By Emily Suess
If you’re not sure what a fact sheet is, let’s start with the basics. A fact sheet is a document that you provide to answer some basic questions about your small business. It describes a product or service you offer — or maybe even your entire business — in concise terms and in a well-organized format.
Fact sheets are informational pieces that are typically used for publicity. You might find them included in a press kit or distributed with a press release or used in a lieu of a brochure. Ultimately, the goal of the fact sheet is to make it easier for a writer to cover a newsworthy piece about your small business.
How to Write a Fact Sheet
Fact sheets aren’t terribly complicated. They are usually one or two pages and they give the reader some general—but important—information about your business. Here’s what most fact sheets have in common:
- The name and address of the business. If you’re using standard letterhead for your small business, this information is probably already included. If not, you’ll want to make sure you add it.
- Relevant contact information. Always include a way for readers to get in touch. List the name of the contact person, that person’s job title, and include phone number and email.
- Include the subject or title of the fact sheet. It’s all about easy access to information, so make your title clear and descriptive. There should be no question what topic your fact sheet covers.
- Stick to the facts. Resist the urge to turn your fact sheet into a sales piece. The purpose of the fact sheet is to give bloggers, journalists and writers useful information.
Formatting a Fact Sheet
Generally speaking, your fact sheet should be branded to fit the format of the rest of your business documents. Keep logos, headers and fonts consistent.
How you present the information is up to you. Some fact sheets present information in a Q&A format like a website FAQ. Others provide a chronological history or timeline, and others give background information starting with the most general information and moving on to more complex items.
Many fact sheets are set up in two columns and use sub-headings to make the fact sheet easy to skim for information. Bullets and numbered lists are also helpful for organizing the information you present.
Fact Sheet Examples
Need some inspiration for your fact sheet? Here are a few non-business examples chosen specifically to emphasize the importance of providing quality information. Notice how the fact sheets vary greatly in terms of topic but they share key characteristics.
Kaiser Family Foundation fact sheet on Medicare Advantage. Two-pager includes contact information in the footer and uses graphs with source information to present additional information to the reader.
Fact Sheet: Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. Fact sheets can also be presented as a static page on your website. This one from the White House is packed with figures related to the Health Care Tax Credit for small businesses. Notice it contains lots of bullet points and short, descriptive headers.