Executive Summary: Successfully Compile All Your Business Plan Information On One Page
Most of your readers will consider the Executive Summary as the most important part of your business plan. This condensed version of your business plan is the perfect moment to engage your readers’ curiosity and tell them why they need to read the rest of your business plan. We’ll show you how to ace your executive summary so as to intrigue your reader and engage their curiosity so they carry on reading.
Do you remember when you were in high school or college? Whether it was a long time ago or not, we’ve all known this one student that was able to efficiently summarize a 10-hour course into a single note card. He wasn’t necessarily at the top of the class but had this wonderful ability to effortlessly detect vital information and compile it into a condensed, yet readable text. It is more than crucial to have this skill as a student and is even more valuable later in life for those who know how to capitalize on it.
Fortunately, we have been able to find some of these highly skilled writers and hire them amongst our staff. These top professionals are the best at what they do and we’ve convinced them to reveal their top 5 pro secrets to help you ace your executive summary:
- It’s a common misconception people have that an executive summary is the same thing as an introduction. You should view the executive summary as the note card of your business plan and not the prelude to the rest of your symphony. An introduction lays the foundation and topics developed in the report whilst an executive summary divulges all the key information on one page, clearly outlining your entrepreneurial goals and what you’re asking for.
- Now is the time to sell your project, but don’t mistake that with a common service/product sales pitch. You’re selling your project, not your product. Reveal the outcome of each part of the business plan and hook your reader by making him question how you came to that conclusion. If you’re able to catch your reader’s attention and have him turn to the next page, you’ve conquered the biggest challenge in the pursuit of your objective.
- Your Executive Summary should fit on one page, max. We highly recommend that you don’t write more. Every word counts and there’s limited space to convey your message. As an entrepreneur, the project is bound to you and you might be tempted to show your motivation for creating it. But refrain from revealing your motivation, you’ll have the opportunity to do so later.
- A powerful yet simple tip to writing your executive summary is to take each section of your business plan (which you can find here) and write a short 1-2 sentence summary for each. Write these summaries immediately after you finish writing that chapter so that all the vital information and the message you want to convey is still fresh in your head. Then, order these chapter summaries in the same sequence as they appear in your table of contents and finish with what you are asking for. This brings us to our 5th and last point…
- Maybe the only thing an executive summary has in common with the introduction is that you should write it last! This one might be obvious, how can you write a summary of a text you don’t have? But many novice business plan writers are tempted to dive into the writing of this part first since they know exactly how their business plan is going to look. We recommend, however, as stated in point 4, that you draft a summary of each part of the business plan upon completion of said part, and then compile these together to form your executive summary.
Whether your business plan is intended for investors, immigration officers, or is internal, the executive summary is the first and sometimes the only page that will be read. It weighs a great deal in the decision-making process of your reader and the decision-making they read the rest of your business plan. Writing a proper executive summary is winning half the battle.