What is the Company Overview Section of a Business Plan?
The company overview, also called the company description, offers a snapshot of your business as it stands today. This section is designed to give the reader a general idea of your company, the company’s products and services, its legal structure, the company’s mission statement and goals, how it operates, where it is based, as well as how it makes money.
The terms company overview, company description, and company summary are all used synonymously to describe this section of a business plan.
Why Your Company Overview is Important
In this section of your plan, you need to give a snapshot of your company’s structure and history.
This is important since readers need to know, for example, if you are a new company or an existing one. And they need to understand what your company has accomplished to date.
As mentioned earlier, the greatest predictor of future success is past accomplishments.
What to Include When Writing a Company Overview
Start by stating when your company was formed and where you are located in just a few sentences. Location is very important since most potential investors prefer to invest in companies that are local to them.
In just a few words, mention your legal structure. The most common options here are Corporation, Limited Liability Company, Sole Proprietorship, Non-Profit Organization, or Not Yet Incorporated.
Next, provide a brief description of what your company does. This is where you talk about the products and services you offer, as well as any other unique aspects of your business.
If there are any key customers, partners, or suppliers that are critical to your business, mention them here as well.
Next, write a sentence or two about each of the company’s primary goals.
Include a sentence or two about the company’s history, including any major milestones or achievements you’ve accomplished. If you are a startup, this is a good place to talk about your management team or key roles and how you came up with the idea for your business.
As mentioned above, as appropriate specify what your company has achieved to date. These achievements or milestones might include:
- Sales (e.g., reached $100,000 in sales on [enter date])
- Number of customers served
- Prototypes or products built
- Location built out and/or lease secured
- Employees hired
Lastly, mention how your company makes money. This could be through product sales, services, or some other revenue streams.
In just a few paragraphs, you should be able to provide a snapshot of your company that gives the reader a good understanding of what you do, who you serve, and what you have accomplished to date.
Business Plan Company Overview FAQs
Download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template which includes a sample company overview template, financial model, and more to help you complete your business plan in hours.
The main difference between the business overview and the executive summary is that the overview provides a snapshot of your entire company, while the executive summary is a high-level overview of each section (e.g., financial plan, management team, marketing plan, etc.) of your entire business plan.
Company summary example: Start with a detailed company profile including your date of formation, legal structure, vision statement, company history, business stage, and description of the type of business you operate.
Include a chart (or bullets) of your company’s past accomplishments, including descriptions and dates.
This basic information is critical to investors as it indicates the company’s ability to execute upon a previous game plan.
Finally, detail what makes your company unique and qualified to succeed.
This is often referred to as the company’s “unfair competitive advantage.”
Learn more about how to expertly write a company description for your business plan.
To learn how to expertly complete the other sections of your business plan, reference our complete business plan template.
If you are trying to secure funding for your company, you may be creating a business plan presentation or pitch deck to present your business idea to potential investors, lenders or even a Small Business Administration lender for a small business loan. The company overview slide or part of the presentation will be very similar to the company overview section of your business plan.
You will want to start by introducing your company, including when it was formed, the location of your office space, warehouse and/or storefront, and what type of business you operate.
Next, provide a brief description of your products and services.
If you have any key customers or partners, mention them here as well.
Then, talk about your company’s primary goals and what you have achieved to date.
Be sure to include any major milestones or accomplishments.
Lastly, mention how your company makes money. This could be through product sales, services, or some other revenue stream.
By following this simple outline, you should be able to give your audience a good understanding of your company in just a few minutes.
Learn how to create a killer business plan presentation to get the funding you need for your business.