Tips to create a killer Executive summary for Business Plan

The Myth

It is a false notion that the executive summary is the miniature version of your entire business plan. Sorry, it is not !!

The Reality

The purpose of the executive summary is:

  • To attract and tease the investor enough to read the rest of business plan.
  • To summarize the opportunity without fully disclosing how it will be done.

It is your first and perhaps the only chance to make a good impression.

When to write and the length

The executive summary should be written last after you have finished the entire document. Preferred length is one to two pages depending on the length of the overallbusiness plan. It does not have to answer all the questions (otherwise why would anyone read the complete document), but the most important ones.

Best Practices

Tip #1 – Include a “One Line Pitch” – This excites the reader to find out more. It also grabs the attention immediately.

Tip #2 – Must answer the few fundamental questions:

  1. “What business you are in?”
    • Customer Problem – Is it big and important enough?
    • Business Concept & Your Solution
    • What is the Revenue Model?
    • How will you acquire customers?
  2. “What is the market size and need? Is it worth pursuing?” 
    • Target Market – current and potential customers
    • Size & Growth of market
    • Why now?
  3. “How is the company uniquely qualified to succeed in that market?”
    • Who are your competitors? What are your competitive advantages?
    • Traction Received / Proof of Concept results
    • Ability of the Team to execute the idea
  4. “How much funding do you require, why and what will be the returns?”
    • Capital Sought & Usage
    • Previous Capital Raised
    • Growth Projection & Returns (with explaination)

Tip # 3 – Should be logical and compelling with smooth flow – Answer to each of the questions should logically convince the investor that this is the right business to invest in. As in any document or presentation, the flow should not be jerky. Try to build a smooth flow / storyline.

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