If you’re tired of working for other people, the natural response is to think about working for yourself. Starting a business can be a daunting task. There is a lot to think about, but one of the most important things is a business plan. This plan is going to be the template that you base your entire focus of business on. Without a business plan, you won’t be able to approach possible investors or banks and share your big idea. Before you get to that, though, you need to first grab the reader’s attention. You want to get them on the hook and make them interested in what your company will be offering. That’s where your business plan executive summary comes in. The executive summary is basically a short blurb which should get across exactly what it is you are all about. Think of it as the appetiser to a delicious main course.
Entrepreneurship is booming, since March 2011 an average of 320 new businesses are launched every month for every 100,000 U.S. adults. If you want to be successful, you’re going to need a solid business plan.
The Executive Summary is your first step to securing funding. Simply put, it’s your pitch. Have you heard of an elevator pitch before? It’s basically a very short pitch of your big idea. That’s what the executive summary should be. Remember that this is going to be the first thing that possible investors are going to see. In many cases, this may be the only thing that they see. You need to put your best foot forward. The purpose if it is to deliver a hard sell. It should make the reader want to give you money. It should ideally be no longer than two or three pages, and many entrepreneurs believe that this is something that should be written last. The reason that they say this is because leaving it for last allows you to focus on the final product. You want to write with your end game in sight and clearly defined for others. Understanding how to write a whole business plan can be tricky, but there are plenty of useful resources available to you to help. Once you’ve cracked the big, meaty business plan, you should get cracking on the short pitch and distil it down to the key points from your business plan.
If you are writing your executive summary for a standard business plan, include the name of your business, the location, the service you offer or the product you sell as well as the purpose of your plan in the first paragraph. It should be a very clear introduction to you. Furthermore, the executive summary should focus on project sales and estimated profits as well as the keys to success. If you are going to fill a big gap in the market with your product or service, make sure you mention this too. You can also include a chart with all the financials forecast for the next three years.
If your executive summary is for a business that is investor-ready, you need to change the approach a little bit. As with the executive summary for a standard business plan, mention the key details about your business, but the main focus here is convincing people to give you money. Firstly, mention that you are looking for investment and how much exactly it is you are looking for. There is no need to mention all the loan details, but the reader needs to be aware that he or she is reading a pitch for a loan. Make sure you mention how much equity is being offered in return for the investment. The easiest way to get this right is to use the principle components of a sales pitch, according to Noah Parsons.
These will include the problem you are trying to solve with your product or service and the solution you are offering as two separate points. That will be followed by a breakdown of your target market as well as the competition you are up against. Then you need to focus on your team, the people who will be working with you to make the plan work. From there, move on to the important things like a financial summary, projected revenue, expenses and so on. Explain how you will earn revenue and how your investor will benefit and how quickly you foresee them benefiting. Lastly, mention milestones. Your reader wants to know what your goals are and how you are going to make them happen. If you have made any progress toward these milestones, then this is a good time to mention them.