Before I get into today’s topic of how to write a juicy business plan executive summary, I want to share some exciting news with you.
I will be offering a live online business plan writing course this year. I’m still ironing out the dates, but wanted to give you a heads up.
As some of you may know, I previously offered a Business Plan Writing 101 course at the Urban League of Greater Cleveland in Cleveland, Ohio. I’m very happy to offer an online, more comprehensive version of the course for those of you who have been looking for some help with writing your own business plan.
Also, just to let you in on a little secret — everyone who enrolls in the B-Plan Writing Course and finishes the weekly assignments will have a completed business plan when it’s all said and done. Stay tuned for more details.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to dissect every component of the business plan to help you get the results you want. Today, we’re going to dig into the details of the Executive Summary.
There’s a great deal of research you should conduct before actually sitting down to write your business plan. But for the purposes of this series, we’re going to assume you already have an amazingly marketable product or service and just need help with developing or refining your plan.
Writing a Business Plan Executive Summary
While the Executive Summary should be the first section of your business plan, you should NEVER write it first. Why? It’s a summary of your entire plan and will be much easier to write when you have the other sections completed.
Your business plan Executive Summary should give a snapshot of your company’s mission, goals, competitiveness and market. It’ also important to include your purpose for presenting the plan (if you’re requesting funding). Here’s some key information I suggest including in your Executive Summary:
- “Fundability statement” – tell the reader upfront in a paragraph or two all about your mission and why your business idea is amazing
- Market outlook – share statistics about the viability of your industry
- Objectives and keys to success – share your business goals and how you plan to achieve them
- Financial considerations – be upfront about your request (how much money are you requesting, what personal funds do you have, when will your reach a break-even point and profitability based on your financial plan)
Your plan’s summary should be short and sweet — no more than three to four pages. You want it to be thorough enough to intrigue the reader. The point is to have the reader so absolutely fascinated with your plan that they want to hear all about your business.
Ever go to the bookstore and read the back of the book to help you decide if you want to buy it or not? Your plan’s executive summary is like the back of the book … so make it memorable.
There’s no homework this week because the business plan Executive Summary should always be written last. So tuck this email away in a safe place so you can refer to it later. I guess that’s the assignment — put this email in a safe place.
P.S. I will be sharing sample content for each business plan section EXCLUSIVELY with my email subscribers. If you haven’t already signed up, click here now. As a subscriber, you’ll get access to sample content pulled directly from a business plan described by a lender as “one of the best business plans he’s seen.”