Order Management Process

Managing Time From Order to Invoice

Understanding the time frames and cycles between receiving an order from an off-taker and invoicing them is crucial for maximizing opportunities for growth. It impacts cash flow, turnover, and the ability to leverage financing options like invoice discounting and order financing from companies such as Inde Credit for bridging finance needs.

Improved Cash Flow Management

Knowing when to expect payments allows you to plan your cash flow more effectively, ensuring you have the funds necessary to cover expenses and invest in growth opportunities.

Enhanced Financial Planning

With a clear understanding of the invoicing cycle, you can develop more accurate financial forecasts and budgets, enabling you to make informed decisions about resource allocation and expansion strategies.

Optimized Inventory Management

By anticipating order volumes and timing, you can adjust your inventory levels accordingly, minimizing excess stock and reducing carrying costs while ensuring you can meet customer demand.

Better Off-Taker Relationships

Meeting invoicing deadlines and delivery schedules builds trust with offtakers, enhancing satisfaction and fostering long-term relationships. Understanding the cycle also allows you to communicate effectively with off-takers and debtors about expected delivery times and payment terms.

Facilitates Access to Financing

Lenders often consider the predictability and reliability of cash flows when assessing SMEs for financing. Understanding the order-to-invoice cycle improves creditworthiness and increases the likelihood of securing financing options such as invoice discounting or order financing, which can fuel business growth.

Tips for optimizing the order-to-invoice cycle:

Use a centralized, electronic billing system

Consider using a centralized, electronic billing system, which allows invoices to be sent and received digitally. This can help to reduce the risk of errors and make it easier to track and manage invoices. Check out our review of some of the best systems for SMEs.

Use sales and customer relationship management (CRM) software

Data is valuable. Sales and CRM software can help streamline the sales process by providing a central location for storing customer information, tracking leads and sales, and managing customer interactions. Such a log helps reduce the time it takes to process orders and follow up with customers, which can speed up the order-to-invoice cycle.


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Calculate Social Media ROI

How to Determine the Value of Your Social Media Efforts

You can measure social media ROI (return on investment) to show the amount of value generated by your investments in social media. It will let you know how ad spending and customer conversion or lead generation are linked.

Why should you measure ROI on social media?

  • It allows you to track the value of your social media effort
  • It allows you to identify which efforts are most successful and improve those that aren’t
  • It helps you make informed budget allocations for social media

How do you measure social media ROI?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all method to measuring social media ROI. It depends on your goals. So, the first step is to establish your goals for your social media campaigns. For example, these could be:

  • To build a community, where engagement and conversations are a priority.
  • To get traffic to your website, where click-through rate (CTR) and link clicks are a priority.
  • To get customer leads, where conversations and contact details are a priority.
  • Building brand awareness, where impressions are a priority.

Common metrics you might measure include:

  • Impressions
  • Conversion rate
  • Engagement rate
  • Conversations
  • Link clicks
  • CTR and website traffic

If you are a small business with low volume social media activity, you can simply find the metric that fits with your goal and divide your spending by that metric. If you’re tracking leads, divide the cost of your campaign by the number of qualified leads (like conversations) to get the cost per lead. This can then be tracked all the way to customer conversion to get cost per new customer.

But depending on your goals, and as your company grows, you are more likely better off using a service that does most of the work for you.

1. Google Analytics

With relevant quantitative data, Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools to measure the ROI of your social media campaigns. It helps you quickly identify which social media platforms drive the most traffic and which content is getting the most traction.

By tracking results such as website visits, page views, and conversions, you can see which campaigns are attracting and converting visitors.

2. Sked Social

Is your social media marketing primarily done through Instagram? Then a savvy, Instagram-first platform like Sked Social could be the tool for you.

3. Hootsuite Social ROI Calculator

Hootsuite’s social ROI calculator gets the math done quickly and effectively.

Simply input your expenses (like total ad spend) and compare them with relevant metrics like conversions, website traffic, brand awareness, or audience engagement. This information can help you in making better decisions about where to allocate your marketing expenditures in the future.

4. Facebook Pixel

If you aren’t familiar, the Facebook Pixel is a piece of code for your website that monitors insights from Facebook ad campaigns.

To start measuring conversions more accurately, you must first install the Facebook Pixel on your website. Next, install your conversion events (i.e. the end goal you want your customers to take), insert the code into your website, and input any necessary information.

