Eight collateral marketing items every small business needs       logo50wd&B.jpg

Over time, you'll want to provide information about your company to lots of a variety of different people: employees, investors, existing and potential clients, and the media. Your company's success depends in part upon how well you communicate that information. This, in turn, may depend upon how well you prepare collateral items, ranging from company and product fact sheets to biographies of key employees.

Every business should always have the following eight items on hand, ready to distribute.

  1. Company fact sheet
  2. Product fact sheets
  3. Biographies on founders and senior management
  4. Mission statement
  5. Company background
  6. Current list of clients and partners
  7. Press kit
  8. Clip file

1. Company fact sheet. Potential investors, employees, analysts, and media people should be able to learn important facts about your business with a quick look at your fact sheet. A company fact sheet should include the following information: 

  • Date the company was founded
  • Location of headquarters and any affiliate offices
  • Names and brief backgrounds of founders and upper-level management
  • Contact information
  • Brief mission statement

2. Product fact sheets. Keep a fact sheet on file for each of your products or services. A product fact sheet should include the following: 

  • The product's function 
  • Distinctive features
  • Comparison to similar products on the market

3. Biographies on founders and senior management.   Have a bio on hand for each founding member of the company, every senior manager, and each member of the board of directors. Bios should include: 

  • The person's education
  • Relevant experience
  • Awards or honors
  • Publications that feature the team member or the team member's work

4. Mission statement. A mission statement can motivate and direct employees; it will also give new hires an idea of how your company works. You can also show the statement to potential investors, lenders, or members of the media.

5. Company background.   Whereas the company fact sheet essentially is just that - a list of facts - this document is written in paragraph form and should include more detail.

6. Current list of clients and partners. This information may be of interest to investors and potential clients.

7. Press kit.   When you open your business or launch a new product, consider sending out a press kit. Press kits are also handy to pitch your business at a trade show. Your kit should include the following elements:

  • Folder with your company's logo
  • Personalised letter pitching your company, product, or service
  • Company fact sheet
  • Product fact sheet
  • Press release
  • Articles written about your company
  • Business card
  • Company background

While you may want to keep a few press kits on hand, don't keep a giant stack of them around. Otherwise, you risk distributing out-of-date materials. Instead, keep each element of the press kit in a computer file, and update as needed. For additional information on putting together a press kit, read Developing a Press Kit for Your Small Business >>

8. Clip file. Someone in your office should collect and maintain any articles written about your company. Note: If you are thinking about mounting a PR blitz, consider hiring a PR firm to track where press kits were sent, to make sure they are received, and then to monitor the press for mentions of your firm.

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