Monday, January 17, 2011

“About Us” Evaluation: Development Capital Partners

Development Capital Partners offers financial and political advice to companies who wish to invest in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company was profiled in Forbes magazine on 11/22/2010. DCP’s Background page is here.


Personality and Accessibility: A minus

Of the 7 pages on DCP’s site, 6 are some form of “About Us” page. That makes sense, because the company deals only in multi-million-dollar projects in a specific geographical region. DCP’s goal is to persuade us of their competence, and then tell us whom to contact about our own project.

That’s why we like DCP’s Team page, which gives the relevant experience for each of the directors. One minor tweak: we would like to see the email addresses for the directors on this page. Then if we spot a director who’s a perfect fit for us, we can contact him immediately. Why make us go to the Contact page?

DCP’s site has so little text that we particularly noticed a few errors in grammar and punctuation. For example, near the end of the Advisory page is the phrase, “requirements of the sponsors’ of the project.” Such gaffes, while small, are “broken windows.” They suggest you don’t sweat the small stuff. Potential clients want to know that the company handling its multi-million-dollar project will be vigilant about every detail, from the apostrophes to the decimal points.

Products/Services: A minus

We like the brevity of the Background page, which serves as DCP’s home page as well as its About Us page. The Track Record page is also good, with its list of 8 multi-million-dollar projects in 4 Sub-Saharan countries.

We would like to see more such details throughout the site. On the Track Record page, saying DCP has arranged financing for “a number of transactions” is less impressive than saying it has arranged financing for “dozens of transactions” or “more than 20 transactions in 5 years” (or whatever the numbers are).

Likewise, on the Team page, “Our team members have accumulated many years of diversified expertise” is not as compelling as “Our team members have over 40 years of expertise in corporate finance, investment syndication, and political negotiation.” Concretes are persuasive, because they can be verified.


Be as specific as possible. Noble abstractions are good for mission statements, but for potential clients, details about the expertise of your management team and the scope of your previous projects are much more persuasive.

Beware “broken windows.” If grammar, syntax, and spelling aren’t your strong points, hire someone to check them for you.

Does your Web site’s “About Us” section accurately convey your organization’s history and capabilities? Every two weeks we evaluate one example, grading it in three areas that are key to potential customers: Personality (Who are you?), Products/Services (What can you do for us?), and Accessibility (How can we reach you?). Contact us if you’d like to have your site evaluated—there’s no charge and no obligation. Today’s example was chosen at random; has no ties to this company.