How to Start a Business; Writing the Business Plan Executive Summary

Ugh, the dreaded logistics of starting a business. I, personally, would just like to pick a target market & design a product that’s perfect for those folks, & sell out on day one. Boom, rich! Right?

Well, sadly, that happens to approximately 0 people, ever! The last article on How to Start a Business, we really broke down Business Plans, their purpose, & their necessity. In this article, I’m going to teach you how to write a stellar executive summary. I am choosing to break down the instructions by section so we can really explore what each one should contain. I don’t want to write some generic article that leaves you no more prepared than before you read it. My hope is to light a spark, maybe inspire a little creativity, & teach you what works.

Let’s begin.

An Executive Summary must shine. This is your first impression, the hook. Whether or not this section shines, determines whether an investor or possible partner bothers reading the rest. Being brief is not optional. Neither is being exciting. Yes, you must be exciting, attention grabbing, but in the briefest way possible.

While the Executive Summary is the first thing in your business plan & the first thing potential partners or investors read, it is not the first thing you write. This is 1/2 a page to one page, max, compilation of the most attractive details of your business. You cannot summarize your business without the information from the remainder of the sections, it will not work.

What not to do, besides writing it first. Do NOT make the summary too long. I can’t tell you the precise length, however, it really should be no more than a page, in my humble opinion. On this page, you are going to capture the essence of your company.

On page 1, you are going to answer a lot of questions. Who are you? What is your mission? What can you offer the business world? Do you have goals? How will you achieve those goals? Are you targeting a specific market? What about your niche?

To be blunt, you must show what makes you special. What sets you apart? Why will consumers pick your business over others? Are you filling a void in the marketplace? Are you improving an existing product? How will you do this and what will it cost in comparison to other companies?

Since you must be brief but exciting, you want to end your executive summary with critical factors that will make your business a success. This will be business specific but some examples include; potential low turnover goals, exciting plans for a patent, a special strategic partnership, or any continuation of economic or market trends.

Finally, your executive summary is a glimpse of what is to come in the full plan. Write your other sections to the best of your ability & the summary often writes itself. Stick to the most important & interesting aspects of your company but leave them wanting to know more. Good Luck!

Tomorrow, I will post how to write the next section. Have a good evening!

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