your business. ...
  2. Ownership and management team. ...
  3. Company history. ...
  4. Mission statement. ...
  5. Product/service and customer. ...
  6. Future goals. ...
  7. Start with the elevator pitch. ...
  8. Stick to the basics.
22 Oct 2020

What should be included in an overview? ›

A topic overview should give the reader an idea of the topic. You will clarify key terms and actors, identify the problem, outline existing measures and formulate your own solutions to the question. Under each sub-heading, you should include your self-written text and links to your sources.

What are 6 things you should include in an executive summary? ›

What to include in an executive summary
  • The hook. The first sentence and paragraph of your executive summary determine whether or not the entire executive summary gets read. ...
  • Company description summary. ...
  • Market analysis. ...
  • Products and services. ...
  • Financial information and projections. ...
  • Future plans.
14 Sept 2020

What is a short overview of the entire business plan? ›

An executive summary is a business plan overview that succinctly highlights its most essential elements.

What is a company overview example? ›

A company overview (also known as company information or a company summary) is an essential part of a business plan. It's an overview of the most important points about your company—your history, management team, location, mission statement and legal structure.

How do I start my overview? ›

It's easy to write an overview if you follow these two steps: Use linking words or phrases to introduce a summary of what you see. (E.g., Overall, To summarise, In summary, In brief, It can be clearly seen that...). Write the main trend(s) or overall picture of what you see in the visual(s).

What is overview example? ›

a short description of something that provides general information about it, but no details: I'll give you a brief overview of what the job involves.

What does an overview look like? ›

An overview is simply a summary of the main or most important points in a graph, chart, process or map. It is normally 2-3 sentences long and should be the second paragraph you write in your essay.

What is a full overview? ›

a general outline of a subject or situation; survey or summary.

What are 4 things to avoid in a summary? ›

Six Things to AVOID in Your Conclusion
  • 1: AVOID summarizing. ...
  • 2: AVOID repeating your thesis or intro material verbatim. ...
  • 3: AVOID bringing up minor points. ...
  • 4: AVOID introducing new information. ...
  • 5: AVOID selling yourself short. ...
  • 6: AVOID the phrases “in summary” and “in conclusion.”
17 Nov 2015

What are the 5 qualities of a good summary? ›

A good summary should be comprehensive, concise, coherent, and independent. These qualities are explained below: A summary must be comprehensive: You should isolate all the important points in the original passage and note them down in a list.

What are the 4 main components of an executive summary? ›

What is included? An executive summary should summarize the key points of the report. It should restate the purpose of the report, highlight the major points of the report, and describe any results, conclusions, or recommendations from the report.

How long should a company overview be? ›

30 to 60 seconds is the ideal length, but 90 seconds is the longest I recommend.

What should be included in a business overview presentation? ›

  • Title slide. This is the introduction slide that gives your audience an overview of what your presentation is about. ...
  • Problem statement. The objective of a business presentation should be to offer a solution to a business problem. ...
  • Goals. ...
  • Solution or Strategy. ...
  • Analysis. ...
  • Financial plan and revenue. ...
  • Data. ...
  • Timeline.
20 Sept 2021

What should you write the introduction and overview portion of your business plan? ›

Your business plan introduction is different than your executive summary. The introduction should contain a two or three page management overview of the business. It covers the description of the business, the goals and why the business is a good venture to start.

How do you write a general overview? ›

An overview should have some basic facts and be in clear enough language for you to understand. It should answer the questions; "who", "what", "when" and "where", and only briefly some of the "why" and "how" questions. Think of an overview as a picture taken from a distance where all of the details are not in focus.

Where can I find a company's overview? ›

Where Can I Find News and Information About a Company?
  • Forbes. Forbes is one of the most comprehensive news and business sites on the web, and and great place to get up-to-date information on companies and the markets. ...
  • Dun & Bradstreet. ...
  • LexisNexis. ...
  • Yahoo Finance. ...
  • MarketWatch.

What comes first introduction or overview? ›

It is the complete guide and complete communicable information in detailed structure in short form while introduction is limited to introducing the subject matters and doesn't give readers an idea about the detailed structure of the content, which makes an overview preferable to an introduction.

