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How to Write a Strong Executive Summary for a Business Plan

written by: Ivana Banks•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 9/9/2010

Have you written your business plan, but don't know how to compose the executive summary? This article will show you how!

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    Introduction: What is an Executive Summary?

    An executive summary is a condensed overview that summarizes a business plan. This section is designed for readers to get an idea of all the most important aspects of the business plan without having to read the entire document. An executive summary also serves as a very important tool to aid in any managerial judgments set forth by business managers.

    Although an executive summary is the introduction to your business plan, this section should be the last part written in the business plan. Nonetheless, it should provide a summary of all relevant issues that are addressed in the entire business plan document. Moreover, an executive summary should include summarized statements that would include the following:

    • Description of your company, products, and/or services
    • The company's mission statement
    • The company's management
    • The market and how it relates to your customer
    • Marketing and sales information
    • Your competition
    • The business's operations
    • Financial plans and projections

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    Business Plan

    Executive Summary of The Business Plan
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    So, How Do I Write An Executive Summary?

    Now that you have a list of relevant summarized statements that you should address, where do you go from here? Well first, you should begin by including informative, three or four summarized sentences about each topic. What works best for most people is that they will take a couple of summarized statements from their actual business plan and include them in the executive summary for each topic. For instance, you may include a couple of statements taken from the Marketing and Sales section of your business plan. All in all, this will aid you in creating the remaining statements for each topic of the executive summary.

    Finally, you must close the executive summary with a memorable closing sentence. This closing sentence should be written to “seal the deal" by letting your readers know that this business plan is both sound and practical. Your closing sentence should include something like, “Our caring and trustworthy staff of nursing professionals provides an excellent place for your loved-one's nursing care needs".

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    Your Executive Summary is Vital To Your Business Plan

    Tailor your executve summary to your readers
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    Tips On Creativity: How To Write a Strong Executive Summary for a Business Plan

    • Create a strong and positive tone to your executive plan. By using weak language and words that make your company appear ordinary, your reader will not be able to distinguish you from the rest. Moreover, stay away from mediocre words used to describe your business such as good, typical, normal, average, or usual. Instead, opt to use words that create a strong and superior position such as excellent, best, accomplished, magnificent, notable, priceless, superb, finest, exquisite, and top-notch.

    • Know your audience, then create your executive summary around their expectations. For the most part, business plans are usually designed to impress investors; therefore you should conform your executive summary with this in mind. For instance, if you were the investor, what would you like an executive summary to include?

    • Once you finish reading the executive summary of your business plan...reread it. You should be checking for misspellings, improper grammar, and clarity. If you need a second opinion, then you should enlist the help of family, business associates, or friends.

    • Focus on summarizing the business plan only. When writing the executive summary, please keep in mind that you don't have to include every detail that is already explained in the business plan. If the reader wants more information, usually he knows that he must read a particular section of the business plan in order to get more details. However, you should focus on the main elements of the business plan, and then summarize them effectively in the executive summary.

    • The executive summary should be only two pages. Most importantly, avoid feeling the need to add ambiguous or fluff-type statements to your executive summary in order to fill the page. Remember the executive summary is highly focused on summarizing relevant details. So it is advisable that you remember to make it short, brief, and highly focused on the main points.