Did you decide to create a business plan? Congratulations. This is the first step in finding out how your company will generate revenue and what you’re trying to do to get to the point where the balance sheet is positive, and your accountant ceases to feel sorry for you.
However, there’s the issue of the notorious executive summary that everyone seems to be seeking. In reality, confident investors may not look at the business proposal if they cannot make it past this summary of your ideal company. In fact, they may not read more than the opening two pages if it doesn’t grab their attention or at the very least make them intrigued.
The main questions we have to ask ourselves is: Should I draft the executive summary before I dive into writing the whole business plan? Or should I finish it later? What do I need to include in my executive summary? What length should it be, and how much information should I provide?
Let’s examine this in a group. Let’s look at this together, will we?
The most important thing to remember is an independent document, which should convey an entire and coherent narrative. It’s not a business plan, nor is it not a “short summary” of the plan, as the structure and tone may differ from the more complex document.
According to my experience, the executive summary is best treated as a marketing tool or a pamphlet, if you can, which you could distribute to prospective customers at the shop. It must be so appealing and appealing that any person would struggle to go through a boring 30-45 pages report (aka “the business strategy”). It must be so great that the reader would be willing to pay for proof of your outstanding claims. Saying.
The business plans themselves need to be highly formal and stuffed with figures and facts. Executive summaries can be somewhat informal. This isn’t to say that you have to write an open letter to your best friend. Instead, you need to find an avenue to communicate your ideas and yourself in the most genuine, concise, accessible and persuasive manner that you can.
Some people are comfortable and are great at creating slogans or prompting inquiries that will keep the readers intrigued. If you’re a great writer, however, I’d recommend avoiding the cheesy “buzz-wordy” advertising language. I have found that the most persuasive documents are those that tell a compelling story and keep it basic.
Consider how, with the drink at your neighbour’s house, could I present the purpose and concept behind my company, and what makes it the most significant thing to ever exist? You’d be able to tell whether they were polite or even genuinely interested. It is also likely that you will not try to sell it to neighbours using sales and marketing words.
It is likely that you will arrive at the central point quickly and then just talk about the highlights you know will entice them. It is likely that you be quite enthusiastic about it. So there it is. That’s how you’ll write an executive report. It’s as easy as that.
Do not try to impress anyone. Keep it simple. Be confident and enthusiastic about the chance. Be concise and clear. Be true to your personal “voice”. Just mention a few crucial facts and figures, and wrap your thoughts quickly.
It’s crucial to know that there isn’t any standard length. I’ll repeat, there’s any standard length. There are definitely some everyday things to note (we’ll come back to those in a minute); However, virtually every executive summary differs in terms of length.
Some may be as brief as a single page, while others can be as long as 4-5 pages. It all depends on the complexity of your business to establish. In general, I’d limit it to 2 pages, and ideally three pages (ideally only one page! ).
It can be tough to keep the plan short, but you must think about your audience. Like I mentioned in “7 Tips for Writing A Start-up Business Plan”, Investors are very busy and typically have limited attention spans and patience. Therefore, make it simple for them by providing a brief and concise executive summary, and you’ll increase the likelihood of them funding your business. Consider what is ABSOLUTELY important for them to think about investing in your business. All other information should be included in the business plan, not in the executive summary.
When you Google search “executive summary content”, you’ll get many different suggestions for what you can include in this document.
Each document is different, and it is possible to choose from the “Chinese Menu” the items you think are most appropriate to include and accomplish the task. Here’s the Chinese Menu (based upon my personal experience):
Problem (what do you think your product or service can solve)
Solution (how to do your product/service aid in solving it)
What is your motivation? (brief company description as well as a mission statement or team description if you have an excessive talent, otherwise pay attention to the company’s name along with the “secret sauce”)
Why is this time? (brief market analysis ) that shows the growth of the market and an apparent reason as to why now is the most appropriate moment in time to present and introduce your product or service… an element of urgency (if justifiable) isn’t a bad idea. Feel at ease to add visuals that provide additional information that you could briefly reference within this section.)
How can your company be successful? (highlight the tricks you have in your arsenal about sales and marketing, If they’re effective or else leave this out, as specific growth and success are already implicit by”Why now? “Why is this happening now?” section)
Financial Projections (really simply a brief overview of what you’re expecting to see in year 1, year two and year 3; you can include both profit and loss. The most important is to place these numbers in context to ensure that someone who doesn’t know anything about your company can comprehend the reason you’ll earn lots of money at the end of year 3… And do not go overboard, or nobody will believe you.)
The future plans (… of dominating the world or just keep your exit strategy in place, expanding and collaborating within your field)
Consider it as a Chinese Menu. Sometimes, less is better as the menu contains enough details that any person (even one who doesn’t know anything about financing and business) is likely to loan you cash. Be sure to make every word count!
HOW TO WRITE IT
Last! The end.
Why? Because, after battling to write your entire business plan, you’ll (and ought to be able to provide) all the answers people will ever want to know regarding your business. You’ll be familiar with all aspects that you can think of, from sales, marketing and goals and goals, and the present situation of your market that writing the executive overview will turn out to be effortless. It’ll be difficult to trim all the valuable bits of information you’ve included in the business plan to the minimum; however, at least you won’t have to fumble around trying to write the perfect page.
Make the executive summary at the end, and you’ll do yourself a favour. But, if you already have all the data you’ll need to include in your business plan in your head, and you are confident about it, you can begin with an executive summary. This hasn’t been a success in my case; however, who knows, perhaps you’re more adept at this?!
Tips to make it good
My experience and that of my customers has been helping me to find the appropriate amount of information, and the most important thing to include in the executive summary is pitching the idea verbally to a small group of people (can be colleagues, family members or your neighbour) who you are confident will not be able to steal the idea, and who can give constructive and honest feedback.
The act of putting it on the table and seeing how others react will show you quickly the things that work and what doesn’t. It’s possible to be surprised by to see which of the points that you’re trying to present they’ll be able to respond positively to. Usually, it’s something that you have always taken for granted yet is totally unfamiliar and fascinating for a stranger.
The executive summary doesn’t need to be complicated and intimidating to write in the end. In fact, you can have fun writing it since it’s where all your energy and experience can be channelled into a few persuasive paragraphs that will tell an exciting story that anyone would like to tell and be a part of. If you can get readers to be excited, you’re winning!