What is a good starter sentence for a summary? ›

Begin the summary by acknowledging the source. For instance, you could begin with a sentence such as: "This is a summary of the article XXXX written by XXXX published in XXXX."

What words can I use to start a sentence? ›

Used at the beginning of a sentence, these words signal to you that a sentence opener follows: After, Although, As, Because, Before, If, Since, Unless, Until, When, While. Place a comma here, not a period.

What is an example of an overview sentence? ›

Example Sentences

I was asked to give an overview of the company's sales figures. This book provides a broad overview of American history.

What is overview summary? ›

Overview also refers to a restatement of the main points of something but has a more general connotation than summary. It tends to be used in academic contexts more than summary and has less general use in newspapers and magazines than summary does.

How can I write overview in project? ›

How to write a project overview
  1. Determine the scope of your project. Start by determining the logistics of the project so you can summarize it in your overview. ...
  2. Research the unknowns. ...
  3. Talk to your clients. ...
  4. Create an outline. ...
  5. Share the draft with your team and revise.

Is overview the same as description? ›

Think of “Overview” as your book blurb, just a few sentences to entice people to read further. The “Description” section can be used to go into more detail about your book's plot, purpose, or the process behind writing it.

How do you write an overview for a paper? ›

What should you include in an introduction for a research paper?
  1. An overview of the topic. Start with a general overview of your topic. ...
  2. Prior research. Your introduction is the place to review other conclusions on your topic. ...
  3. A rationale for your paper. ...
  4. Describe the methodology you used. ...
  5. A thesis statement. ...
  6. An outline.
10 Aug 2021

What is extensive overview? ›

1 having a large extent, area, scope, degree, etc.; vast.

Is overview a real word? ›

Overview can be a noun or a verb.

What is a common mistake when writing a summary? ›

Mistake #1 - Writing Too Much

Your executive summary needs to be concise. While you want to introduce your project and help capture the attention of reviewers, you do not want to write too much and lose their focus.

What are 3 important things we need to remember when we create a summary? ›

Remember that writing a summary requires: The knowledge of the text, obtained through repeated readings. Identification and formulation of the main ideas using short sentences. Rephrasing the main ideas into longer sentences.

What are the four summary tips for writing a good summary? ›

4 Tips for Writing a Good Summary
  1. Find the main idea. A useful summary distills the source material down to its most important point to inform the reader. ...
  2. Keep it brief. A summary is not a rewrite—it's a short summation of the original piece. ...
  3. Write without judgment. ...
  4. Make sure it flows.
7 Jun 2021

What are the 3 summarizing techniques? ›

  • Lesson Summarizing Techniques.
  • Written / Journal Summary -
  • Oral summary -
  • Exit question summary –

What are the do's and don'ts of summary writing? ›

A summary should be like an umbrella, designed to cover the subject and nothing beyond the subject. Don't comment on, analyze, or offer opinion. Don't compare to another subject beyond the information provided in the expository text. Don't write in first or second person.

What is an effective summary? ›

Characteristics of an Effective Summary:

Focuses on main ideas, rather than minor points. ✓ Is shorter than the original document. ✓ Is written in YOUR OWN WORDS. ✓ Does NOT include quotations.

What are the 3 main purposes of a business plan? ›

The 3 most important purposes of a business plan are 1) to create an effective strategy for growth, 2) to determine your future financial needs, and 3) to attract investors (including angel investors and VC funding) and lenders.

How do you write a management summary? ›

How to Write an Effective Executive Summary
  1. Executive summaries should include the following components: ...
  2. Write it last. ...
  3. Capture the reader's attention. ...
  4. Make sure your executive summary can stand on its own. ...
  5. Think of an executive summary as a more condensed version of your business plan. ...
  6. Include supporting research.
10 Apr 2018

What are the 5 components of a summary? ›

A summary of a text should include the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of a text.

How do I make a company overview slide? ›

Tips for creating a Company Overview Presentation
  1. Be succinct. Keep your copy short and simple on your slides. ...
  2. Show off your company's personality. Share your history, why your company was founded, and the challenges you've overcome to get where you are. ...
  3. Order of slides. ...
  4. Include visual aids.