Under the results tab, you’ll see a list of all the conversion events you have set up. For each event, you can view how many conversions occurred as well as the total value of those conversions.

Lastly, don’t forget to understand your channels.

Calculating how your social media efforts perform also includes figuring out which channel works best for you. For example, LinkedIN can be great for certain types of businesses, particularly B2B, for generating leads, Instagram can be great for creating brand awareness, Facebook has a massive reach, and YouTube is essential if your business produces video content.


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Apps to Make Your Life Easier

There are an overwhelming amount of apps out there that can help entertain you, educate you, sort out your life, or even improve your mental health. But which should you choose? Will they actually be worth the money or worth your time? Or will they end up stressing you out or being left untouched?

We have reviewed a few of our favorite apps that can help make your life easier.

Adobe Fill & Sign

Need to sign a document? With Adobe Fill & Sign you don’t need access to a computer, printer or scanner. It allows you to import PDF documents or images and to sign with just a few clicks.

Available in App Store and Google Play
Pricing: Free


If you are an avid note-taker or love to-do lists, Evernote might help you organise your notes and collaborate with coworkers. You can clip and save text and images from webpages, add scanned documents and connect your Google calendar amongst other things. And all your notes will be easily searchable.

Available in App Store and Google Play
Pricing: Free to $14.99 for collaborative plans


Flipboard helps you curate news that you’re interested in. It organises news from international, national, and local sources in a way that’s easy to digest and allows you to share stories with friends.

Available in App Store and Google Play
Pricing: Free


If you are feeling stressed, Calm might just be the app for you. It offers a wide range of content to help you relax and unwind, meditation courses and lessons that help you reduce anxiety or help you go to sleep.

Available in App Store and Google Play
Pricing: From free to subscriptions starting at $14.99 per month


Another app that is all about mental well-being. Talkspace connects you to mental healthcare professionals at an affordable price. Download the app and get help to talk through any struggles or even seek diagnosis.

Available in App Store and Google Play
Pricing: Starting at $69 per week for personal therapy


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16 Ways for Small Businesses to Cut Costs

Looking for ways to save money for your small business? Here’s a list of tips and ideas to help you save money and cut costs. 


1. Cut traditional advertising in favour of low-cost alternatives.

Thanks to the many options in internet marketing and advertising, it’s possible to cut traditional advertising costs and still reach customers. Public relations strategies using your in-house expertise can be a much cheaper and more effective form of advertising – make contacts in the media and look to be featured as a source in articles and publications. This will improve your credibility as well as make you more visible to potential customers.

You could also stop paying for traditional advertising and focus on inbound marketing. Get results by using SEO techniques within the company website and creating YouTube videos, a move which could result in a further boost in traffic to the website.


2. Get sponsors for events.

Events can be huge draws for both old and new customers, and many businesses rely on regular events, from expos to seminars, to expand their customer base. Try getting sponsors who will help carry the expense of events in exchange for some form of advertising within the event. It’s usually a good trade for both the small business hosting the event and the sponsor paying for expenses, if the two are in related areas.


3. Outsource, outsource, outsource.

Employees are essential to getting work done, but employee costs—from salaries to office space to insurance—can be the biggest chunk of your small business’s budget. Try keeping full-time staff to a minimum and outsource other work to independent contractors for the work that your regular staff cannot cover; the more varied experience in their fields of expertise, as well as the lower rates you may be able to negotiate, could result in some excellent business benefits.


4. Negotiate with vendors and think beyond the cash box.

What you’ve been paying your vendors does not have to be the final word on what you continue paying. Ultimately, vendors want to stay in business too, and many are often willing to negotiate lower prices rather than lose a regular customer. When that cash supply gets low, you could also try the age-old practice of bartering – trading off your expertise or service for another. As with the vendor negotiation, the worst answer you can get is a simple no, and you might be surprised by how quickly you’ll hear a yes.


5. Cut costs with virtual meetings.

Add virtual technology to your cost reduction strategy. Virtual meetings help minimise travel expenses, and virtual offices can eliminate the need for physical space. While we certainly don’t want to eliminate personal contact altogether, save it for the instances when it’s most beneficial. Try utilising tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack to communicate throughout the workday and hold virtual meetings on video apps like Zoom, Google Meet, and Cisco Webex. If you’re not able to convert your entire staff to a virtual situation, find a way to convert at least some of them.


