Every business plan consists of several parts. Although all parts are critical and very important, there is one part that brings the majority of the attention when someone actually researches your proposition for the business plan. That section is the Executive Summary.
What is Executive Summary?
Executive Summary – outlines the main idea, supporting points and your ability to establish what you are trying to achieve. Many times when applying for bank credit, looking for investors or searching for other credit opportunities, business owners develop a business plan to submit it to those parties. The executive summary is the first thing that anyone is going to look at when trying to determine what your proposition is. It is important to understand that your whole business plan can be anywhere from 10 to 100 pages, depending on your idea, factors and other things. Therefore, when investors decide to invest, they look at the overall idea from the executive summary to determine if it is worth spending their time on your business. If the executive summary is attractive and the business idea looks profitable then they bring in their accountants, lawyers and other personnel to go dipper into researching you goal, accounting needs and profits that they can make.
The executive summary must be attractive but true and it should have a very good support with the attached documents. For investors to choose your business plan and idea, your executive summary must be attractive. If it is attractive only then will someone spend the needed time on it?
As mentioned above the executive summary is the first item that readers of your business plan will see. However, the trick to writing it successfully is to write it last. Leaving it for the end of your planning development gives you an opportunity to focus, better see the whole scope of your work as well as to refine and frame your key messages after developing the initial bulk of work.
The ideal exec summary about one or two pages long, as it’s only meant to provide an overview of your project. The main point is to create an interest in reader’s mind to see the rest of your business plan and to make him want to work with you. If your executive summary has fulfilled the need, your reader will remain reading and get the full story of your business idea.
Items that should be included into Executive Summary:
Introduce the business — in this section briefly answer to those questions: what it is, what it does, how it does it, who manages it, location, market research, competition, opportunities and growth.
Mission statement and vision statement – use those to outline your goals and where you plan to be in three to five years.
Section for potential investors:
- Define if your business is: a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation
- Define general business opportunity, estimated growth and potential ROI
- Define and declare the total financial needs of the business, funding sources and indicate repayment schedules
- Outline operational and marketing plans
In conclusion, use strong but positive language in introducing your business plan in your summary.