The executive summary is a succinct or concise overview of your business plan. As this is a summary, it should be written last and in as few pages as possible (one page should be sufficient). While the summary must be concise, it is important that it gets the reader’s attention. The executive summary should in essence be exciting, enthusiastic, professional, complete and concise. The idea behind the executive summary is to provide the person or organization you are submitting the plan to with an overview that covers all the important aspects of your document without them having to read through your entire business plan which might be anything from twenty to thirty pages, if not more. The following is a list of what you may include in your executive summary:
What should I include in the executive summary?
- Business concept or description
- Brief history of your business (if available)
- The products or services of your business
- Gap in the market
- Opportunity in the market or external environment
- Size of the opportunity and growth potential
- Market analysis summary
- The target market
- Who are your competitors?
- What will be your competitive advantage strategies?
- Who is in your management team?
- Funding requirements
- Proposed security
- Financial projections (summary of key points)
- Inherent risks and contingencies
- Exit strategy
If you are requesting for a loan, it is important to include the amount of the loan, what period it will cover, how the funds will be applied (for example, to purchase capital equipment such as machinery, finance the working capital requirements of your business and other factors), how the loan will make your business more profitable, an account on how the business will generate money to repay back the loan and information of what security you have proposed for the loan.
In summary, the executive summary sums up your business plan and should simply provide concise information with regard to: