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The Business Plan: How to Write a Good Executive Summary

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The Business Plan: How to Write a Good Executive Summary

The executive summary of a business plan is an important section that  would keep a reader, a potential investor interested in what you have to offer or not. A well-written business plan has different sections including the two most important, in my opinion, the Executive summary and the financial projections/summary. Whatever you do with your business plan you must make sure you nail these two sections.

The executive summary is a shortened version of your full-length business plan. Here’s a look at what makes a good executive summary for your business plan.

Problem Statement

Customers are only willing to pay money for products and services that address their problems. The executive summary must therefore define the problem that your business professes to solve.

The Solution

Investors want plain English explanation of your solution to the problem. This must be plain enough for everyone to understand. Your solution must fittingly solve the problem stated earlier.

Market Size

You must include a well-researched number of potential buyers of your product or service. Don’t purport to have the entire world as your potential buyers. Be exact and honest. Ideas that purport to have everyone as a customer are not real businesses – unless you’re selling life. Even with that!

Revenue Streams

Describe the various channels your business will obtain revenue. Examples are product sales, subscriptions, licensing, etc. You can include names of businesses who are already major customers

Competition

The fastest way to have your plan thrown out is to boast that you have no competitors. You do. Every business has competitors. Dedicate two sentences to address the two biggest competitors with each one’s competitive advantage.

Marketing Strategy

Offer your plan to build awareness and drive sales, in the short and long term

Sales Strategy

Show how you intend to sell your products or services. Through full-time or part-time sales people, through online downloads, or strategic partnerships with bigger companies that can do much of the selling for you.

Customer Retention

Demonstrate how you plan to stop competitors from poaching your best customers and how you would react to alternative/new products that sweep your customers away.

Management

Investors want to know who make up the management team of your business. They want to know the people who will be in charge of the business. Dedicate some few lines to tell them about the management team.

Capital Required

You’re not getting a cheque from an investor if they are not sure what the money will be used for and the potential return on the investment. Clearly, state the amount needed, what it will be used for and why, and at least a theoretical return over a specific time period. Mind you, investors understand that these figures are estimates and they’ll take their time to make sense out of them first. But the point here is to demonstrate that you have thought through the issues the best way you can.

 

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