How to Write an Executive Summary for a Business Plan
Executive Summary of a Business Plan
The executive summary is more like an intentional précis of your business plan that in a given length illustrates the what, why, how along with when and where (if needed) of the whole document. It has to be crafted so it gives the reader an incentive spur to deep-dive into the details and particulars.
Importance of an Executive Summary for a Business Plan
An executive summary is the imperative most organ in the anatomy of a business plan, which contains and displays its forthcoming essence. An ideal business plan is one, which if the need arises, can be effectively used as a business proposal with little or no tweaks. So, an executive summary of a business plan should necessarily incorporate a call towards action.
So, the executive summary need to be crafted really smartly since a blatant pitch would not leave a striking impression. Yet, the pros should be placed well so as to never lose any potential partners or investors.
How to Write an Effective Executive Summary for a Business Plan
In order to keep the executive summary brisk and effective, fully master and exploit the use of clichés and felicitous phrases for your business writing. These can be excellently used to say much in a few words. With the right full use of these resources, you can be simple and direct towards your goal instead of twining around long and boring ramblings.
Consider the example…
“The set up is fully functional and has a huge system for managing the working operations. This helps us in effectively dealing with all types of procedures regarding retail distribution and wholesale. We also provide services in global trade along with distribution”
“In terms of functionality and operation, it is a global business maneuvering in the facilities of retail, wholesale, worldwide trade and sales and distribution.”
Executive summaries would differ slightly in terms of their key components, depending on the type of business plan they are being written for.
An executive summary for an external business plan should summarize the following elements:
Brief introduction and key highlights of the product or service that you are pitching for
Background of the company
Competitive edge of your business
Where and why you make or could make a difference in the current market
How you will make a difference through your scheme
An executive summary for an internal business plan should not be much formal. It would highlight the following elements depending on its type and requirement:
- Operational Costs
- Present vs. Required Resources
- Break down of Costs and Expenses
- Categorization of Company’s Infrastructure and Personnel
An executive summary for a business plan is the last thing written since it has to outline the whole anatomy of the document and briefly explain the action plan, mission statement and the means and ends of the whole idea.
First appearances do matter!
In the executive summary either you grab your reader’s attention or kiss it goodbye for once and all. You have to make a point with the reader and get him to buy your scheme or technique:
- Admiration for your scheme
- Belief and conviction in your modus operandi
- Trust and confidence
If these accomplished, consider half of the deed done and the business plan has served for what it was drafted in the first place.
An executive summary is a summing up, so the more precise and to the point it is, the much better. Though there exists the concept of extensive summaries sprawling over the length of 5 to 6 pages, but that is supposed to be covered by the business plan itself. So the more specific it is, the more attentions it would grab.
An executive summary is often mistaken to be a summary memo, which it is not. The later is a document that is used as a substitution for a business plan, at times. So, an ideal business plan would have an executive summary of one page which could reach one and a half or two pages at the maximum.
Rule of the thumb: KISS principle
Note: Executive summaries written for business plans dealing in technical, medical and the like are different and would have exceptions.
It is best to write the executive summary when you are done with the business plan or have outlined the pattern that you are going to follow. A common mistake while writing an executive summary is to take it as an outline for the actual document.
It is not an outline. It is a synopsis and short map of the actual thing and should necessarily focus on leading a reader to delve and go through the rest of the business plan with attention and interest. It should establish the authority for the existence of the actual business plan and should rouse self-interest for the reader.
So, the best practice is to write the executive summary in the end so you can plan its direction and pitch in detail while keeping in lieu with what you are providing in the business plan.
To generate content for the executive summary follow these steps:
- The executive summary of the business plan would be built around a few key components
- Decide and choose what points you are going to highlight in your executive summary
- Jot down paragraphs for each component
- Now, arrange the paragraphs in a systematic pattern that would give the whole summary a natural flow and easy understanding
You should see your executive summary as an individual document and if it makes sense and gives readable-understanding alone, then it’s perfect.
Last but not the least, proofread twice before you put down the executive summary in your business plan.