Not everyone can pay attention to written work for a long time. With the short attention span that most people have, studies show that 55% of individuals spend only about 15 seconds on a particular blog post. Unfortunately, that does not only apply to pages on the internet. People not reading the entire article or content are also true in business-related documents, especially those that consist of numerous pages. That is why an executive summary exists. This type of document is beneficial in business plans, proposals, and even marketing plans.
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What Is an Executive Summary?
People who play an essential role in business, such as lenders, investors, and executives, don’t have all the time in the world. With that said, they struggle to find time to read a lengthy document you will present. For this reason, you have to make it easier for them to understand the entirety of that particular material without them having to read from cover to cover. And you can do this by writing an executive summary. As the name suggests, a business executive summary provides the readers with an overview of a report, proposal, or any longer document used in business. Moreover, it is crucial to include the major details in this material, especially when you are creating a business plan executive summary.
How to Write An Executive Summary
If you cannot find an executive summary template or an executive summary sample for a proposal that would befit your current need, we’re going to help you out. Listed below are five steps to help you write an executive summary for whichever purpose it may serve you.
1. Study the Document
Before you start writing the executive summary, it is vital to study and fully understand the business document you are going to summarize. And if you are the writer of the longer version of the report, plan, or proposal, you must still review its content. In doing so, make sure to outline and extract the most important parts because you will need them later on.
2. Write a Business Overview
One of the many parts of an executive summary is the business overview. This section gives the readers the necessary information about a company, such as its name, nature, and business offers. After that, you must also discuss how the target market can benefit from your product or service.
3. Specify the Target Market
Your next paragraph should talk about your target market or the people who are willing to spend to avail of your business offers. Aside from that, you must also indicate your competitive edge in the industry. If you are going to present this document to the investors, they must know what sets apart from the others. This way, there will be a higher chance that they will invest in your company.
4. Lay Out the Business Operations
In this section, write down the necessary details involving your daily operations. It includes your business location and type of company. You must also note down if you operate through a physical store, online pages, or a combination of both.
5. Provide a Financial Overview
If your company is running for a while now, it will help if you provide a financial overview. You may highlight the most recent annual revenue and the sales trend for the past few months. Moreover, you must also include the financial forecast for this section.
What should I include in an executive summary?
An executive summary format usually has the following components:
How long should an executive summary be?
We may have seen one-page executive summary samples; however, there is no standard length for this document. Its content will solely depend on the size of the proposal or business plan you are presenting. But according to Inc., an executive summary generally has four pages.
Is the executive summary and introduction the same?
No, an executive summary and an introduction are not the same. An executive summary gives the full details in a condensed version. Meanwhile, an introduction only introduces the discussion or topic at hand.
Results of the study from Columbia University showed that most people just read the headlines of a news article then share it on social media. In fact, 59% of the links have never been opened, yet people share them on various websites. The truth is, most of us don’t bother spending our time reading lengthy content, especially when it is from business-related documents. And having an overview will suffice. Thus, the importance of executive summaries. Create yours now with the help of the sample documents and templates provided in this article!
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