Company profiles: why your business needs one and how to get started
This is the first in a series of articles about creating a powerful, well-designed, printed company profile. First up, we will take a look at the benefits of having a company profile and what to include. Then we explore how to get started.
A printed company profile (or company brochure) is a valuable business asset. It’s an all-in-one document that includes everything a customer or prospective customer should know about your business (such as why you do what you do) and the products or services offered.
We like to use the word “profile” rather than “brochure” as it has a marketing focus rather than a sales-oriented focus which tends to be the intention of a brochure. Also, profile by definition means “outline” or alternatively “a concise biographical sketch" (1). This is an excellent guiding principle for a company profile as it should be all of those things:
Concise: include essential information only. More detail can be obtained from sales or customer service representatives, your website or other documents.
Biographical: your company profile should appeal to new and prospective customers who may not know about your company or what you do. Be sure to include some company history and key achievements.
Sketch: sketch out your key value proposition succinctly by using small chunks of text, supported by graphics and images.
Industries and sectors where company profiles are particularly useful
- Allied health services such as physiotherapists, allied health clinics, occupational therapists and psychologists.
- Service oriented professions such as accountants, solicitors and recruitment agencies.
- Day spas and retreats.
- Just about any company with a business to business (B2B) proposition.
- Not-for-profit organisations, either as a fundraising tool or to support lead generation for service delivery.
- Schools and educational institutions.
uses for a company profile
A company profile becomes part of your suite of marketing collateral. It can be used in many different situations and is a useful sales tool.
- Offer the document to interested prospects at trade shows, expos or events.
- Include in a welcome pack for new clients. It becomes a tangible representation of your business for people to take away for future reference.
- As a sales tool or talking point to support personal meetings and interactions.
- Encourage your brand advocates to share with family, friends or colleagues.
- As a talking point for existing customers who may not know about all of your product ranges.
Print or online?
While creating a printed company profile may seem like a big investment, the content created for your profile can be used in multiple locations - on your website, as social media posts and even for blogs.
We recommend making a company profile available both in print and online. The online version can simply be a pdf download of the file, or use the content as text and images in other locations on your website such as the About page. Ultimately, telling a consistent story will help people to better understand your business and what you offer.
HOW TO PLAN a company profile
1. View some examples
Take a look at some other company profiles to determine what you like and what might work well for your business or industry. Make a note of eye-catching creative design ideas.
To view some examples, chat to a member of the Express Print & Mail team who can show you some of the many profiles we have designed and/or printed.
2. Consider other marketing materials
Think about how the company profile will complement your other marketing materials (existing and planned). For example, if you already have a presentation folder, you may like to select a size and shape that works with the folder.
3. Map out your inclusions
Write a list of everything you would like to include (see the list below for ideas). This is your top-level list of major inclusions that can be revisited later when it comes to planning the layout and writing the copy.
4. Plan images and graphics in advance
This is an important one. Your company profile should be visually appealing. Do you already have high quality images that can be included? If not, it is worth investing in professional or stock photography.
As you are planning the content, consider where graphics could be used to convey the story instead of words, such as a timeline of key achievements or a flowchart of how your products are made.
5. Shape, size and stock
It’s important to start thinking about shape, size and stock at the planning stage. What shape best fits with your other materials? Should you go with portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal) orientation?
It's important to consider stock selection during the planning phase as it can help to inform design elements. Are all your marketing materials printed on the same stock? Which suits you brand best - matt, satin or gloss? What embellishments would help tell your brand story? Our team can guide you through stock selection and embellishment options as well as provide some samples to choose from.
In terms of page numbers, it is best to let the content and images inform the number of pages. Remember to work in multiples of four (such as 8, 12 or 16 pages) for printing purposes. Keep an eye out for a future story on content planning for company profiles.
What to include
- Company overview including vision and values.
- Your “Why?”. Storytelling can be useful here.
- Key value proposition.
- Company history including achievements, awards and milestones.
- Main services or products, preferably grouped into themes or collections that make sense to customers.
- Community and/or environmental information.
- Any accreditations or relevant memberships such as ISO or industry certifications.
- For some industries staff, management or owner profiles can be useful.
- Contact details.
- A call to action.
Need help with ideas for your company profile?
Express Print & Mail has designed and printed countless company profiles. If you’re unsure of where to start, or need someone to talk through ideas for size, shape and stock to ensure the profile suits your brand, get in touch with our team on 1800 626 562 or contact us.
Keep an eye out for the next article in the series where we will explore copywriting and content creation for company profiles. In the meantime, check out Printing Services to find out more about Express Print & Mail's printing capabilities.