Things You’ll Need:
* A good business idea
* Access to data regarding your market, competition, and financial requirements
* Access to an up-to-date listing of business lenders and investors.
1.) Write the details of your business plan, including a management summary, marketing analysis, competition overview, marketing and operations plan, and, of course, a financial plan for the next three to five years. If you’re seeking substantial funding, consider using an experienced professional to write and/or polish your plan. Always write the plan BEFORE you write your executive summary.
2.) Plan to stay on topic and commit to your approach before putting words to paper. “Plan your plan” so to speak.
3.) Maintain an authoritative and positive tone. Use strong, knowledgeable words and phrases, not sales rhetoric. Experienced readers, both lenders and investors, have “seen it all”. They can quickly separate a thoughtful, focused executive summary from a sales pitch.
4.) Target your executive summary to your potential audience. Are you seeking a business loan or investment funds? Lenders are most concerned about a sufficient cash flow that will enable you to repay your business loan. Investors, on the other hand, are more interested in potential profit and the future value of the company. If you’re unsure about potential sourced of capital, you may consider writing two executive summaries: one for lenders and another for investors.
5.) Keep it brief! If possible, use just one page. Should you need more words to convey your message, two pages should be the absolute maximum length. Experienced readers often see multiple business plans everyday. Thus, many will only read those with an executive summary that piques their interest.
6.) Re-read and revise your executive summary. While you’re wildly enthusiastic about your business model, resist the temptation to tell your reader “everything” about this opportunity. Remember, readers will learn all of the details by examining the full business plan. Eliminate all unnecessary words and phrases from your summary. Concentrate on making this document hard hitting, interesting and being viewed as a “call to action”.
7.) Read it aloud. Ask yourself: “How does it sound? If I were a lender or investor, would I want to learn more?” If your honest answers are “Yes”, then you’ve written a good executive summary.