In general, an executive summary summarizes the key points of a report or paper. The main goal of an executive summary is to make even the most technical paper readable and understandable. An executive summary is also used as a basis to understand complex reports or papers through its context and information.
In this guide, we will focus on writing an executive summary of a business plan. Although they have the same objectives as those which are used in different fields, they still have to be well-written and informative, as all executive summaries should be.
An executive summary serves as a brief introduction of the business plan. It introduces the project, its objectives, the process to be undertaken, etc. It does not only list the key points but also provides a concise yet thorough explanation of the business plan. You may also see Objective Summary Examples & PDF
For startup businesses, here are some points to ponder while creating an executive summary:
State the problem your business aims to solve. You should mention the benefits you can bring to an individual or organization. Also, see Business Plan Outline with Examples.
Now that you have stated the opportunity, explain how your business will serve the market. You have to explain how you’ll be able to solve the problems and provide the needs of your target market.
Describe your target market as they are the main consumers of your products.
Describe your products and how it will generate revenues. Also, include in this section the costs you will incur in the production and distribution of your products.
Briefly outline your plans for promoting or marketing your products. Explain how you plan to run your business and how you plan on selling your products through various marketing tools.
Describe your competition and your strategy in competing against them. Emphasize your advantages like what you can offer to the customers that your competitors can’t.
Your financial plan should include a short summary of your projections for at least the next three to five years.
Introduce and describe the owners and the rest of management team as well as emphasize their specific expertise in regards to the project. This will serve as a mini-resume for you and your team. This way you can assure the investors that the people who will handle the project know what they are doing.
The schedule from the planning stage to the opening of your business must be organized in an outline. Arrange in a chronological order how the process would go like. This will also assure the investors that you’re doing the project and delivering it on time to avoid additional expenditure.
For established businesses that seek additional funding or investments, it is best to include these few key points:
This explains the purpose of your business. In a few sentences, briefly describe the core of your business, what it is for and the philosophies guiding it.
Give a brief overview of the business’s history. Describe your products and/or services– when, where, how and why you decided to sell it. Include a brief introduction of who the owners and key employees are. You can also include demographics such as the number of employees, business locations, etc.
Describe how your business has grown throughout the years. Include the profitability highlights, expansion projects, as well as new products you have sold in the past few years.
If the purpose of the business plan is to ask for additional financing in order to expand, then give a brief financial summary of your business.
Describe the long-term and short-term goals for your business. If you are looking for financial investment, explain how additional funds can be used in expanding the business. Share the objectives you want your business to achieve with the help of investment.
Overall, an executive summary is a quick overview of your business plan as a whole. It should be concise but it should also be able to clearly explain the goals and objectives of the plan. Additionally, it should be written in a professional manner and be able to express and answer the needs of the readers.