Write a Winning Executive Summary

writing an executive summary for a

business plan can be a daunting task

where do you start

what should you write about how should

it be structured it's no wonder the

executive summary is sometimes the most

difficult section of the business plan

to write so this presentation will

hopefully provide you with a simple

formula to tackle the most important

part of your business part if you

haven't yet spent a lot of energy time

blood sweat tears researching

forecasting and synthesizing your

business plan it will be impossible to

summarize key initiatives and for this

reason it is important that you save the

summary for last that way all your

thoughts will be well organized and your

executive summary will be congruent with

the content of your business plan the

executive summary should capture the

attention of your reader through a well

documented and objective presentation of

the exciting direction your business

will take by the end of the executive

summary your reader should be intrigued

and want to read more so of course in a

nutshell an executive summary is the

first thing an investor banker adviser

or anyone will read if you are looking

for outside investment the executive

summary will crystallize the key issues

most important to your success without

giving away the whole story you will

want to make your reader read on make

sure you have a clear structure to your

executive summary so that it could be

considered it's very own document an

introduction a logical middle and a

conclusion that tells a compelling story

will best reflect the plan that follows

when standing alone the logical

structure should follow that of the

business plan it is in essence a mini

business plan therefore it needs to be

totally congruent with the contents of

the plan

before you write your summary reread

your plans main sections and extract

information from there this is not the

time to reinvent all your great business

ideas congruence is one of the main ways

to invoke the confidence of your reader

numbers facts goals etc should all

mirror those in the business plan

another way to invoke confidence is to

support your claims with research

supported claims should be documented by

the way of footnotes citations at the

bottom of the page when reading through

your plan for congruence extract the

highlights on your plan the summary

needs to be succinct and therefore it

will be the primary initiatives and

goals that the reader will need to hear

them if you have a unique advantage for

example this is a really good place to

mention it

being succinct is definitely harder than

rambling on and on and on clear and

concise expression is reserved for those

who are experts in their subjects so

more the more succinct you are and the

clearer your message will be and

therefore the more confidence the reader

will have in your plan another thing you

can do before you get started is to dig

through your market research to uncover

compelling statistic that would really

capture the opportunity for your

business for example did you know nearly

two-thirds of China's 1.3 billion

population is under 35 or may be did you

know by 2020 700 million people in the

world will be 65 years of age or older

you can also use a compelling quote or

statement to create a strong opening


when writing be sure to keep the mood

positive focus on the positive aspects

of your venture and leave the risks and

barriers to the intersections of your

plan frame sentences positively for

example instead of there is no one in

the world who does it like we do try we

are the only ones who do it this way so

are you ready to write yet this simple

five paragraph formula should provide a

good base for writing a winning

executive summary each paragraph will

represent the main sections of your plan

in a logical congruent sequence you can

open this first paragraph with your

staggering statistic or other

attention-grabber then go on to provide

the name and nature of your business

what are the highlights of your main

products or services you can also

provide some insight into the dynamics

of your industry and how your business

plans to fit into this environment

next open your second paragraph with a

clear and concise description of your

target market be sure the reader knows

the need your business will fulfill then

give a sense of the competitive

landscape and your unique advantage it

is important that your marketing

strategy focus on three primary ways you

intend to reach your target market

describe only the main parts of each

leaving some entry so that the reader

will want to read the rest of your plan

as mentioned before it's the same

variety increases for your confidence

staying focused on the three main

marketing initiatives will give strength

to your strategy

the next paragraph of your executive

summaries should provide an overview of

operational highlights such as where

will you be located will you be a sole

proprietor or incorporate we'd be

brick-and-mortar or online and where

your suppliers be secured also - you

want to describe the relevant skills and

experience you and your prospective

managers have to support the business

and also define how that expertise will

make your business outshine the

competition paragraph 4 is about your

forecasting congruence here is critical

nothing loses the readers confidence

faster than changing numbers so detail

your year one in your huge ear to sale

projections and your expected profit by

the end of your one calculate your

break-even point and let the reader know

in which month you intend to turn profit

if your business requires financing this

is the time to detail the investment me

the number must be clear and reflect the

financial projections accurately

describe the sources of funding you

expect to use and if it has been secured

also detailed when the money will be


it is critical to keep it simple you are

an expert in your industry and the

reader wants to understand clearly what

the business is about make sure to limit

jargon and industry seriously and keep

sentences short and concise

I hope this presentation has provided

some insight into how to structure your

executive summary I hope it captivates

your reader while providing just enough

positive detail so that they continue

reading good luck with your business

plan and may you enjoy tremendous

success in this future thank you