Let's cut to the chase — what is a Company Overview and why do you need one? You should already have a similar section in your Business Plan, so it may be unclear why an additional, stand-alone company overview is at all necessary.
Note: This is Part Two of our five-part "The Five Essentials for Your New Business” series, dedicated to small, medium and startup businesses. In this series, we cover how to create a Business Plan and Annual Marketing Plan, as well as offer advice on the best Tech Tools to grow your business fast and free Sales Proposal templates you can customize. Keep reading to learn how to create a Company Overview.
So, what is difference between a Business Plan and a Company Overview? Answer: The former is used internally, while a Company Overview is appropriate for external, public-facing communications. Usually, business plans are disseminated specifically to investors, board members and advisors as proprietary presentations. They often include confidential information about your business model, financials and suppliers.
On the other hand, a Company Overview is a public outline of your business that's available for all to see. It can be useful for a variety of reasons, including: 1) to recruit potential employees; 2) to onboard specific supply partners; 3) to land important client accounts; 4) for marketing and public relations projects; or 5) as part of the human resources onboarding process. It shouldn't include top-secret information about your strategic initiatives or stealth-mode technologies. Think of your Company Overview presentation as a long-form manifesto of sorts, that should encourage people to get excited about your product or service.
That being said, we've geared this Company Overview Sample Presentation specifically for those with younger companies — be it a small, medium or even startup business. This sample features a digital technology company (Senshent) that offers three distinct products: a mobile application; a smart calendar; and a browser plug-in. You can either begin customizing our sample presentation right away, or continue reading for a step-by-step guide to creating a Company Overview.
First, introduce yourself. You’ve taken the stage to deliver your small business’ big message. Your title slide gives you the chance to create a visual thread that ties in with your company’s products or purpose. In Senshent's case, they’ve thoughtfully selected an image that relates to their products, and also sets a relevant, "mindful" mood.
Start your presentation by stating your name and clearly explaining your role. This seems obvious, but many presenters forget to offer personal background at the beginning. This is not only helpful for context, but necessary when your name isn’t the only one at the bottom of the slide. Although "Colena" is the only presenter on the stage, she gave her contributors their well-deserved credit by including their names and titles.
Set expectations for the rest of the presentation. Give your audience a section-by-section breakdown of what your presentation covers, and what they should take away from it. For additional guidance, use the Rule of 3 to both define your “big picture” topics and give your presentation a clear beginning, middle, and end.
At this time during the presentation, you won’t want to spend tons of time diving into the details of each section listed. Save this for later, when you get to the dedicated slide for each agenda item. Once you've given your audience a minute to read the list, head on to the next page.
Get philosophical. You founded your company to fulfill a purpose — and now is the time to put that into words. This slide should explain the "Why" behind your purpose and elicit some emotion. This doesn’t need to be incredibly specific. In fact, having a more general philosophy allows you to keep your company's vision on course without limiting opportunities to grow in the future. Senshent's Founding Philosophy is general enough to cover them for a few years, when they set their sights on various new technologies.
Focus on the mission, goals and advantage. This next slide should expand on your business’ founding philosophy and offer more details on What your business stands for, Why you’re doing it, and How you’ll offer value. Start with your Mission Statement. This nails down one clear, concise goal using powerful, purposeful language. In the next box, identify 2-3 key outcomes you hope your mission achieves. Senshent includes references to "soft skills," but for other industries, feel free to keep it simple and include some "key performance indicators" such as landing X amount of accounts, bringing a valuable, specific solution to market, etc. Lastly, explain the Advantages or "special sauce" your team will leverage to support growth and expansion.
Outline what your company offers. Write a lineup that briefly lists your company's current services or products, and offers a description of each. If you offer a single product, utilize a full slide to go into more detail. Here, Senshent describes their released products (Popino and Traverse Daily), along with a sneak peek of a beta product, RE.NOVA. Each current product bullet point singles out what the product does and the problem it's solving. Because RE.NOVA hasn't yet been launched, they’ve used this space to outline what we can expect from the A.I. plugin.
