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An executive summary is a section in a document that presents the highlights of the discussed topics. Th executive summary simplifies the discussions as well as state the purpose of the document. It is basically the summary of the entire document that is intended to encourage the reader/s to read further. It is perhaps the most important part of any document, without it the reader/s may find a hassle to read your document cover-to-cover especially if there is no available background or synopsis of the document in the beginning.
Just like in any reading material, especially lengthy, consolidated ones, it is important to include a summary that will give a background as to what the document is all about. This will help the reader/s prepare for what is up ahead and at the same time entice them to read on. If you are able to present compelling in your summary, it may convince your reader/s to give your document a chance.
Having no background information and solely depending on the title in order to somehow understand the purpose of the document may lead to misinterpretation. Therefore, it is always better to give the reader/s a basic background consisting of the key points you have in your document. In this case, an executive summary comes to play. As mentioned, concisely explain to the reader/s the purpose and objective of your document. In this article, the importance of an executive summary in a business plan will be discussed as well as how to write it.
As you may now know, your business plan will help you achieve your goal such as acquiring business financing. It is a vital document especially for business start-ups. It explains the purpose of your business, what you intend to produce or provide, how you plan to sustain it, and so on. Aside from helping you securing funding, a good business plan will also help you run your business since it includes all necessary stages and information needed to start and manage your business. It will serve as your guide and a road map for how to structure, run, and grow your new business.
With that in mind, the executive summary of your business plan will help you present a comprehensive outline of your company’s purpose and goals. It is the part of your business plan that can either make or break your chances to achieving your purpose especially if it meant to help you secure financial aid. Your executive summary is your ticket to convince your reader/s that your business plan is worth reading and that the objectives you have with your business are attainable and realistic.
Since the executive summary is meant to highlight your key points in the business plan, it somehow functions as a well-written CV or well-rehearsed elevator pitch. It is meant to sell your business plan to investors or financing agencies. And just like a CV or an elevator pitch, it is short and direct to the point. It helps you separate yourself from other business that may have the same or similar business idea/s as you.
Although your business plan as whole may contain a lot of significant information, your executive summary only includes the most significant ones and those that help put emphasis on your purpose. It also lets your reader/s see and understand the overview of what problems of your target customers your are trying to solve. Simply put, the executive summary of your business plan will make your reader/s understand your purpose, get to know your business, and convince them to actually read into what you have presented in the other valuable parts of the business plan.
Now that you have the basic idea of why it is important to have an executive summary in your business plan, you need to start plotting and outlining what you should include when you write it. Hence, here is a list of what you should include in the executive summary of your business plan:
Before you learn how to write an effective executive summary, you need to know the basic guiding principles in writing it. Remember that your executive summary is a vital part of your business plan. Writing it with too much or too little information can highly affect your chances of achieving your goal. With that in mind, here are some of the most common guidelines in writing an executive summary for your business plan:
Since you now know the contents of an executive summary as well as the guidelines in writing it, you should most definitely start writing the executive summary of your business plan. Given that the entire business plan is complete, here is a short guide in writing the executive summary of your business plan:
Although the first paragraph of your executive summary is intended for an introduction, you can also use it formally introduce the business to the reader/s. You should use a compelling intro before you include the information of your business.
In this part of the executive summary, you should include pertinent information about the business such as the name of your business, when it was officially formed, the names and roles of the founders, how many employees you have, and where you’re located.
Your business is only viable if the products and/or services you provide answers or solves an existing problem in the market. Therefore, in this part of the executive summary, state the problem that your business will address and solve. This is where you explain what motivated you to start the business.
If you have a mission statement for the company, it is more fitting to put it in this part. Although it is not a requirement in the business plan, the mission statement gives your business direction and defines the character and culture of your company.
Since you have clearly determined the problem your business will address and solve, explain how your business will be able to do just that. This is where you present the solution your business will provide to the target consumers in order to address and solve such existing issue. You have to explain how the products and/or services of your company will alleviate or eradicate the consumers stress brought by the problem you have identified.
However, you have to remember that this is only a summary. Present your solution/s and describe how your company will address and solve the problem/s in a few sentences or bullet points.
In this part, you need to explain the consumers you are trying to sell your products and/or service to. You also have to explain how your concept fits directly into what they need. This is where you explain and lay out how you will be able to entice your target clients through the concept you have already established. Since you are writing the executive summary after the entirety of your business plan is complete, you will be able to pull relevant information from the market research and strategy sections that will support your idea.
You have to honestly acknowledge that there are other existing businesses that have exactly the same or closely similar concepts to the ones you have. In this case, you also have to explain how your business will be able to push through and thrive despite the competition. You have to clearly discuss and present compelling data that you can solve the problem/s or provide the products and/or services better and more efficiently than the competition. Simply put, explain why would the consumers choose you over other similar businesses.
Although there is a specific part in the business plan where you introduce them with more details, letting the reader/s know you on board your team can excite and convince them. This will let your reader/s understand why you are completely capable of pulling off what you intend to do with the business. This part is where you state how you are unique and is capable of being successful with the team that you currently have. However, if your team still lacks some people to fill in other positions, just explain how you intend to fill those available spots.
You have to clearly describe where your business is currently at in terms of progress and status. You also have to include what you accomplished so far in this part of the executive summary. Even if you are just starting out, mention relevant information that will make the reader/s know you have some of things and aspects sorted out. For example, if you already found the perfect location for the business or if you already have a finished floor plan, you can all mention it here, but make sure to keep it consistent with the other parts of the business plan.
You have to clearly explain what you intend to achieve with your business plan in this part. If you plan to secure a loan or investment, explain how it will help your business out. It is better to have an established business goal before you even start making your business plan, thus, this is where you make your reader/s understand the main purpose of your business plan. Ultimately, if you are asking to secure a loan, mention how much you need and so on.
We hope that you have learned some valuable information regarding the executive summary of a business plan through the discussions made in this article.