How to Write an Executive Summary for a Business Plan
An executive summary is the most important element of any business plan because it efficiently summarizes a larger business plan by communicating key findings, save time, and proposes courses of action. You might already have written a great business plan and now wondering how to write an executive summary for a business plan.
Though the executive summary of the business plan is the first part for readers, it is generally written as the last thing, as it summarizes all the important elements of the business plan. Writing an executive summary of a business plan can be tricky depending on the business model, but it must be clear, concise, and capture the reader’s attention because if it doesn’t capture the reader’s attention, the plan will be set aside unread.
This article will guide you through step by step procedures on how to write an executive summary for a business plan.
What Information to Include in an Executive Summary?
Executive Summary is more than just a simple introduction to your business plan so the information you need to include differs depending on your business. Whether you are writing a business plan for your home based baking business startup or your business plan is for the expansion of your commercial cleaning business, the executive summary is the only chance to make a great first impression.
Most investors are busy people and they are less likely to review a business plan that has a weak executive summary.
To know how to write an executive summary for a business plan that attracts investors’ attention you must include the information they want to know and below is the list of items they would want to see in the executive summary of a business plan.
Executive Summary Components for a Startup Business
- Opportunity: Describe the need or the opportunity of your business and also explain how your business will serve the market.
- Target Market: Mention your targeted audience or customer base which you are going to serve.
- Business Model: Describe your products and services which you are going to offer, how will you make them tempting? Also briefly explain your marketing & sales strategies.
- The Competition: Briefly explain your market competition and what your competitive advantage is.
- Financial Plan: Write about financial forecasts for at least next 3 years.
- Owners & Expertise: Write about the owners & expertise you will bring to your business.
- Execution Plan: Give brief details for when you are taking your business from planning to opening doors.
Executive Summary Components for an Established Business
- Vision & Mission Statement: This should briefly describe the purpose of your business, what your company does and your core values.
- Company’s Facts & Figures: Describe your products & services, history & evolution of your business, profitability, market share, no. of customers, growth & revenue generation and owners & employees etc.
- Financial Analysis: If the purpose of making an executive summary is to seek additional financing then give a brief financial summary.
- Future Goals: Describe your future goals if you are seeking for additional funding.
How to Write an Executive Summary for a Business Plan Easily & Effectively?
If you are overwhelmed with how to write an executive summary for a business plan easily so start by following the list above or the second easiest & effective way of writing is to review your complete business plan and take one or two sentences from each of the business plan’s sections.
5 Tips to Write an Executive Summary for a Business Plan
- Write it Last: Crafting the executive summary for a business plan after writing every other part of the report is the best practice so always write it last.
- Keep Things Strong & Positive: Your executive summary should focus on the positive & strong elements of your business plan. Don’t weaken it with the discussion of risks, obstacles & challenges. Keep a positive tone and use strong language in your summary.
- Keep it Short: It should be not more than 2 pages because the purpose of the executive summary is to just present the facts.
- Capture the Reader’s Attention: Never forget that you want to inspire excitement in your audience especially when your purpose is to induce investors. At the end your audience should be eager to read.
- Polish your Executive Summary: Read it audibly to know whether it sounds clear or uneven then read it in front of someone who knows nothing about your business to have suggestions for improvement.
The Bottom Line
Do remember that executive summary is the first thing your readers read so if it’s poorly written it will also be the last thing they read, setting the rest of your business plan aside as unread.