The heart to explain your business. Quickly
Short but exhaustive. Condensed but rich. A summary yet captivating. In a few steps, we explain how to write the right way to capture the reader's attention.
It is the heart of your business plan, the first part of the document that your interlocutors will read, but usually the last part you will write. It summarises your project, your idea, your strategy. It explains who you are, what you want to do, how you want to do it and why you are the right person or company to do it. It summarizes your entire proposal in a few lines of text with the key figures. It is the key to being heard by those who must believe in you, to making them continue reading the document and getting a thorough understanding of your project.
Startup or consolidated company? This is the first crossroads: to write the most correct, the most pertinent, the most convincing Executive Summary. One road leads to investors, the other to a company's top management:
Startup - If you are launching a new company, it will end up under the eyes of an investor. Bank manager, angel investor or venture capitalist, it does not matter. Before convincing him to fund your project, you will have to get him to continue reading the plan. To do this, you will have to focus on the solidity of your business idea.
Established business: If, on the other hand, you are a middle manager of a company, the Executive Summary will be targeted to arrive on your boss' desk or to some top management department in your company. In this case, you will have to focus on possible developments and business growth plans.
Let's see together what the 5 things are that cannot be omitted from an Executive Summary:
The opportunity - Explain to investors why your business idea is a winner and why it will work.
The market - Describe what your target audience will be, why your plan will work, what your business model is, what the extra element is that your products or services have compared to their competitors.
The strategy -Make a summary of your sales and marketing plans.
Numbers and people - Provide your financial plan and projections for the future for the first three years of activity. Present the managers and human resources who will be participating in the project and the reasons why they are the right people.
The kick-off - Emphasise the schedule and deadlines you have set for moving from a paper plan to cutting the ribbon.
The mission - Explain what your company does, what its vision, values, and guiding philosophy are.
The company - Speak briefly about the company, its history, the offices, products and services it provides, the market in which it operates, the number of employees.
The highlights - Describe the evolution of the company business and the results and growth achieved, using only some key figures.
The numbers - If you wish to update the business plan, make a summary of the financial plan
The objectives - Set business goals and explain how any new resources will be used to grow further and expand the business.
Tips and tricks to prevent your Executive Summary from ending up in the trash with your entire business plan.
One page can be enough. Two are perfect. Three may be too many. In any case, the Executive Summary should not be longer than 10% of the whole document.
Use a positive, strong, confident tone of voice. Always give the impression of believing in what you write and what you do.
Remember who will read your document. Write clearly, accurately and using the right language.
If you are making a proposal to investors, you must make it clear that they have a unique opportunity on their hands.
Include in the Executive Summary data that can be found and discussed in depth only within the plan itself.
Capture the attention at the beginning with a couple of phrases that present the whole project idea in the best light.
Read your Executive Summary many times also out loud. If it flows, is clear and without errors or repetitions, then it's really ready.