How To Write a Business Overview (With Examples)

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How To Write a Business Overview (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 16, 2021 | Published January 13, 2021

Updated March 16, 2021

Published January 13, 2021

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When starting a business, one key task is to create a business plan that outlines your goals and how you aim to achieve them. Your business overview is a necessary section that presents these ideas more broadly and provides your audience with background information about your company. An effective business overview can garner your audience's attention, making them want to read the rest of the document and support your company. In this article, we provide advice about creating a business overview, along with examples you can use for inspiration.

Related: How To Make a Business Plan

What is a business overview?

The business overview is a component of a business plan that provides a general explanation of your company. By reading this section, the audience learns about your company and its structure, values, mission and offerings. It can also demonstrate what makes your company unique from competitors. This section of the business plan is sometimes called a "company description "or "summary."

Related: What Should You Include in a Business Plan?

How to write a business overview

Follow the steps below to start drafting a business overview to include in your business plan:

1. Start with your pitch

The first sentence of your business overview should serve as a sort of elevator pitch for your company—a quick summary that defines who you are and what you do. In your pitch, you may include your offerings as a company and the target audience that you serve. Try to demonstrate what makes you different from other competitors.

Related: How To Give an Elevator Pitch (With Examples)

2. Provide the basics

Following your pitch, you often offer the most important information about the company. These details provide a general summary about who you are as a business and provide details relevant to potential stakeholders such as investors. You can including the following:

  • Your company name: Use the official, registered name of your business.

  • Your management team: In some situations, you may want to include the names of owners, founders or other significant figures who help operate the company.

  • Your legal structure: Mention whether the company is a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability corporation (LLC).

  • Your location: Describe where your company is located or conducts business.

3. Include unique details

Other information you may want to include within your business overview are insights into your company's history and mission statement. The history can help establish your company culture and add some of its personality to the business overview. For example, you may have a unique story about your business' founding or its path thus far. Or, if you are looking to gain financing, including details about your company's positive track record may make you more attractive to investors.

You can next include your company's mission statement, which defines its purpose. Typically, this is a one-to-two sentence description of the problem your company is trying to solve and how you hope to do it. Think of your long-term goal or vision to ensure this statement remains relevant over time.

Related: How To Write an Effective Mission Statement

4. Define what you offer

Next, give details on the products or services you offer and to whom you aim to sell them. If you are trying to get individuals to invest in your business, they must understand what you sell and why it matters. You can include any relevant numbers or quantifiable data, though those details likely will also be included in other areas of the business plan, such as your market analysis.

5. Finish with your goals

At the end of your business overview, outline your goals and how you plan to achieve them. These goals may vary on which stage the business is at—such as whether you are trying to gain investors to start the business. You can also define the objectives you hope to reach in terms of growth and scale.

You can also sum up this information through your vision statement, which provides a broad declaration of what you hope to achieve as a business. Typically, this statement outlines your organization's ultimate goals and helps unite and motivate your employees. You also want to make sure your passion comes through when describing your mission and vision for the future, as this can entice your audience to want to continue reading.

Related: Vision Statements: Tips, Example and Importance

6. Proofread your work

As with every section of your business plan, make sure to proofread your overview to ensure it does not have any errors. A mistake-free document upholds your company's professional reputation and leaves a positive impression on the internal and external stakeholders who read it.

You should also review the overview to ensure conciseness. This section aims to summarize your company, and you will include more specific details about your objectives or target markets elsewhere in the business plan. Read through for any irrelevant or redundant information that you can cut. You may want to ask someone uninvolved with the writing process to read it over, as they can provide an unbiased opinion on how well it flows or informs and interests the readers.

Business overview examples

You can use the following examples to help you write a business overview:

Example 1

Lavoro Marketing designs and optimizes customer loyalty programs for retail brands across the country. This LLC is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, but has locations on the East and West coasts to support our widespread presence and clients. The company was founded five years ago by Hugo Pazzo, an industry expert with over 30 years of industry experience. He realized loyalty programs were an innovative way to attract and maintain a strong customer base. He decided to begin Lavoro Marketing to focus on this concept and develop unique software to help businesses manage better manage customers and their data.

In the past three years, Lavoro Marketing has grown by 150%. We attribute that growth to our commitment to identifying new clients and markets and hope to double that within the next two years. Currently, we are seeking an investment of $60,000 to help scale our company and grow our team across the United States. We also aim to use those funds to help continue innovating our software to create exciting and rewarding experiences for our customers.

Example 2

Bailey Body Care helps its customers feel like their best selves by providing affordable and organic skin and body care products. This new business is a sole proprietorship, owned and operated by Beatrix Bailey in Atlanta, Georgia. Beatrix began the business two years ago when she realized none of the body care products on the shelves matched her needs—and those that did came with steep price tags. So she began researching the best natural ingredients and developing a body lotion that would help her glow. She began selling her products at local markets and sold out at every appearance.

Now that the business has achieved local success, including a storefront in downtown Atlanta, Beatrix is looking to expand. Bailey Body Care envisions a future where everyone can afford to treat themselves to some self-care. The company hopes to grow its customer base throughout the southeastern United States by the end of next year. To do this, the company is building relationships with local businesses and hotel chains to sell Bailey Body Care products in their locations.