6. Go green to save green.

Going green is not only a great PR move, it’s also a smart financial move. Simple tweaks such as keeping equipment on a power strip and turning it off when not in use, or replacing your existing printer with one that prints on both sides of the paper, will reduce your costs. 

Technologies such as Google Drive and Microsoft Sharepoint centralise company documents and product collaboration as an alternative to paper documents. By cost cutting with virtual document sharing, you can save largely on office essentials such as ink, printer paper, and even postage.


7. Hire smart, inexperienced people.

Experience isn’t everything, and it costs more. Next time you put up a job ad, eliminate the line that says, “Must have X years of experience,” and replace it with “Recent graduates welcome to apply.”


8. Negotiate with your landlord.

Leasing property is one of the biggest expenses small businesses face. Try renegotiating a lease to save on costs. If prime retail space is important for your business, start asking about a better deal.


9. Keep your meetings lean.

On-site meetings can be expensive in terms of travel and hosting costs, and even virtual meetings cost you in terms of billable hours or salary costs. If employees are sitting in a meeting, rather than producing work or getting new clients, you’re losing money. You can’t eliminate meetings altogether, but you can limit the people who are required to participate in meetings. By keeping meetings to the lowest head-count possible, it ensures that employees’ time is well spent and that the associated costs are low.


10. Get interns.

Rather than employing full-time staff to help grow the business, try finding interns from local schools for help with tasks such as social media marketing, data entry and customer research. This will cut way back on expenses, from salaries to benefits to office space. 

Combine this strategy with the virtual technology strategy. Keeping things virtual allows small businesses to avoid the expense of office space and the ongoing operating costs that come with it, and focus on producing work at minimum overhead. 


11. Review all expenses, even the little ones.

It’s just smart business practice, but it’s often overlooked until tough economic times force you into it. By analysing all company expenses, you can start to cut anything unnecessary. Small cuts in ongoing expenses can add up to large savings over the long term. Review everything that isn’t providing a ROI, cut back to the bare minimum and completely eliminate anything extraneous.


12. Buy in bulk.

Try shopping for the cheapest deals on office supplies such as inkjet cartridges, and purchasing from bulk warehouses or online suppliers to save money on both the product cost and the shipping cost. Analyse your ongoing expenses and pinpoint the ones that are purchased randomly or at middle-man suppliers. Check into bulk buying and see if you can save a significant amount on those frequent-use items.


13. Do some old-school marketing.

The simple, old-fashioned practice of sending a handwritten thank you note or quick follow-up courtesy call to customers can have a huge return. Research has shown that this simple practice can lift sales by 10-20 percent, making it a definite worthwhile investment of five minutes of time or the cost of a phone call.


14. Create partnerships.

It may seem obvious, but creating partnerships with other startups to cut costs and increase reach on promotional efforts can reap valuable rewards. By giving up the print and radio advertising and focusing instead on related alliances, you can capitalise on the partnerships that grow your customer base organically. For example, if you have a shop or delivery service, get friendly with local suppliers of vegetables, fruits and meats. You can help each others’ businesses grow!


15. Reward your profit-makers.

It may seem a little backwards, but spending to save does make sense in some cases. Try taking the proactive approach of rewarding profitable behaviour from both your employees and your customers. It could mean making little gestures, like an occasional free lunch or treat, to boost employee morale and keep the work environment positive.

It could also mean offering bonuses to employees who meet certain requirements for sales or productions, and offering deeper discounts or value-added packages to your most loyal customers. If you’re spending a little money on the people who do the best work for you, or purchase the most product from you, you’re simply investing in a relationship that will ultimately bring more profit to your business.


16. Know your customer and narrow your focus.

This simple advice is perhaps the most important of all. If you know what your customers like, how they respond, what they want and what they’ll spend, you eliminate all the other options from your budget. Eliminating useless options means the money you do spend is more focused and will garner a better response, so you’re not only saving money initially, but you’ll be producing more profit overall.

Knowing your customers well will also help you narrow your business focus. This can be one of the most effective strategies for cutting costs in business. By limiting the types of services you offer and projects you accept depending on what your customers tell you they want, you can be more productive and produce higher quality work overall.


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Apps to Help You Learn

Lifelong learning is not a fad and it is now easier than ever to enhance or learn a new skill. We have reviewed some of our favourite learning apps that can help expand your mind or even add a new skill to your CV.



