While the strong>Executive Summary will be the first thing that people who are reading your business plan will see, it should be the last thing that you write. You are selling your concept to an outsider, possible future investor or a partner, who does not know anything about your business yet. The Executive Summary is an “elevator pitch” to get investors to take a deeper look in your business plan.
Executive Summary should be no more than 1-3 pages long, short enough to keep the attention and long enough to cover the subject. Executive Summary Pascal’s famous words should come to mind: “I apologize that this is so long – I lacked the time to make it short.”
- First, summarize your business’ product or service: define the general idea of your product as well as the industry in which you will operate, underline the value of the product that you deliver to the customer (Value Proposition), identify the opportunities for you to deliver this value and explain why you think that you can do it better than your competitors.
- Second, summarize marketing: list distinctive features of your product/service, target your potential market, and present your competitive analyses (or competitive landscape). Define your key sales and marketing strategies.
- Third, summarize operations: Present your management team with a brief overview of their functions in your business. Note the key relationships that are expected to affect your business.
- Lastly, summarize you financials. Present a short outline of your financial projections and requirements. Explain why you will need financial input and how your business will use it.
Remember that your Executive Summary would be the first convincing “pitch” to your future investors. Usually a quick glance may determine whether a potential investor will finance you or whether he/she will not even consider reading the rest of your business plan. Write your Executive Summary in a language and terminology that is easy to understand, persuasive and convincing. You can find more information on how to write a business plan here.