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Business Plan 101: Executive Summary

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Your executive summary is typically the first thing an investor or bank will look at prior to investing or granting a business loan.

The executive summary should highlight the strengths of your plan and is the last section written of the business plan. It typically one or two pages, and it should be concise and precise. Although experts disagree on the actual length of the executive summary, every word counts, so choose your words wisely.

Related Post: Sections of A Business Plan

Things that should be included in your executive summary include:

If you are an established business…

  • The Mission Statement – This is an explanation of what your business is about and should be completed in about a paragraph.
  • Company Information – Include a short statement with the time that your business was formed, founder(s) and their roles, number of employee(s), and your business location(s).
  • Growth Highlights – Include examples of company growth, such as financials or market highlights. Including visually appealing graphs or charts is generally recommended.
  • Your Products & Services – Briefly describe the company’s products and services
  • Financial Information – If you currently have bank accounts or loans, include that information in this section.
  • Summary of Future Plans –  Explain the plan for the future of your business.

If you are a startup or new business…

  • You should focus on your experience and background in addition to decisions that led you to start your venture.
  • Include what you have done through market analysis and additional information about a need or a gap in the target market and how your venture and its solutions will fill that gap. Convince the potential reader or investor that you can succeed in the target market and then address future plans.
Additional Tips
  • Double check for style, punctuation, spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Have someone else read it over.
  • Keep language strong and positive.
  • Keep your audience in mind.
  • Avoid technical jargon.
  • Remember to sell, not just describe.
  • Write it last.
  • The executive summary can also include sections for risk and opportunity, information about your competition, and industry analysis.

Source: SBA.gov

Also check out: The Art of the Executive Summary | Example Executive Summary

 

Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.
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