Your business plan is incomplete without an executive summary. Writing your the executive summary should be your last step, so it stays clear and concise – and so it grabs potential investors’ attention, encouraging them to keep reading your overall business plan to learn more about your company. When you write up the executive summary after you’ve written all of the other sections, you know what points you can’t afford to leave out.
Arrange the information in your executive summary in order by importance. Writing your executive summary last can help you detail the key issues that you’ve identified while you were developing the rest of your business plan. The executive summary introduces your business, so you should use a direct, refreshing tone that stands apart from the other sections of your business plan.
Creating the executive summary last gives you a firm grasp of your business’s purpose and the major selling points that you want to lay out. After you’ve written all of the other sections of your business plan, you can highlight the key parts of the overall plan to call attention to the points that can help you secure investors.
Your executive summary helps you set your priorities for the the most important aspects of your business plan. A good executive summary should include:
- A basic description of your products or services
- An outline of your business’s goals
- A detailed description of the business’s target market
- An understanding of your business’s competitors and your competitive advantage in the market
- A projection of your business’s potential for growth in the future
- Your funding requirements
This executive summary shouldn’t just be a simple copy-and-paste version of your other sections; it should inspire potential investors to keep reading. If the executive summary fails to engage readers, they won’t finish reading the business plan. Hook readers right away by opening your executive summary with an interesting fact, a notable statistic, or a unique element of the history for your business.
What to Avoid
Don’t just write your executive summary like it’s a general outline or a table of contents for your business plan. Investors are less likely to read your entire business plan if your executive summary doesn’t have an interesting tone. Over-hyping your business or exaggerating the specifics could destroy the credibility you want to build in your business plan. Don’t make your executive summary more than two pages long; keep it concise and straight to the point.
The executive summary serves as your business’s first meeting with investors. This section of your business plan has to include the key points from every other section of your plan, and writing this section last means that you can include all of that key information. Writing your executive summary last lets you shine a spotlight on the most important points you want to make in your business plan in a refreshing tone, so you can grab the attention of anyone who’s reading it.