In literature, summaries hold great significance on the reader’s understanding of a written work. It lays out the main idea the author would want to convey. The same goes for business documents. As you may have noticed, formal business documents like business plans and proposals are usually longer than one page. That is why a business executive summary exists. This specific element provides a synopsis of the key features and other essential points discussed in the main document. Learn more about it as you read this article.
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What Is an Executive Summary?
Also known as a management summary, an executive summary can either be a short document or just a component of a whole business document. It enables the readers to have a gist of the content of a comprehensive document even without reading the rest of the sections in its entirety. Moreover, a business plan executive summary serves as an introduction to your business’ objectives and plans. If written effectively, you have higher chances of sealing the deal with investors and lenders.
How to Write an Executive Summary
Having an executive summary template or a business proposal executive summary sample will make the writing process less challenging and tedious for you. Don’t have any of these resources yet? Worry not! We have listed down the steps to guide you in creating the document.
1. Write an Overview
An executive summary format starts with your business’ overview. In this section, you have to tell the readers the name of your business, its nature, the products or services you provide, and how these will help solve the problems of the market.
2. Define the Target Market
Then, specify the market your business aims to cater to. After this, you should also discuss your business’s competitive edge and its marketing strategy. It is important for the readers, especially the investors, to know what sets your company apart from the others and how you plan to reach the target market. This way, they can determine if your enterprise is worth their investment.
3. Discuss the Business Operations
You don’t have to lay out all the details of your operations here, just the basics. The information you need to convey includes your office location, the type of business, and whether you will operate via a physical store, online store, or a combination of both.
Aside from budgeting, a financial forecast is also crucial in businesses. It is one of the parts of an executive summary wherein you will show your company’s projected revenue for the next few years. Also, you should compute and present your break-even point.
5. Specify Your Investment Needs
If you read an executive summary sample for an investment proposal, you will notice that there is a section reserved for the details of your investment or financing needs. Be specific with the numbers and make sure that these will be in line with the forecasts from the previous section.
How long is an executive summary?
Although there is a one-page executive summary sample, professionals say that the length of your executive summary varies. It depends on how long is the entire content of your actual document. The more comprehensive the document, the longer your executive summary will be. Nevertheless, the average length of an executive summary is one to four pages long.
What are the elements of an executive summary?
According to Forbes, here are the elements you should include in your executive summary, as recommended by the Small Business Administration:
- Company Overview
- Management Team
- Market Analysis
- Marketing Strategy
- Financial Forecast
- Investment Request
What is the difference between an executive summary and an introduction?
An introduction and an executive summary have two distinct purposes. The introduction is like the first chapter of the book, which only introduces you to the main characters and the idea of the story. On the other hand, the executive summary tries to condense the whole story and deliver it in a way that the readers will know the full content.
According to an article from Entrepreneur, investors look into five things before deciding to invest in a company. These factors include the business’ financial performance, background and experience, uniqueness, customer base, and a solid business plan. Bearing these in mind, make sure that your executive summary will highlight these factors to compel the investors to help you with your financing needs. Also, see to it that your summary is effective and interesting enough. Need help? Check the sample documents and templates provided above!
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