The executive summary is the first thing anyone will see of your business plan. It should grab the reader’s attention and introduce the atmosphere of your business all while being a few short paragraphs. The executive summary is like the beginning of a book – everyone judges the entire book by the first few lines and whether or not they’d like to continue.
It’s always best to write the executive summary last as it’s the most important thing and covers the entire business plan in a brief summary. The summary should not take no longer than a page. Remember, investors go through many business plans a day so short and concise is the way to go.
Here’s how to write an executive summary that makes your business plan shine.
What makes a business successful? The fact that it identifies a problem in the general public and want to help in a creative way. There’s a demand and you’re looking to fill it. In the executive summary ensure you include the specific problem you plan to address whether it be “all the websites in my town are unprofessional” or “the restaurants around here don’t satisfy the citizens”. The problem doesn’t have to save the world, it just has to be in demand and realistic.
If your business doesn’t solve a problem or the problem is already solved by many other businesses in your area, your idea isn’t profitable.
You’ve identified a problem now how do you plan to solve it? Identify how your product or service will solve the problem you’ve described such as “my business (company name) will offer the city of Los Angeles gourmet Italian food the town is sure to love”.
Once you’ve identified the problem and the way to solve it, there is other content that is just as important in the summary:
- Company description and mission statement – Why should investors choose you over other start-ups in your field?
- Estimated financial information – What financial goals do you plan to achieve after one year in business? Two years? Three?
- Marketing strategies – How do you plan to bring awareness and brand recognition to your business? How do you plan to reach out to potential customers?
- Goals & Plans – Do you have any short term or long term goals in your business whether it be financial, expansion, reputation, etc.?
- Why now? – Adding urgency to your business plan makes investors act fast. Why is now the best time to start this business?
Now that you know what to include in a solid, winning executive summary here are some other tips to make it shine:
- Don’t ramble on – less than a page is suitable
- Keep the tone of the summary in the tone of your business. If you’re an investment banking firm, keep it professional. If you’re a film company that specializes in comedy, don’t be afraid to throw a few jokes in there.
- Read the business plan to ones you trust first. They might have a lot of opinions on things you can improve.
The executive summary is your pitch to banks, investors, company key players, and buyers – make it concise yet memorable. After reading the executive summary, readers decide if it’s worth it to continue reading and contribute to your business. Is yours worth the read on?
The professionals at Business Plan Experts have written hundreds of successful executive summaries and we understand how to make yours above the crowd. If you’d like to learn more about how we can use our competent writing to persuade investors and buyers, give us a call today!