How to Write a Business Plan Executive Summary

How to Write a Business Plan Executive Summary Section

Business Plan Template: How to Write a Business Plan Executive Summary

Executive Summary

The executive summary is an overview of your business plan.  This section will summarize your company description, products and services, marketing and sales strategy, management, startup expenses, and your financial plan.

Since this section of your plan highlights each of the sections in the plan, it is often best to write it last.  The executive summary is most important to capturing the attention of potential investors or partners so they will be interested in reading more about your opportunity.

It is the “cover letter” for your business resume.   Be thorough in capturing the highlights of your business, in showing the opportunity for the business, and in sharing information that will entice the reader to want to read on about your new business.

Tips for Writing an Executive Summary

Summarize each section.  Highlight one or two key points from each section and write them as compelling sentences that will encourage your readers to want to know more.

Prepare the key points into a summary.  Take your highlights and condense them into a few short paragraphs that will support your two goals:   interesting the reader in your business and the opportunity for success and enticing the reader to want to read beyond the business plan executive summary.

Put your summary in writing. Keep the summary short, one page, two at most.  Remember, the goal is to get the reader interested.  Give them enough information to want more.  Make sure your sentences are positive and engaging.

Show confidence in your statements that will make the reader (or potential investor) want more.  For example, “Ben’s Veggie Burgers will be in a position to meet the needs of the expected 15% growth in vegetarian diners in Cleveland”.

Avoid vague statements that are unproven like “Ben’s Veggie Burgers guarantees the best service and best burgers in Cleveland”.

Whatever you state in the summary should be backed up with data in your business plan sections.

Practice the summary.  Read the summary out loud and revise.   Read it to your business partner or family and revise.

Polish the summary.  Once you have written and revised, let a colleague or friend that knows nothing about your business read it and provide feedback.   Revise again as needed.  Once you have fine tuned the summary, set it aside for a day or two and then review.

Final Thoughts

The executive summary is a key component of your plan.  If it is poorly written or unclear, your plan may not get read.   If it is well-written, factual, and enticing, you will get your reader (and your potential investor) to read on and find out more about your opportunity to succeed in business!

Now it’s your turn!  Compile your ideas for your business and prepare an outline to start building your business plan.


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