The executive summary is the first part of a business plan. It is the most important section as it gives a general overview of the business. It is the part that tells the reader about the vision of the company. So let’s get to it!
The executive summary, as previously stated, is probably the most critical aspect of a business plan. This is the section that will briefly tell your reader about the current state of your company and where you are planning to take it in a year, 5 years, 10 years or more. The executive summary should convince your reader about the potential success of your business idea. Importantly, this is the section that may grab the attention of a lender or a potential investor. So you really need your executive summary to grab people’s attention.I f you are seeking financing, the executive summary is also your first opportunity to grab a potential investor’s interest. The executive summary must underscore the principal strengths of your business. Hence, even though this is the first part your reader will see, it is paradoxically the last part of the business plan you would normally write since it is reflective of your overall plan.
What should you Include in the Executive Summary?
What you should include in your executive summary depends on the stage of your business. Below are some important points to consider.
your business is already established, you must include the following information.
- The Mission Statement– The mission Statement of a business plan defines the central focus of the business; that is what the business does or in a nutshell. The mission statement should be succinct, usually requiring a few to several sentences or a paragraph.
- Business Information –This is where short story of the business is described. That is the date the business was founded, who founded the business, how many employees are in the business, and finally where the business is located.
- Growth Highlights– This section is reserved for the highpoints of the business. Undersline here the financial and market strengths of the company such as annual profit margins and market share from the time of the company’s foundation. This would be a good time to use Graphs and charts to highlight those strong features of the company.
- Products or Services –Describe briefly what products or services your company offers.
- Financial Information– This is where you wpould include relevant information about your current bank, lender, and investors If your company is seeking financing,.
- Summary of future plans–This section would describe where you would anticipate the business would be in a year, 5 years, 10 years, etc.
With the exception of the mission statement, all of the information in the executive summary should be covered in a concise fashion and kept to one page. The executive summary is the first part of your business plan many people will see, so each word should count.
If You Are a Startup or New Business
If you are just starting a business, you won’t have as much information as an established company. Instead, focus on your experience and background as well as the decisions that led you to start this particular enterprise.
Demonstrate that you have done thorough market analysis. Include information about a need or gap in your target market, and how your particular solutions can fill it. Convince the reader that you can succeed in your target market, then address your future plans.
Remember, your Executive Summary will be the last thing you write. So the first section of the business plan that you will tackle is the Company Description section.