One of the best apps out there if you’re looking to improve or learn a new language. Duelingo comes with free or paid plans and the free plan gives you everything you need. It offers courses on 19 different languages from Spanish to Chinese and teaches you to read, talk, write, and listen.

Available in App Store and Google Play
Pricing: Free to $6.99 per month for ad free experience



The ultimate place for summaries of non-fiction books. It comes at a price, but if you don’t have time to read entire books, it’s the best place to get complete understanding of a wide variety of business, culture, and self-improvement books. They do have a free option where you get access to a random “daily pick” summary.

Available in App Store and Google Play
Pricing: $12.99 per month



If you’re an avid reader, Goodreads is great for sorting through reviews, rating books you’ve read, and organising to-be-read lists.

Available in App Store and Google Play
Pricing: Free



If you want superficial insight on a wide range of topics or ideas, then TED Talks is a great way to start expanding your mind. All talks are easy to comprehend and topics vary from hard-core science to philosophy and art.

Available in App Store and Google Play
Pricing: Free



Udemy offers learning on demand in topics such as business, marketing, design, photography, health and IT. It allows you to buy access to a course, which you can complete in your own time without the pressure of a subscription or monthly membership. Courses vary in price and you can often find coupons to get discounts – just Google Udemy coupons.

Available in App Store and Google Play
Pricing: Courses start at $12.99


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How to Calculate and Use ROI

Return on investment (ROI) is a metric used to understand the profitability of an investment. It compares how much you paid for an investment to how much you earned, to evaluate its efficiency.

ROI may be used to evaluate investment portfolios, or it can be applied to assess almost any type of expenditure. For example, you could use ROI to calculate the return on the cost of advertising.

Let’s take a look at how it’s used by both individual investors and businesses.


Simple ROI

The most common way to calculate ROI is to take net income divided by the total cost of the investment.

ROI = Net income / Cost of investment x 100

For instance, if you’ve spent $10,000 on advertising and generated $50,000 in sales, you would be getting a 400% ROI on the ad expenditure.

You write ROI as a percentage. The greater the percentage, the better the investment.

Accurate ROI calculations depend on factoring in all costs, not merely the initial cost of the investment itself. Transaction costs, taxes, maintenance costs and other ancillary expenditures should be included in your calculations.


How ROI can help you

As a small business owner, ROI calculations can help your company. Your return on investment could help you secure outside funding. A strong return on investment can reduce the risk for investors. If you are applying for a small business loan, your ROI could show that you can pay back lenders.

Your return on investment can also help you operate your business more efficiently. You can use the formula to see how successful your investments are. For example, let’s say you ran a marketing campaign on the radio and in the newspaper. You can use the ROI of both methods to see which brought in a higher return.

Universally Understood

Return on investment is a universally understood concept so it’s almost guaranteed that if you use the metric in conversation, then people will know what you’re talking about.

Simple and Easy to Calculate

The return on investment metric is frequently used because it’s so easy to calculate. Only two figures are required – the benefit and the cost. Because a “return” can mean different things to different people, the ROI formula is easy to use, as there is not a strict definition of “return”.

Drawbacks to the simple ROI formula is that it disregards the factor of time.


Annualized ROI

A higher ROI number does not always mean a better investment option. For example, two investments have the same ROI of 50%. However, the first investment is completed in three years, while the second investment needs five years to produce the same yield. Both investments have the same ROI, but one is clearly the better option.

ROI should be compared under the same time period and same circumstances.

To include time as a factor in ROI you can calculate an annualized ROI.

Annualized ROI Formula

Where # of years = number of days /  365


Predicting ROI

An ROI calculation that depends on estimated future values, but does not include any kind of assessment for risk, can be a problem for investors. It is easy to be tempted by high potential ROIs. But the calculation itself does not give any indication of how likely that kind of return will be.


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Apps for Project Management

Productivity is the ability to bring about the results you want. It’s about getting things done and making progress in the right direction. It’s a concept that anyone can benefit from, as most of us are working toward some kind of goal or dream — whether big or small.

Certain project management apps can increase your productivity and help you stay organised by assigning tasks to relevant team members (or friends) so that you can manage your own tasks that are a priority. Here are a few to get you started that you can use for both work and personal projects. Whether you’re looking to create to-do lists on mobile apps or seeking amazing note taking templates, there’s a project or task management app for you out there! Here at Inde Credit we have gone through the ones we find the best and curated a list for you. Hopefully you find something that works for you!



