You can think of the executive summary as the introductory section of your business plan. It is a brief, positive synopsis of the business that goes at the beginning of a business plan and normally contains short overviews of each section that follows. A good executive summary is straightforward and concise, highlighting the key points of your plan in an easily-digestible format.
If you get stuck writing an executive summary for your business plan or need help with other sections, there are resources and free business plan templates available online to get you started.
Here’s what should be included in an executive summary:
- A brief description of the company, including its history, products or services, and target market
- An overview of the company’s marketing strategy
- A discussion of the company’s financial projections, including sales, profits, and expenses
- An explanation of the company’s organizational structure and management team
- A description of the company’s facilities and equipment
The Importance of the Executive Summary in a Business Plan
While it may seem like a small and insignificant part of your business plan, the executive summary is actually one of the most important sections. This is because it is the first thing that potential investors and lenders will read, and so it needs to make a strong impression.
If you are seeking funding for your business, the executive summary is also one of the most important parts of your pitch deck. This is because investors will use it to decide whether or not they want to learn more about your company.
Thus, it is essential that you take the time to craft a well-written and impressive executive summary. Doing so can mean the difference between getting funding for your business and being turned away.
Tips for Writing a Great Business Plan Executive Summary
- Keep it short – While important, the executive summary is still a summary. This means that it should be brief, typically no more than two pages.
- Make it readable – A good executive summary is easy to understand. Use simple language and clear formatting to make your executive summary readable.
- Focus on the positive – The executive summary is your first opportunity to present the best parts of your business to readers of your business plan. Highlight the strengths of your business and explain what makes it unique.
- Be realistic – There’s no benefit to being misleading or overselling in your business plan. Don’t make over-the-top claims or promises that you can’t deliver on in the executive summary.
- Edit carefully – A well-edited document makes a good first impression. Make sure your executive summary is free of grammar and spelling errors.
Taking the time to craft a well-written executive summary can mean the difference between getting funding for your business and being turned away. The executive summary sets the tone for your business plans and lets readers know from the start that your business is worth their time and investment.