Executive Summary – Creating a Business Plan
If you read our first post in this series, you know that while an executive summary is the first section of a business plan, we made it the last thing we cover. Why? Because writing it will be so much easier once you know everything that should be included. An executive summary provides a brief overview of what’s going to be covered in your business plan — by having everything already written, you know exactly what you need to cover. Here are the five aspects you need to include in your executive summary:
It’s important to start off strong here. Remember, this is the first thing that people are going to read, and you want to ensure they don’t just read the rest of the summary but your entire business plan. Start with something unique or interesting that sets your business apart from others within your industry.
Once you have the hook down, move on to general information about your business and what you do. This can include when and where you started, your products and services, and details about your management team and staff.
Here you’ll give an overview of what the market looks like for your industry. This includes who your competitors are, trends regarding your services, and the advantages of your business. Remember, keep this high level, as you’ll go into more detail later in the plan.
Products and Services
Using the need in the market you just established, describe how the products and services you provide fill that need. Include details about your current sales, how the products/services you offer have evolved, and major milestones for your business. Again, keep this to high-level highlights.
In this section, you’ll cover the current sales and profits for your business, any future funding you anticipate having, and what you’re hoping to achieve in the future. Share any funding your business has received up until this point.
Depending on what you’re planning on using this business plan for, this can mean many things. For example, if you’re hoping to buy another business for expansion, you can share how this will benefit both sides and predicted growth.
Here are some tips to keep in mind while writing your summary:
- Write to the reader
- Keep things concise
- Use bullet points
- Show off your strengths
- Let someone else read it
Now that we’ve reached the end of this blog series, you have all the tools you need to create the strongest business plan possible. You now have a great road map for the future of your business, as well as a documented look back at the past.
Good luck and happy planning!
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Scott Jones is Vice President, Senior Relationship Manager at Regions | EnerBank. For over ten years, he's focused on helping home improvement contractors sell more projects and make more money. He's worked with hundreds of contractors of various sizes, from $500,000 to $150 million in annual revenue. Before joining EnerBank, Scott spent several years in management roles, including with Pella Windows.