Asana is a great choice among project management apps. Aimed at organisations with multiple teams and projects that require extensive coordination and support, Asana is a single platform for sharing files, managing tasks and connecting with the people who help you accomplish those tasks.

The task management aspect of Asana allows you to see what needs to be done and how far along each person is. Asana also features a timeline view for a bird’s-eye perspective of how far along team members are on their projects. You can also comment on tasks and attach files to comments so that conversations are more integrated into the project workflow.


+ Simple interface
+ Accountability & tracking
+ Lots of customisation and integration options


– Limited export options
– Limited notification options


Free option for up to 15 users, with Premium plan at $10.99/month for annual plans

Try Asana



Miro gives you a blank online canvas and a wealth of tools filling it. The result is a unique and inspiring app that makes it a pleasure to collaborate, share, and present your work. It is a uniquel tool in that it blends aspects of several different categories of software into one. It’s part diagramming and flowchart, part presentation and part mind mapping. It also has some decent video conferencing features as well.

Everything about Miro is collaborative. You can use it to draw an idea or create a slideshow, either by yourself or with others editing simultaneously. Miro has video and audio calling built in, plus screen sharing, so you can actually discuss how you’re working while you’re working or give a talk while showing your creation. You can pull in media from other apps to display, whether it’s Vimeo videos or Asana cards.

What makes Miro truly extraordinary is how easy it is to pick up and use.


+ Excellent collaboration and presentation tools
+ Feature-rich
+ Easy to use
+ Strong support for integration with other apps and services.


– Not much offline capability


Miro lets you try out the service for free. With a Free account you can edit three boards and collaborate with any number of people. You also get access to Miro’s templates, core integrations, and other basic features. After that it is $10 per month per user, paid annually.

Try Miro



Trello is an offering from one of our favourite software and product development companies Atlassian, and is almost like a social network for project management — it’s easy to invite colleagues to join boards and see what they’re working on at any given moment. You can create multiple boards with unique names. You can also create one-off tasks using its built-in checklist feature, and tasks can be assigned to individual people for more specific delegation.

One of Trello’s biggest strengths is its toolbox for automation and integration. You can integrate and automate your Trello cards with calendar apps to set up reminders when your due dates are nearing, using calendar and due date commands.

If you have tasks that need to be completed in a certain order, Trello will help you get each one done efficiently by reminding everyone involved when their part is due. You can make changes directly from Trello or through the app’s mobile app. Plus, the interface is simple enough that it doesn’t take much time to learn. All of this is part of the free plan, which allows unlimited users and only places a cap on file uploads of 10MB per file.


+ Easy to learn and use
+ Great card-based project visualisation
+ Unlimited integrations on free plan
+ Great collaboration features


– No complex project features
– Limited flexibility in columns


Free plan available with a file size cap of 10MB; Standard plan of $5 per user per month, billed annually

Try Trello



We love Todoist. It’s thoughtfully and carefully designed with all the features anyone could need, such as custom views, natural language input, collaboration options and lots more. It really is ideal for individuals who need to manage all the varied aspects of their lives, from work tasks to grocery shopping lists. The Business grade version of Todoist is also excellent for small teams that need to coordinate ongoing work or lightweight projects collaboratively.


+ Cross-platform support with effortless, reliable syncing
+ Cool features such as natural language input and productivity reports
+ Clean, efficient interface
+ Works offline


– A few important features are not available to free users


Todoist has three tiers of service: free, Pro ($5 per month or $48 per year), and Business ($8 per person per month or $72 per person per year). The company gives discounts to students, educators, and nonprofit organisations.

Try Todoist


Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a free online calendar where you can keep track of events and share them with family, friends, or co-workers. It also lets you set up reminders,send invitations, and keep track of RSVPs. One of the main advantages of Google Calendar is its sharing abilities. Family, friends, and others can share calendars with each other to keep track of meetings, appointments, birthdays, etc.

You don’t need a manual to get started. Select a day and start typing to add events. View the calendar by day, week, or month, depending on your preference. All views are easy to use. There’s also a way to view only four days at once or a schedule, which is a list of upcoming events.

Create multiple calendars and share none, some, or all of them. This is helpful if you want a personal calendar in addition to a work or family calendar shared with others. Anyone with access can be given permission to view and update it. Sharing can be done from a browser or the app. Share with specific people or broadly with anyone.


