How to write boilerplate for your business

What is boilerplate?

Boilerplate text is the standard text that you use in your marketing and promotional material to describe your business. It should be a short, highly distilled paragraph, with a suggested length of 100 words.

Boilerplate is a description of your business that is used in all your publications: in your tenders and proposals, in your corporate capability statement, on the About Us section of your website, in social media, and at the end of your media releases. It is a standard description of your business.

The industrial term, boilerplate, was originally used for fixed text blocks by newspaper typesetters. They normally created print by assembling individual letters into a metal frame but also had ready-made blocks for frequently used passages of words, which they called “boilerplate” (referring to the manufacture of boilerplate in heavy industry).

How to write boilerplate?

Where is your business located? Don’t provide the full address but a clear location that your readers will understand.

What area do you service? Make sure you identify your business as a local, state, national, international organisation.

Do you have multiple offices? If you have several offices you should consider listing them; wit a lot of locations group them together regionally, by state or region (Asia, Europe, South America, etc.)

How long have you been in business? This is important in giving an indicator of your experience and attitude—are you a start-up, new or established firm?

What category of business are you? Are you small to medium, large, private, family owned, or publically listed (include your ASX code).

What is your primary product or service? This can be difficult to write succinctly but it is important to be brief.

What is your target market? The market that you are working in is an important aspect of what you do: B2C, B2B, wholesale, retail, etc.

What is your value proposition or unique selling proposition? This is what makes you stand out from your competitors. Describe your strengths and provide evidence of your success but avoid exaggerated claims that are not supportable.

What awards or accreditations do you have? These are important in giving you credibility and supporting your value proposition.

Where can I get more information? The short paragraph should describe your business in nutshell but if the reader wants more information make sure they know how to get it: for example from your website, from a phone enquiry, by email etc. If space is available, you might want to consider including links to your main social media sites.

Can I change my boilerplate?

All businesses have multiple products or services and serve multiple markets so your boilerplate should be adapted if you are promoting particular products and services or targeting particular markets. Boilerplate text in your promotional material is useful because it saves you time having to think how to describe your business but don’t treat it like sacred text. Unlike your mission and vision statement your boilerplate can be changed to meet your communication and sales goals.

Boilerplate image from reproduced with the kind permission of Paul Guinan ©2010