The end of the calendar year (and the beginning of the winter season) is a good time for reflection, introspection -- and celebration.  A pictorial representation of your company’s history can help capture where you have gone and events and people who have been important in that journey. 

The following are a series of examples and approaches to inspire and guide you.

Below is a picture of a Horizontal History.  This format can be used to note the start and stop dates of employees or significant client projects or products/services.  Note: The Wait but Why blog is a great place to be inspired by looking at issues in a fun, different and thought-provoking way.

Horizontal History  

Or you can look at your history as a series of blocks representing days or weeks like below.  The beauty of looking at this view is you can visually capture the big picture and think about how you might want to balance the mix going forward.  You can get one HERE.

 Your Life in Weeks

Or you can create a traditional timeline like this:

Company History timeline

Or with an arch to show upward movement--especially if you are an innovation company.

Company history timeline

How to create your company timeline:

  1. Who is the audience?  Will the image celebrate an anniversary with your employees?  Or is it for your website’s “About Us” page?  Or is it part of a pitch to investors to distinguish who you are and your company’s “special sauce”?  Or maybe it is just for you - to reflect on what you have done, decisions you have made and to take pride on what you have built.
  2. Gather your team to discuss your history.  The process of creating the timeline can be solitary and introspective or a creative, brainstorming team exercise asking the following questions:
    • Why did you start?
    • Who were the significant people along the way?
    • What are the company’s innovations, products or services?
    • What are the milestones of major decisions, partners, location openings or changes?
  3. Have a designer or graphic-minded person on your team create a pictorial timeline.  Post it on a whiteboard in your office, a handout to post at different workspaces or even as a screen saver.

The beauty of looking back on the past is getting to the “Why” of your business.  A company timeline helps your customers, employees, partners and even yourself reflect on why this company was created and what makes it different. 

About the Author(s)

 Jeanne  Rossomme

Jeanne uses her 20 years of marketing know-how to help small business owners reach their goals. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she held a variety of marketing positions with DuPont and General Electric. Jeanne regularly hosts online webinars and workshops in both English and Spanish.

President, RoadMap Marketing
Creating A Picture of Your Company History