+ Seamless integration with Google Meet and Gmail
+ Thoughtful UX
+ Excellent cross-platform
+ As with all Google products, equity and accessibility are front and centre


– Underwhelming interface that can sometimes be confusing
– Clunky integration with external apps
– Lack of built-in task management


Google Calendar comes with a free version and a business version. While anyone with a Google account can access the free version, it does come with limited features. The business version is $5 per month per user or $50 per year per user. It offers advanced features such as, for example, allowing unlimited users to add, delete or change events.

Try Google Calendar



Notion is our favourite task and project management tool for small businesses. It is a highly affordable, flexible and customizable app for project management.

Notion has hit the top of many “Best Of” lists over the past couple of years, and for good reason. It started out as a note-taking app but has evolved into a project management tool perfect for solopreneurs as well as small teams. Notion is so powerful that you can create wikis, product guides and even websites with it. It has a forever free plan with enough features included to get you started.

When you have lots of information on a single page, it can get overwhelming. But not so with Notion. Collapsing arrows hide tons of information and you need to expand them only when you want to explicitly access the information. Besides task name and details, you can add columns such as due date, status, priority level and anything else that you want to store for future reference. These columns can be filtered in a variety of ways so that at any given point of time you view only the information that you need; the rest is hidden.

Notion provides multiple views for project management—timeline, board, calendar. Plan your project in board view and then add a timeline view on the page to see how tasks are related to each other.

Notion is organised as pages that can be interlinked or nested. When you sign up, the Welcome screen has all the tips you need to get started, complete with videos to create your first page, first to-do list and more.


+ Great note-taking capabilities
+ Very easy to use and customise
+ Affordable pricing
+ Forever free plan has enough features for solopreneurs


– Managing multiple advanced projects can get tedious


Notion offers four pricing tiers for its users:
Personal: This is the forever free plan for individuals.

Personal Pro: Individuals who want to use Notion beyond the basics can sign up at the cost of $4 per month, billed annually. If you want to bill monthly, that would be $5.

Team: If you have a small team for which you want one collaborative workspace, you can sign up for Notion Team at the cost of $8 per user per month, billed annually. If you want to bill monthly, it will set you back by $10 per user per month.

Enterprise: If you want to use Notion for your company, Notion Enterprise is the right plan, but to understand its pricing, you need to contact its sales team.

All plans include:
Unlimited pages and blocks
Real-time collaboration
Link sharing with comments and editing
50-plus starter templates
Databases with rich property types
Capability to build wikis
Table, list, calendar, Kanban board, gallery and timelines use
Synced databases with Jira and GitHub
Access to Notion API

Try Notion


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Free Company Profile Templates

Here are 3 templates to get you started on creating your very own Company Profile. Feel free to edit them in any way you need.

The first 2 templates are in PowerPoint, the last in Word. For printing you would have to choose landscape.

Feel free to get in touch with us if you have questions about the templates or need any help creating your own.

Company Profile Template 1_PowerPoint

Company Profile Template 2_PowerPoint

Company Profile Template 3_Word


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How to Create a Company Profile


A company profile can show investors and stakeholders the value of your company, along with its mission, goals and performance. Discovering what to include can help you write a company profile that engages readers and promotes your company’s image.


1: Start with a company profile template.

No need to start from scratch. We have included 3 editable company profile templates for you to use. You can download these templates for free and follow along with the next steps in this article, replacing images and text where necessary, and using your own brand colours. 

Free Company Profile templates

Alternatively you can use a free online editing programme such as Canva where these templates originate from.


2: Decide on the purpose of the company profile.

You need to decide the purpose of your company profile before you start and make sure it acts as your guide throughout the process. Are you writing your company profile for your investors or your customers? Will it include things like your business’ performance indicators and revenue to inform investors, or will it mostly contain images and information on your products to attract customers?

Defining the purpose is the most critical part when writing an effective company profile, so take your time on it. 


3: Decide on the format or style.

How you present your company profile will depend a lot on what kind of audience you are writing it for, as well as what kind of business it is. For example – if you are an accounting or law firm, it is probably better to stick to a traditional style which offers excellent readability and lists the company’s achievements and credentials. On the other hand, if you’re in the design or marketing industry, it is advisable to be creative and visual.


4: Incorporate contact information.

