The executive summary is an important component of your business plan. It’s the part of your plan that is first, but it is often created last. You need all the other information collected, studied, and analyzed to create the executive summary. This summary will explain in a concise yet thorough way what you do, who you do it for, and why you will be successful doing it.
To complete the executive summary, include:
- Information about your research – The research you conduct will inform business decisions and help you develop your strategy for achieving your goals.
- Results of said research – The research produced results that need to be analyzed for the executive summary.
- Suggestions about how to do business based on the research – Based on what you learned during the research, what steps will you take, when will you take them, and how will you take them?
Your executive summary is mostly an informative piece of writing that doesn’t need to be very persuasive other than you should point out the research methods and why they’re accurate and explain the results thoroughly.
It should be interesting, grab attention, and give you the info it needs to in the case of needing a business loan or angel investors. If it’s just for your use, you still want to continue creating the executive summary as if someone from a bank might read it. Try capturing your reader with a thought-provoking statistic or tell them about a quote you love that relates, or a book.
The executive summary should be able to exist without the rest of the business plan as its own document to use when needed. However, you’ll want it to be concise and short. It’s a summary by nature, but it should give all the information the reader needs. You’ll be able to use the document in other aspects of your business to come up with content marketing ideas, remember your mission, and more.
You can write your executive summary in the same way as normal article writing. Create a title for each section. You can use this order to keep it all straight in your mind as you develop your executive summary for your business plan. But remember, you should not even start writing it until you’ve collected the information for each section.
Start with an overview of your business; include what you do, who you do it for, why, and how you do it.
Next, add information about your target market, your competition, and at least three points about the marketing strategy you plan to use.
Now add in information about how you will operate the business. Will you be a sole proprietor, or will you be a corporation? Will you work in a brick and mortar atmosphere, or will you build your business solely online?
Include information about your projections based on your research. Give information about finances now, a year from now, two years from now, and up to five years. Be sure to include your break-even point and concrete ideas about when you’ll finally produce a profit.
If you need an influx of money, this is also when you mention the type of financing you will get or venture capital you’ll seek. All your numbers should align and make sense.