How to Write an Executive Summary

The Executive Summary (sometimes called Business Summary) is located on a page all its own. Aside from the Table of Content and your cover page, it is the first page others will see.

This is the entire business plan summarized in 4-5 paragraphs, not to exceed two pages. The purpose of the Summary is to benefit both you and your reader.

For you, the Executive Summary is to help you firm your thoughts by highlighting the key points, helps you set priorities, and provides a foundation of the full plan.

For your readers, it helps spark their attention and imagination, makes them want to read more, and conveys the quality of the business plan.

Some like to write the Executive Summary first to get a better feel for the plan. Some like to wait until last after they have written all the plan details. It is up to you. I, personally, find it works better for me to have written the entire business plan before writing the Executive Summary. Once you have the foundation of your business plan written, it is easy to summarize it in a few paragraphs.

In short, describe who you are. What you are hoping to accomplish. Where you are located. And, finally, when you plan on accomplishing this. Your Executive Summary must include these sections.

A. Business Purpose and History
B. Products and Services Rendered
C. Market Summary – target market and area served
D. Location – site benefits, biz image, traffic/pedestrian
E. Advertising and Promotion
F. Competitive Plan: distinction from competitors; if existing biz-track record
G. Sales Growth Plan – sales forecasts, assumptions, success measures

Sample:

My Unique Cookery was started in January 2006 to help others unravel the mysteries of healthy eating and living through tidbits of knowledge, healthy substitutions, and scrumptious recipes. (BUSINESS PURPOSE AND HISTORY)

Our products will consist of original recipe cookbooks, newsletters, and other printed literature containing information on how to live a health-oriented lifestyle. Our services will include cooking classes, speaking presentations, and various writing classes.

Our target market will consist of the hugely popular, and expanding, health-related field. We will concentrate on those wanting to live a more natural, holistic live. We will serve a worldwide area.

Location-wise, our home office is located in Washington state. This provides us with local contacts, the local field, and much networking possibilities. We will establish ourselves as experts in the healthy living field. We will become involved in local publications, networking groups, and other venues. Once again, we will also have an international traffic/audience.

We will promote ourselves locally via publications, trade journals, speaking engagements, and cooking classes. Internationally, we will become involved in a variety of websites with like-minded firms. We will write articles, maintain a website, write books, etc. We will expand our advertising budget and services as needed.

My Unique Cookery will distinguish itself from our competition by offering a variety of health-related education both locally and internationally. We offer ‘green living’ suggestions and frugal suggestions that our competition does not. Plus, there are a variety of services offered by us that our competition does not offer (such as promoting frugal living).

We expect to increase our sales by at least 50% each year. As our company grows, we will obtain sales representatives in new areas. We have plans to franchise our operations. We will analyze growing areas, successfulness, and change as needed. We are assuming the health-related field will grow at the rate it currently is.

The Executive Summary is an important piece of information to draw your readers in. Use it wisely.

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