There are many reasons for writing a company history. It could be to celebrate an anniversary or to document your organisation’s achievements over the years.  A company history might be part of a company profile. Whether you are looking to write a company history yourself or hire a freelance company history writer, writing a company history can be a challenging undertaking.

Here are a few tips to consider when writing a company history.

Check the Archives When Writing a Company History

When writing a company history, the first questions to ask is ‘Has the organisation saved documents from the past?’ If so, where are they kept? Hopefully, you will have easy access to historical documents for your research. If not, you will have to spend time to track down what you can find. Past or current employees and family members might have kept documents and publications that can help you learn more about milestone’s in the company’s history.

Interview People in the Company when Writing a Company History

Depending on how far back your company history goes, interviewing current staff can help you in writing a company history. Start with staff members who have been around the longest. Even if they haven’t been around since the beginning, they will have experienced and heard stories about the company that occurred before their time. Current employees might also be in touch with past employees (or at least know their names) who you can find and interview.

Interview People Outside the Company when Writing a Company History

Clients, suppliers and industry leaders can provide insight into the company’s history. The outside perspective can show how the business has benefitted and shaped the industry over the years. Ask current company leaders to find out more about the clients and suppliers who have worked with them.

Search Libraries When Writing a Company History

If you have searched the company archives and interviewed employees, alumni, suppliers and industry leaders, there still might be gaps in your company history. The next step is to look at outside sources including libraries and government archives. In libraries, you can look for publication with articles written about the company. In Victoria, for example, you would want to start with the State Library of Victoria.

Writing a company history can be a long and challenging process. But if you take a systematic approach in finding your sources, you should be able to get what you need.

If you are thinking about creating a company history, a company history writer at Word Nerds will be glad to discuss the process with you. Also, you can download a sample of a company history we wrote for a Melbourne-based company celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016.