Why is a business overview important? ›

Why is a business plan important? A business plan is a very important and strategic tool for entrepreneurs. A good business plan not only helps entrepreneurs focus on the specific steps necessary for them to make business ideas succeed, but it also helps them to achieve short-term and long-term objectives.

What do you put on a overview slide? ›

A summary slide should include the main points of your presentation which support the message you are trying to get across. You can also add your contact details, such as email address, as people are likely to photograph this slide which their mobiles to remind them of the presentation.

How do you present a team overview? ›

The easiest way to introduce your team is to use a team slide. This slide should contain high-quality team photos – either portraits or group shots. Aside from the team members' names, keep text to a minimum. The most important information should be communicated verbally.

How do you introduce a company example? ›

For example: “We're + [article] + [description] + company in + [location].” “We're the biggest construction company in Asia Pacific.” “We're a small consulting company outside the Los Angeles region (area).” “We're a startup company.”

How do I write an overview document? ›

Documents
  1. On this page.
  2. State your document's scope. Exercise.
  3. State your audience.
  4. Summarize key points at the start. Compare and contrast. Exercise.
  5. Write for your audience. Define your audience's needs. Organize the document to meet your audience's needs.

How do I write an overview plan? ›

How to write a project overview
  1. Determine the scope of your project. Start by determining the logistics of the project so you can summarize it in your overview. ...
  2. Research the unknowns. ...
  3. Talk to your clients. ...
  4. Create an outline. ...
  5. Share the draft with your team and revise.

What are 3 things to include in a summary? ›

A good summary should be comprehensive, concise, coherent, and independent. These qualities are explained below: A summary must be comprehensive: You should isolate all the important points in the original passage and note them down in a list.

What is an overview summary? ›

Overview also refers to a restatement of the main points of something but has a more general connotation than summary. It tends to be used in academic contexts more than summary and has less general use in newspapers and magazines than summary does.

What is an overview in an introduction? ›

Overview and introduction are both present in the beginning of written works. While overview are present in scholarly articles, an introduction is present in all types of writing. Overview or Abstracts. Overview also known as abstract informs the reader about the major content of the paper.

What is a project overview statement? ›

The POS is a short document (ideally one page) that concisely states what is to be done in the project, why it is to be done, and what business value it will provide to the enterprise when completed.

What is an overview in a proposal? ›

The overview specifies the research goal and it should demonstrate that this goal fits with the principal investigator's long-term research goals. It should specify the proposed research approach and the educational goal of the research project.

What are the 5 steps of creating a work plan? ›

Here are six simple steps you should take when creating a work plan.
  1. Step 1: Set goals. ...
  2. Step 2: Lay out objectives and deliverables. ...
  3. Step 3: List resources. ...
  4. Step 4: Identify obstacles. ...
  5. Step 5: Create a step-by-step plan. ...
  6. Step 6: Execute and evaluate.
18 May 2022

What are the 4 rules of writing a summary? ›

Summary Writing Format

A summary is written in your own words. A summary contains only the ideas of the original text. Do not insert any of your own opinions, interpretations, deductions or comments into a summary. Identify in order the significant sub-claims the author uses to defend the main point.

What are the 5 points to write a summary? ›

There are five key steps that can help you to write a summary:
  • Read the text.
  • Break it down into sections.
  • Identify the key points in each section.
  • Write the summary.
  • Check the summary against the article.
23 Nov 2020

What is the difference between an overview and a description? ›

Think of “Overview” as your book blurb, just a few sentences to entice people to read further. The “Description” section can be used to go into more detail about your book's plot, purpose, or the process behind writing it.

What is the difference between review and overview? ›

While both a summary and a review give readers an overview of what the author is doing and saying, generally a review also contains the reviewer's assessment of the work.

What are the seven steps in writing a summary? ›

To do this effectively, consider following these steps:
  • Reread the original text. ...
  • Make a list of key points. ...
  • Note supporting evidence. ...
  • Start with a context sentence. ...
  • Describe the key concept of the text. ...
  • Follow up with supporting evidence. ...
  • Write a thesis statement.

Videos

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