You have a plan to dominate the world. Well, maybe not, but you’ve a plan for your small business, to grow you firm, to improve your financial status… whatever. The key word right here is plan.
And to fulfill that plan we encourage you to write down an executive summary.
What is an executive summary?
A document that summarizes key factors of a report. On it, you’ll emphasize the aim of the report, highlight some key points of it and end up with some final conclusions.
In this summary you will explain briefly what is expected on that report. That is, you will summarize a 100-page document on 3-4 pages. This is important if you are trying to get investors for your company as your executive summary will show them the issue or issues your startup is going to solve.
So, yes, your business plan must have an executive summary to make things clear. Remember, you are not writing for yourself, but for any other persons that maybe don’t have time to read that 100-page long idea.
Writing the perfect executive summary.
First thing first: write the report.
Yes, as you will be summarizing all that 100-page stuff, take some time to read it and find the main points you will highlight.
Also, as a resumé, you can have different summaries tailored for any audience: if your potential investor is focusing on growth, that information will be the most relevant. But if your investor wants to know how you will start working, you will have to highlight on the executive summary the resources you need for the very start of your business.
Remember: you will send the info to people that do not have the time to read a full business plan, so don’t force them to dig into a 100-page document to find out the important content. Just give it to them.
Also, an important thing is that the person that will receive your business plan may have no idea of the technical language of your business. Some technical words are ok, but don’t force your audience to do a research on the meaning of that technical term in plain English, specially if those terms are the only way to tell your ideas.
Of course, if you want arouse your reader’s curiosity, a 3-5 page document is enough. Keep things short and easy to read.
And, please, don’t use too many subtitles or lists as this will make your reader to think of a difficult to read document.
Parts of an executive summary.
Yes, you DO need to follow an structure. And we recommend you following this one:
- Introduction: the topic and the main purpose of your document. Of course, if you can’t find the point of the summary, there is no need for one.
- The problem itself: describe the issue that forced you to create a full report.
- Analysis: what improvements can you do to force changes?
- Analysis results: don’t forget to write about the methods you used while analyzing, how long the research has taken, sources of information and even some state-of-the-art information.
- Recommendations: of course, you have a solution for the issue and you want to move to action. Explain it. And even create a call to action.
Remember this is a document that has to stand on its own, like a proposal, not an abstract or an introduction to the full report. It has to capture the attention of your audience (that makes customization more important) and it has to be a full stand-alone document. You want your readers to move forward, to go a step further on your relationship.
So, for you, as an entrepreneur, the executive summary is your tool to introduce your idea to investors.
Is a proposal an executive summary?
Well, somehow. There are some areas that may need executive summaries as a tool for sales. Architecture projects can benefit of a proposal software as Quoters: you don’t need to present your client the whole report, just a summary of it (and you can use any of our templates for it). And if you do it in a cool way using videos, photos and graphics, your client will understand better what you will be doing.
Also, and as stated before, you can send a Quoters proposal to your potential investors, making it easier for them your business plan and, using Zapier, you can trigger an action to send a link to their emails to create an appointment for a meeting.
So, isn’t it cool to create executive summaries to sell more?