Most businesses fail or close during their first decade. The 10-year business failure rate probably isn’t as high as 96%, as some claim, but it’s not trivial either.
When the odds are stacked against you, you need to do everything possible to re-weight them in your favor — including seemingly trivial things, like crafting a winning company description. Here’s how to make yours shine.
1. Weave in Your Mission Statement
Does your company have a mission statement — a single-sentence articulation of its purpose and values?
If not, draw one up today. If so, make it the first sentence of your business description. This guide to writing a mission statement has more detail than you need.
2. Lead With Notables
The third section of Betterworks’ Wikipedia page lists several of the human resources management startup’s top backers and advisors. The list features some Silicon Valley heavy hitters — people about which the casual reader who knows little about BetterWorks’ solutions may well be familiar. There’s no better way to bolster your firm’s credibility right out of the gate, especially if you’re not particularly well-known outside a tight circle of customers and industry insiders.
3. Include a Catchphrase or Motto
If you take one thing away from The North Face’s Facebook page, it’s the outdoor apparel maker’s memorable motto: “Never Stop Exploring.” Take a page from Patagonia’s playbook here and include your own catchphrase in your company description, ideally close to the top or in a field separate from the main body. And if you don’t yet have a snappy motto that encapsulates your company’s value proposition, now’s the time to make one.
4. List As Many Products or Solutions As You Can
The North Face’s Facebook page does this pretty well too. If you didn’t already know the company made “Men’s, Women’s, and Youth Jackets, Vests, Outerwear, Snowsports Gear, Pants, Tents, Sleeping Bags, Packs, and Footwear,” well, a five-second stop at its company page will set you straight.
5. Include Geographical References
You don’t have to list your corporate address where it doesn’t make sense to do so, but your company description should definitely allude to your geographical service area. If you’re focusing exclusively on certain markets, you need to make that clear.
6. List Key Customers
These organizations and individuals bolster your company’s credibility. With them in your corner, you’re much likelier to attract investors’ attention. If you play in the B2B space, prominent execs, advisors and board members are essential for customer attraction and retention too.
7. Keep It Brief (But Not Too Brief)
Don’t drone on. The ideal company description has no “correct” length and doesn’t require a hard stop at any point, but you should definitely be wary of wearing out your welcome. Though there’s some disagreement about the precise length of the typical website visitor’s attention span, it’s a mistake to assume you have all day to make your point.
In Your Own Words
You don’t have to be an award-winning wordsmith to put together a great company description. You just have to allow your passion and expertise to shine through. Prospective customers and future employees can spot winners from a mile away.