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The Executive Summary is a brief outline of the company's purpose and goals. While it can be tough to fit on one or two pages, a good Summary includes: A brief description of products and services A summary of objectives A solid description of the market A high-level justification for viability including a quick look at your competition and your competitive advantage A snapshot of growth potential An overview of funding requirements I know that seems like a lot, and that's why it's so important you get it right.
The Executive Summary is often the make-or-break section of your business plan.
A great business solves customer problems; if your Summary cannot clearly describe, in one or two pages, how your business will solve a particular problem and make a profit, then it's very possible the opportunity does not exist--or your plan to take advantage of a genuine opportunity is not well developed.
So think of it as a snapshot of your business plan. Don't try to "hype" your business--focus on helping a busy reader get a great feel for what you plan to do, how you plan to do it, and how you will succeed.
Since a business plan should above all help you start and grow your business, your Executive Summary should first and foremost help you do the following.
Refine and tighten your concept. Think of it as a written "elevator pitch" with more detail, of course. Your Summary describes the highlights of your plan, includes only the most critical points, and leaves out less important issues and factors.
As you develop your Summary you will naturally focus on the issues that contribute most to potential success. If your concept is too fuzzy, too broad, or too complicated, go back and start again. Most great businesses can be described in several sentences, not several pages.
Your business plan walks the reader through your plan. What ranks high in terms of importance? Acquiring the right location?
Your Summary can serve as a guide to writing the rest of your plan. Make the rest of the process easy. Once your Summary is complete, you can use it as an outline for the rest of your plan. Simply flesh out the highlights with more detail.
Then work to accomplish your secondary objective by focusing on your readers. Even though you may be creating a business plan solely for your own purposes, at some point you may decide to seek financing or to bring on other investors, so make sure your Summary meets their needs as well.
Work hard to set the stage for the rest of the plan. Let your excitement for your idea and your business shine through. In short, make readers want to turn the page and keep reading. Just make sure your sizzle meets your steak by providing clear, factual descriptions.
The following is how an Executive Summary for a bicycle rental store might read.
Introduction Blue Mountain Cycle Rentals will offer road and mountain bike rentals in a strategic location directly adjacent to an entrance to the George Washington National Forest. Our primary strategy is to develop Blue Mountain Cycle Rentals as the most convenient and cost-effective rental alternative for the thousands of visitors who flock to the area each year.
Once underway we will expand our scope and take advantage of high-margin new equipment sales and leverage our existing labor force to sell and service those products. Within three years we intend to create the area's premier destination for cycling enthusiasts. Company and Management Blue Mountain Cycle Rentals will be located at Mountain Drive, a location providing extremely high visibility as well as direct entry and exit from a primary national park access road.
The owner of the company, Marty Cycle, has over twenty years experience in the bicycle business, having served as a product manager for ACME Cycles as well as the general manager of Epic Cycling. Because of his extensive industry contacts, initial equipment inventory will be purchased at significant discounts from OEM suppliers as well by sourcing excess inventory from shops around the country.
Due to the somewhat seasonal nature of the business, part-time employees will be hired to handle spikes in demand. Those employees will be attracted through competitive wages as well as discounts products and services. Market Opportunitiespeople visited the George Washington National Forest during the last twelve months.Coopersmith Career Consulting, an NCCRS member since June , facilitates the preparation of nontraditional post-secondary students for careers that match their interests and abilities.
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