Business Plan Executive Summary
The executive summary should be the last section you write. After you’ve worked out all the details of your plan, you’ll be in a better position to summarize it–and it should be a summary (for example, no more than four pages in length).
Contents of the Executive Summary
- The Mission Statement — The mission statement briefly explains the thrust of your business. It could be two words, two sentences, a paragraph, or even a single image. It should be as direct and focused as possible, and it should leave the reader with a clear picture of what your business is all about.
- Date the business began
- Names of the founders and the functions they perform
- Number of employees
- Location of the business and any branches or subsidiaries
- Description of plant or facilities
- Products manufactured/services rendered
- Banking relationships and information regarding current investors
- Summary of company growth including financial or market highlights (for example, your company doubled its worth in a 12-month period; you became the first company in your industry to provide a certain service)
- Summary of management’s future plans. With the exception of the Mission Statement, all of the information in the Executive Summary should be highlighted in a brief, even bulleted, fashion. Remember, these facts are laid out in-depth within the plan itself.
If you’re just starting a business, you won’t have a lot of information to plug into the areas mentioned above. Instead, focus on your experience and background as well as the decisions that led you to start this particular enterprise. Include information about the problems your target market has and what solutions you provide. Show how the expertise you have will allow you to make significant inroads into the market. Tell your reader what you’re going to do differently or better. Convince the reader that there is a need for your service or product, then go ahead and address your (the company’s) future plans.
To assist the reader in locating specific sections in your business plan, include a table of contents directly following the executive summary. Make sure that the content titles are very broad; in other words, avoid detailed descriptions in your table of contents.