Show the progress you've made. This is the part where you get to show off how your business has grown since it was founded. Based on their timeline, Senshent has had a lot going on in their first two years. If your business is just getting off the ground, there’s no need to fill a timeline with a dozen, small events. Highlight important items such as big hires, expansion, partnerships and fundraising. Whether your timeline is packed or just getting started, express these milestones to your audience with an attitude of “the best is yet to come.”
Introduce the founding team. Highlight the executive team and explain how each has helped mold the company into what it is today — as well as their unique plans to shape it in the future. Each of these leaders will likely have an interesting story that brought them to this point in their career.
If you're a founder, consider sharing an anecdote about a time when you personally felt the pain point your company is solving for, and what motivated you to then start a business (no small feat!). Senshent's founder "Colena" might tell her audience a bit of the company’s founding story at this point. This is a wonderful way to connect with your audience on a more intimate level and sell your idea in an authentic way.
Share your upcoming moves. This section break gives you a chance to pause and check in with your audience before you switch gears into your next segment. Feel free to stop and say "Any questions at this point?" or "Concerns about the last section?" It also lets your audience know that you’re transitioning into a new topic — your plans for the future.
Lay out your company's 12-month roadmap. Employees, investors and clients alike will appreciate knowing you've thought about the future, so let them in on what you’ve got planned for the upcoming year. In Senshent’s case, they’ve used a Carousel template to plot their upcoming launches — plus job openings that they’re excited to fill. Emphasize big news here, including: new product prototypes, planned funding rounds, version updates and launches, hiring needs, or any other major changes that will affect the company in the foreseeable future.
Explain how client research has informed your roadmap. The next section will identify your client segments, and how client research will help your business grow — a very important piece of the overall presentation. Pull any and all relevant statistics and data points into this section, after taking time to do tons of information-gathering of course. Having accurate metrics to reference quickly will help you answer any critics (or questions) you have in the crowd with confidence.
Talk roots and expansion. Most companies begin by targeting a select group of clients that — based on what the research has revealed — would benefit from your offerings the most. Maybe you've found that Human Resources Specialists are your largest user segment, or that Business Development associates account for the highest number of referrals. Show your audience all the demographic and psychographic information you've accumulated about your clients, and highlight any findings that support your specific growth trajectory. Explain the conclusions that have then led you to identify future customers, and how you'll use this information as a springboard for success.
Mention the other big players in your company's space. It would be amazing to be the first product to market and have no competitors whatsoever. However, that's pretty rare. Knowing who or what you're up against (even indirect competition) shows you've done your homework, so be sure to include that information. Be prepared to add in-depth analysis and insight into a few “big name” players in your industry, and talk about what you're doing better, faster, et cetera. If you have them, provide metrics you've collected that support the idea that your small business can disrupt the status quo.
Senshent's burst of rapid growth — coupled with the increasing annual spend data on “life improvement apps” — indicates that their market is growing. So it makes sense to draw conclusions about how they plan to adapt and grow as well to remain relevant in the rapidly changing tech industry.
Wrap up time: Q&A, Contact info and Thank You. If you're presenting in person, always leave time to address the room and answer any questions your audience may have. It’s important to show your mastery of the content you’ve just presented before you've come this far. However, it’s just as crucial to understand that your audience has never seen your presentation before and won't be anywhere near as familiar as you are to the subject matter. So making sure they know that "no question is a silly question" is a great way to further connect with your audience at this time.
Think through "back pocket," or succinct responses, to any obvious questions your audience might ask in advance. You know your company like the back of your hand, but be sure to approach your answers from a newcomer’s mindset. Aim to merge your personal expertise into a jargon-free explanation that's easily digestible.
After the Q&A portion, let the audience know where they can find you (digitally and physically). Tell your audience if you prefer being emailed, messaged on Linkedin, or called on your office landline. Provide a list of the things that they may contact you for, such as: brand partnerships, press features, career opportunities, or any other business-related inquiries.
We designed this simple Company Overview Sample for you small and medium business owners and employees out there, so you can breathe easier and focus on your unique point of view. Of course, feel free to add additional pages for other subtopics that will help you illustrate your business idea better. Be on the lookout for our upcoming Tech Hacks, Social Media Strategy and Marketing Plan templates — specifically made for small, medium and startup businesses.
As always, we're here to help! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with questions & suggestions.