An executive summary is an abbreviated version of a business plan. It allows the reader to obtain a quick overview of the business. Executive summaries are the first documents a lender will read, if written correctly and can be understood, it would increase the chance of getting the lender to read your business plan. Most entrepreneurs don’t realize the importance of this document because it is often looked as “unnecessary” whereas it increases your chance of being funded.
Look at the executive summary as a ‘shop window’ or pitch to your business. Shop windows are designed specifically to entice people to step inside have a look around the shop. Your executive summary serves the same purpose in so much that it is the ‘shop window’ to your business plan and the project itself.
If the document is compelling, it will motivate the funder to read further and maybe onto the business plan itself. Therefore it is worth putting the time, effort and energy into writing a professional executive summary. This video explains how an executive summary works.
How to write the executive summary
The executive summary should contain the following headings, including the salient points in each:
- Company, mission statement and its direction
- Highlight business strategy and goals
- Product / Service and sales strategy
- Management team
Your executive summary should also be structured so it’s easy to read so if you are looking for international funding, consider the language the document is written in. It must highlight important information such as stating and defining a problem in the market (statement of purpose) Give a reason why you need funding and outline how the business can fill the market by providing a solution.
Executive summaries should be designed like this page using titles, subheading, bullet points. Use graphs and images to explain your business and write the important factors in short paragraphs. Avoid using industry jargon but and get to the point. Sometimes it is good to use quotes and testimonials of the business needs and recommendations by leaders or people in authority.
Executive Summary Tips
Very important to know that your executive summary needs to stimulate and motivate the potential investor. In order for them to learn more about your company, you must ensure that you include:
- A concise explanation of the business
- The business product or service
- A description of the market size and market needs
- How the company is uniquely qualified to fulfill this need
- Financials and future growth / expansion
If you are not an established company, focus on your expertise and background as well as the decisions that led you to start this enterprise.
Be clear and concise, keep it simple and try not to over complicate it with fancy wording. Don’t forget that investors and lenders receive business plans all the time, therefore their attention span can be quite limited. The more complicated you make things the less likelihood that you will be chosen as the company to get funded. Here are a video to give you some tips and explain further on how to write an executive summary. If you require help writing your executive summary and business plan, contact us by phone or email.