An executive summary is a must for your business plan. In fact, it’s what your business plan begins with, capturing the essence of your business concisely. It highlights the main points of your business plan and includes key objectives and purposes.
Getting your executive summary right is crucial. The summary should make investors curious to know more about your business. However, the summary should contain elements to establish your business’s potential even if someone doesn’t read the whole business plan.
In short, a poorly written executive summary can kill the reader’s interest in your business plan whereas a well written executive summary can stir the interest of readers.
This post is aimed at those who are writing their own business plan. If you have to present your business plan to third party users such as banks, investors or immigration, you should hire services of professional business plan writers.
Today, we will present 5 tips to write a professional executive summary.
How to Pen Down the Best Executive Summary
1. Keep It Concise and Interesting
An executive summary is meant to be the gist of your whole business plan. Naturally, many entrepreneurs find it challenging to summarize the whole plan into a few words.
We don’t have any rule of thumb, but executive summaries should be at the max 1 – 2-pages long. Try the following to shorten your plan into a summary-
- Consider it as an elevator pitch
- Use your summary as a selling tool
- No place for jargons or explanations
- Include key metrics that establish your capabilities and performance
- No need for charts, graphs, or figures (maybe one if you really need)
2. Mention Market Opportunities
Your executive summary should make your business opportunities crystal clear. Describe the opportunity or need in a few sentences to make the reader aware. Then, write a few more sentences on how your business will serve the need or take advantage of market opportunities.
Lastly, spare a few words for your target market or the customers.
What to do:
- Conduct thorough market research
- Study your potential buyers
- Research the industry and competitors
- Take cues from the market analysis section of your business plan
3. Highlight Competitive Advantages
Studying your competitors is a key part of your market analysis. Your competitor analysis will tell how likely your business offering is going to succeed in the market.
Your executive summary should have a sound justification for the viability of your business. You should provide a few words on the competition and move on to sharing key competitive advantages.
If possible, you can even tie your market opportunities with your competitive advantage to establish strong viability.
Let’s say you sell eco-friendly packaging for businesses. You can have a few sentences in your market summary like-.
“50% of customers prefer product packaging that is biodegradable. However, only 2 companies in the market sell eco-friendly packaging to businesses. Naturally, a large part of demand goes unmet, which our company can fill in successfully.”
4. Include Crucial Financial Metrics
Financial projections are hard numbers that directly speak to investors. Many startups dedicate a whole section or paragraph to financial projections because of their effectiveness in attracting funds.
You can include key projections like-
- High-level summary of your financial projections
- Revenues for your first year
- The growth rate for a few years down the line
- The cost of sales
- Net income for the year
Take a look at your financial projection and pick the most impressive metrics. Do not go into lengthy details, you have a whole section in the business plan to explain the same.
5. Write Your Executive Summary After You Complete Your Business Plan Writing
You might scratch your head and spend unnecessary labour if you try writing your executive summary first. It’s supposed to be an essence of your business plan, so how do you write your summary if you don’t have your plan ready?
For this reason, writing your business plan, in the end, is more feasible. You know what your business plan contains, and can easily construct its gist. Just pick the key points that show your business in a good light and move on.
You can create bullet points from different sections of your business plan, highlighting the main points. Then make the final selection and write your summary based on those points.
An executive summary is what makes investors curious to learn more about your business. It’s one of the most important sections if we must say. Consider hiring a professional business plan writer if you are not so good with words. We provide professional business plan writing services in Toronto and across the whole of Canada. Get in touch with us.