Always make sure you include the company name, website (if you have one) and contact information. This demonstrates your company’s credibility, and allows readers to perform more research into the company if necessary. Most importantly, it also ensures they know how to reach you! You can include these details either at the beginning or the end.


5. Include the company’s mission and vision statement.

A mission statement describes the purpose and values of your company. Here are elements of a strong mission statement:

  • Target audience: A strong mission statement describes the key consumer market the company targets.
  • Product or service: Mission statements also can make clear what product or service the company offers.
  • Distinction: Lastly, a mission statement can describe what makes its product unique in its market.


6. Write your company’s history.

Many company profiles include a brief story of the company’s founding. You can format this information into a timeline or write a short paragraph that gives more insight into the motivations for creating your company. You can include the company’s founding date and location in this area of the company profile.


7. Describe your products and services.

Next, you can provide a description of the products or services the company offers. This can be an exhaustive list, a summary of the company’s top-selling products or a broader description of the types of products the company sells. Depending on who your audience is (whether potential customers, investors or the press) you can include prices and market value here. 


8. Include awards and recognitions.

In the next section of the profile, you can list or describe awards and other recognition the company has earned. This can help you use the company profile to demonstrate the company’s value and prestige in its industry and community.


9. Include customer testimonials.

Your customers may take everything you say with a pinch of salt, but they will believe other customers who have used your products, which is why you should always include their comments on your website. Be honest – include the bad and the good – but always finish on why they keep coming back to you. Potential customers who are on the fence will appreciate and value them. 


10. Tell your story and be genuine.

Even though there may be other businesses that sell what you’re selling, no one else shares your story. Your story is what makes you unique, and it’s what will make you stand out from the others. Be vulnerable, share the good and the bad, and tell people why you started your business. It doesn’t have to be glamorous, it just has to be genuine.


Top tips for creating a winning company profile.

Here are tips you can follow to create a winning company profile:

  • Use subheadings: You can create subheadings for each section of the company profile to organise information in a way that’s easy for readers to understand.
  • Include the logo: Including your company’s logo on the profile can promote brand recognition and act as a design element for the document.
  • Consider design elements: Fonts, colour, graphics and white space can define the design of a company profile. You can follow your company’s branding style to achieve a cohesive company profile design.
  • Proofread the profile: Before you distribute the company profile, be sure to use spell-checking software to ensure there are no errors in the profile. This can help your profile appear clean and professional to readers.


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How to Calculate COGS – and Why It’s Important

COGS, or Cost of Goods Sold, is essentially how much it costs you to produce your products or services. It includes all costs directly allocated to the goods or services sold in a given period. However, it does NOT include costs related to advertising, distribution, management, marketing or other indirect overheads. Only direct materials, direct labour and direct overheads can be included in calculating COGS.

Companies that don’t make a product, for example, retailers and wholesalers, often use the term cost of sales instead to refer to direct costs. Some businesses report both COGS and cost of sales separately if they make products and are involved in retailing or wholesaling.


How do you calculate COGS?

COGS is used to calculate your gross profit. So if your business creates a product for ZMW 900, incurring a ZMW 100 in direct overheads along the way and sells the product for ZMW 1,500 then the COGS is ZMW 1,000 and gross profit is ZMW 500.

The generally accepted formula for calculating COGS is:

COGS = beginning inventory + purchases during the period – ending inventory

However, what to include and how to calculate it depends on your type of business.

Wholesale & Retail:

In the case of wholesale and retail businesses, the cost of goods sold is the amount that was paid for the inventory items to be sold, plus any shipping costs or labour for delivery.


In the case of a manufacturer, inventory (and once sold, COGS) includes the cost of raw materials, labour to produce the item, and sometimes additional related costs.


Construction businesses may have many COGS accounts, ranging from Direct Labor, Materials, Subcontractor, and Indirect COGS (things like fuel, job supplies, equipment maintenance, etc).


What can you include in COGS?

Cost of direct material

This is the wholesale cost of the products or materials you use to either manufacture a product or sell a product in retail.

Cost of direct labour

This is the cost of direct labour used solely to create the product in question. No ancillary or indirect labour can be calculated as part of your COGS.

Cost of direct overheads

This is the cost of direct overheads utilised in the creation of the product.


Why is COGS important?

COGS is used to determine the profitability of a company, department, or product line. It makes it easier for managers to identify cost-saving measures and ways to save on inventory costs.


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