Building Your Business Becoming an Owner Business Plans How To Write the Company Summary in a Business Plan Company Overviews Show How the Pieces of a Business Work By Randy Duermyer Updated on October 14, 2022 Reviewed by Thomas J. Catalano Reviewed by Thomas J. Catalano Thomas J Catalano is a CFP and Registered Investment Adviser with the state of South Carolina, where he launched his own financial advisory firm in 2018. Thomas' experience gives him expertise in a variety of areas including investments, retirement, insurance, and financial planning. learn about our financial review board Fact checked by David Rubin In This Article View All In This Article What To Include in Your Company Summary Getting Started on Your Company Summary Examples of a Company Summary Tips for Writing a Company Summary Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Photo: Image by Theresa Chiechi ÃÂ© The Balance 2019 The company summary in a business plan—also known as the company description or overview—is a high-level look at what you are as a company and how all the elements of the business fit together. An effective company summary should give readers, such as potential investors, a quick and easy way to understand your business, its products and services, its mission and goals, how it meets the needs of its target market, and how it stands out from competitors. Before you begin writing your company summary, remember to stick to the big picture. Other sections of your business plan will provide the specific details of your business. The summary synthesizes all of that information into one page. Key Takeaways The company summary in a business plan provides an overview containing a description of your company at a high level.A company summary might include your mission statement, goals, target market, products, and services, as well as how it stands out from competitors.The company summary can also be customized for a specific objective or audience, such as to secure financing from investors or banks. What To Include in Your Company Summary The company summary section of a business plan should include: Business name Location Legal structure (i.e., sole proprietorship, LLC, S Corporation, or partnership) Management team Mission statement Company history (when it started and important milestones) Description of products and services and how they meet the needs of the marketplace Target market (who will buy your product or services) Competitive advantage (what sets you apart in the marketplace to allow you to succeed) Objectives and goals (plans for growth) Getting Started on Your Company Summary The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website has a lot of information available if you've never written a business plan before. The SBA provides examples of business plans for different types of companies. Before you begin, you should decide whether you want to go with a traditional business plan format or a lean startup format. The traditional format is appropriate if you want to have a comprehensive, detail-oriented plan or if you are requesting financing. The lean startup format is best for those who have a relatively simple business and want to start it quickly or as a starting point for those who plan to refine and change the plan regularly. No matter which type of business plan you choose, you'll need to include a company summary. Examples of a Company Summary Although there are many blueprints for writing a company summary, below are a couple of examples to get you started. Consulting Firm You can opt for a concise opening paragraph such as this one: XYZ Consulting is a new company that provides expertise in search marketing solutions for businesses worldwide, including website promotion, online advertising, and search engine optimization techniques to improve its clients' positioning in search engines. We cater to the higher education market, including colleges, universities, and professional educational institutions. Several elements of the company summary are covered here, including the name (XYZ Consulting), history (new company), description of services (web promotion, SEO, advertising) and why it's needed (improve positioning in search engines), and the target market (higher education). Starbucks Coffee Company Overview Starbucks breaks down the company overview on their website into the following sections: "Our Heritage" Here the company describes how long the company has been in business, citing its roots, the founder, Howard Schultz, and how he was inspired to open the first Starbucks in Seattle after visiting Italy. It briefly mentions the growth of millions of customers and how the company's heritage remains important to its long-term success. "Coffee & Craft" The overview describes the high-quality products and services being offered and why they stand out from the competition by describing the detailed process of choosing and growing coffee beans. You'll notice they don't suggest their product is a low-cost product but instead provide a high level of "experiences to savor." "Our Partners" Starbucks describes its employees as partners that work together in an inclusive manner to achieve success. It highlights how they are at the center of the experience. "Pursuit of Doing Good" The company describes its values and how it gives back to the community. Tesla Inc. Business Overview Below are excerpts of the business overview pages from the annual 10-K filing on Dec. 31, 2021, for Tesla Inc. Overview "We design, develop, manufacture, sell and lease high-performance fully electric vehicles and energy generation and storage systems, and offer services related to our products. We generally sell our products directly to customers, including through our website and retail locations. We also continue to grow our customer-facing infrastructure through a global network of vehicle service centers, mobile service technicians, body shops, supercharger stations and destination chargers to accelerate the widespread adoption of our products. We emphasize performance, attractive styling and the safety of our users and workforce in the design and manufacture of our products and are continuing to develop full self-driving technology for improved safety. Our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, engineering expertise, vertically integrated business model and focus on user experience differentiate us from other companies." Competition Tesla highlights the competitive automotive market and how the company differentiates itself from the larger, more established competitors. "The worldwide automotive market is highly competitive and we expect it will become even more competitive in the future as we introduce additional vehicles in a broader cross-section of the passenger and commercial vehicle market and expand our vehicles’ capabilities. We believe that our vehicles compete in the market both based on their traditional segment classification as well as based on their propulsion technology. Competing products typically include internal combustion vehicles from more established automobile manufacturers; however, many established and new automobile manufacturers have entered or have announced plans to enter the market for electric and other alternative fuel vehicles." Intellectual Property The company highlights its intellectual property, including trademarks and patents. "We place a strong emphasis on our innovative approach and proprietary designs which bring intrinsic value and uniqueness to our product portfolio. As part of our business, we seek to protect the underlying intellectual property rights of these innovations and designs such as with respect to patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and other measures, including through employee and third-party nondisclosure agreements and other contractual arrangements." Mission Statement The company highlights its mission statement and its sustainability goals using environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and human capital resources. "The very purpose of Tesla's existence is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. We believe the world cannot reduce carbon emissions without addressing both energy generation and consumption, and we are designing and manufacturing a complete energy and transportation ecosystem to achieve this goal. As we expand, we are building each new factory to be more efficient and sustainably designed than the previous one, including with respect to waste reduction and water usage, and we are focused on reducing the carbon footprint of our supply chain." Tips for Writing a Company Summary There are other items you can include in your company summary to expand on the areas that you'd like people to focus on, depending on your objective. You might provide more information about the company's location, legal structure, and management team. You can also include more information about the: Company's history, such as a family business that's been in operation for multiple generationsBusiness objectives, including short-term and long-term goalsBusiness strengths, highlighting anything that might give your company a competitive advantage in the field You can also customize the summary if you have a specific objective or a targeted audience. For example, if the goal of your business plan is to secure funding, you might focus on areas that appeal to investors and lending institutions, including: Why you're the best person to manage the businessYour experience in your field, as well as the total years of experience of your management teamExpertise or special talents of your team, including training, licenses, certificationsHow you plan to make the business a successFinancial information, such as a high-level discussion of your track record of revenue growth and the financial opportunities that can be realized as a result of securing financing You may also want to address any areas of perceived weakness by explaining how you'll overcome them or compensate. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) How do you write a company overview? You might provide a description of the company, its location, legal structure, and management team. You can also highlight the company's business objectives, goals, and strengths. You can also customize the summary to a specific audience, such as a bank or lender, focusing on your competitive advantages and highlights of recent financial success. What should an organizational overview include? Some of the discussion points to include in a company overview might be:Company name and locationLegal structure such as a sole proprietorship, LLC, or partnershipMission statement and management teamDescription of your products and services and how they are neededTarget market or who are your customersCompetitive advantage or what makes your company different Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. The Clute Institute. "Using Business Plans for Teaching Entrepreneurship," Page 734. U.S. Small Business Administration. "Write Your Business Plan." Starbucks Coffee Company. "Our Company." United States Securities and Exchange Commission. "Form 10-K, Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(D) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2021, Tesla, Inc.," Pages 3-12.