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Sell Yourself

How to write a company profile

This story appears in the March 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

It's your company's first big PR break. A local reporter wants to interview you as an "up-and-coming" entrepreneur. You dream of the business this will bring in and worry that you won't be able to return all the sales calls fast enough. You're so busy fantasizing about the future that you don't prepare for the present. The end result? You can't describe your company in 25 words or less. You stumble over essential data: the date you opened, the market you're targeting, the product lines or services you sell. You come off sounding more like a new employee than a business owner, and you suddenly realize this was a test--and you've failed. To avoid this fiasco the next time the media comes calling, prepare a company profile. Designed to give the reader a "snapshot" of your business, it is a brief summary of the company and the principals involved.

The key word here is "brief." Miles Spencer, co-founder of Norwalk, Connecticut-based MoneyHunt Properties LLC, a multimedia company that helps entrepreneurs find financing, advises the profile be kept to one page. "Too much more, and the eyes will glaze over," cautions Spencer, whose clients use profiles as part of their efforts to solicit financial backing. "Include in the first two or three sentences what's unique about the business, why it's going to change the world."

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