An executive summary (also - management summary) is a concise document-summary of a business report. It summarizes and restates a bigger report, highlighting its major points and describing all the results and recommendations as well as - conclusions. An executive summary allows the target audience (its readers) to learn fast about the main points of a large body of material.
A successful executive summary contains the most important facts and details from the business report. In this document, the reader can understand the main goal of the business plan and see its major points and results. This document must be created for people who are interested in your report and wish to get more details about it without wasting long hours reading the whole paper.
An Executive Summary: The Main Goal
This document introduces a business plan briefly. The main aim of its creating is to give your readers a clear review of the large paper. In other words, it's a summary of the whole report. People can view it and understand your document without reading a lot of pages. A successful summary has a short introduction that describes your business, a problem it solves, and a conclusion.
A successful paper grabs people attention and motivates them to view the whole plan to understand the tiniest details. Needless to say, investors cannot make their decision after viewing the summary but they can decide if the whole plan deserves their attention.
What Parts Should an Executive Summary Have?
An executive summary must contain certain parts to have a particular structure. Please view a short description of every part below:
1. A description of your product(service) + a problem it solves
Make a short and clear description of your service (product) your summary offers and explain why clients need it. Don’t mention social problems but write briefly why this product/service will be interesting for clients.
2. Your team
Every investor wants to see details about the company behind the report. Represent your company in this part and explain why this is the best choice. Highlight the strong sides of the team to ensure the investor to make fruitful cooperation. Mention your potential partners here and explain why they are quite important for this plan.
3. Your competitors
Needless to say, every kind of business has its competitors. Here you must write what makes your company different from others. Maybe you offer great products of better quality, lowest price, or something new on the market?
4. Financial report
This part may be different for an existing business or startup. The business company can present its sales and growth during the year. And if you’re making a document about a startup, create its goals for the future and mark them on a chart that indicates sales and gross margin for 1-3 years.
5. Describe your target market
A target market is your future customers. Try to describe your audience who will spend money to get a product or service. You can write about their age, gender, and other characteristics that may force people to buy your product/service.
6. Funding needs
If your plan requires some money for the business, you have to mention this sum in the summary. It's an important point for investors because they have to understand real numbers. Provide them with these details in the summary so they will not have to search for it in your report.
Other Topics you can Cover in your Executive Summary
Here are some topics you can add to the executive summary to create it more informative.
- Proof of success. When you’re writing about a good startup, try to include proof of success in the document. It can be survey’s results, pre-orders for the service/product), or early sales numbers if you made it.
- Write about future milestones. You have to discuss this topic to define the main steps and show investors how this business can develop.
- Proof of financial stability. If you want a loan for your business, both investors and bankers will be interested in your team’s stability. Here you need to mention the financial history, assets, and net worth.
5 Tips to Make a Great Executive Summary
Follow our useful hints to complete a successful paper fast:
- Tell investors about the company. People have to understand your main idea, so you must build your paper properly. Mention your team, write about what it produces and who is involved in the production. It will make investors interested in the company and motivate them to view the whole paper.
- Provide your research. A summary should have not only descriptions but research. Needless to say, you can show the details in the report but try to highlight the important things in the document.
- Watch your tone. Choose the tone for your document (informal or formal) and write the whole paper following this selection. Here you have to define your target market to select the right tone for your paper. Check out if you’ve represented a company properly.
- Don’t use any cliche phrases. These standard words and phrases can make your paper sound boring and uninteresting. Plus, cliches may give too many promises. For example, if you’re including the phrase “the most delicious coffee shop in this city”, it’s not true because you haven't tested it as a business yet. Make a document truthful and reflect your team there.
- Create it last. First of all, you need to make a business plan, and only after this, is it possible to make a bright executive summary. It's the best way to understand the most significant points you wish to reflect there.
Frequently Asked Questions
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