Executive Summary, What Is it?
An executive summary is a short section or document of a Business Plan. It’s used to give a reader a quick overview of the business and operations. In other words, it summarizes a report so that readers don’t have to read the whole plan to understand its purpose.
It contains a short statement that discusses the proposal or problem detailed in the attached documents and concise analysis, features background information, and a conclusion. An executive summary is designed to help readers decide whether to go forth with the proposal or not, making it critically important.
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What Goes into an Executive Summary?
When you write an executive summary, there are guidelines to highlight all important sections of the business plan. For example, a restaurant business needs to discuss the number of dishes you will prepare and its location.
Appropriate Language for Executive Summary
The vocabulary used should be relevant to the target audience. One of the essential things to know before you write professionally is to know who you are addressing. If you’re writing for a group of investors, the vocabulary you’ll use will vary greatly from how you would write to a group of bankers as a business owner. That includes more than just the use of words, but the content and depth of explanation.
That said, despite the target of your executive summary, you want to avoid being lengthy. Keep your statements short and concise. A block of text, no matter how engaging or elegant, can be off-putting. Remember, it’s a summary, and people will be reading it to quickly and easily pull out the main items.
You also want to catch a reader’s attention immediately in the first paragraph. It is just like a speech often opens with a joke to break the tension and put people at ease, so a great introductory paragraph can drag a reader in and make them interesting and want to read on. That doesn’t mean you start with that technique. A business plan is an important document. The language should be professional without any jokes. Please stick to your strengths, but remember, most investors or readers only give you a few lines to win them over before they move on.
Don’t forget to include organizational structure and what is the mission and vision of your business. Investors need to know why you want to start this business and change your customer’s life.
It might sound not as important, but begin with a proper table of contents and include bullet points in your discussion as much as you can. Another way of explaining your ideas is the use of graphs and charts. You can include a few charts or graphs, which will make it easier for the reader to understand what you are thinking.
The executive summary should not deviate from the subject that follows it. It’s a summary, not a place to discuss unimportant stuff. To do so would be complicated and would risk your whole proposal.
Include a problem or establish the need and convince the targeted audience that it should be solved. Once that is done, it’s essential to recommend a proper solution and show its worth. Be clear and specific in your recommendation.
Justify your case. Be sure to highlight the key reasons why your company is the perfect fit for the solution you’re proposing. This is a point where you can win investors, bankers, or any other interested party. You should also include a solid conclusion in your Executive Summary.
Ideal Format of Executive Summary
Put all of that information together; here’s the basic format of an excellent executive summary:
- Introduction, highlight the audience.
- Table of contents – Include bullets or graphs
- Explain the Mission and Vision of the Business Plan
- Explain the need or the problem, and provide a conclusion.
- Recommend a solution and explain its worth.
- Include any Milestones of the future.
- If possible, include key staff; you will have to support the above.