How to Write an Executive Summary That Gets Your Business Plan Read

An executive summary of any business plan provides a detailed overview of what is contained in the plan. Its purpose is to summarize the key points of a document for its readers and have them saved in an accessible format. An executive summary is more of an advanced organizer for the reader. It must be clear and concise and also entice the reader to get engaged with the rest of the business plan.

This proves the point that an executive summary is the most important part of any business plan. If it doesn’t capture the reader’s attention, the plan will be set aside and become unread. It can be a disaster if you write a business plan to get funding but it happens no one is ready to read your plan. Note the getting money from investors should not only be the motivating factor behind writing a business plan. A business plan should also act as a guide to see you through the life of your business.

What to write in the executive summary

The information that goes into the executive summary varies depending on the type of business you want to establish. For startups, one of the main goals of a business plan is to convince financing institutions to invest in your business by providing the much-required business capital, which normally comes in the form of debt or equity financing. To do so, you will need to provide a solid case for your business, and this is what makes executive summary a very important part of your business plan.

A typical executive plan will have many parts including;

  • A description of the business opportunities
  • Explanation of how your business will serve the market
  • A description of your customer base and target market.
  • Description of your business model, including the products and services you intend to sell.
  • A brief outline of your marketing and sales strategy
  • A brief description of the market and competition and your strategy for getting market share. This includes your competitive edge and the difference you intend to make upon your entry to the market.

For Established Businesses

For established businesses, the executive summary will typically include information about the achievements and growth plans. A typical executive summary will include information such as;

  • The mission statement articulates the purpose of your business. In a few sentences, you should describe what your company does and the core values and philosophies for your business.
  • Company information gives a brief history of your company by describing the products and services and when as well as where they are formed, the owners of the company, and other statistics such as the number of employees and business locations.
  • Business highlights are a description of the evolution of your business, how the business has grown, year over year revenues, profitability increase in market share, and stats about your customers.
  • Financial summary whose purpose is to update the business plan and seek additional financing for expansion and give a brief financial summary.
  • Future goals of the business. This is particularly important if you are seeking financing. It will explain how additional funding will be used to expand your business and otherwise increase profits.

How to Master the Key Elements of Effective Project Planning Today

Project planning is very important for the success of anything you want to carry on. Project planning forms part of the project management cycle and ensures there is consistency in four distinct areas including initiation, planning, execution, and closure. The importance of planning can never be overlooked.

With proper planning, projects run smoothly according to plan. You will be able to deliver projects on time and budget and everyone will have a mutual understanding of the objectives of a project. Everyone will understand all the roles in achieving their objectives and you will be able to manage time, costs, and risks more efficiently.

Here are some key elements to effective project planning;

Identify stakeholder’s needs

The first step to delivering projects in the right manner lies in identifying all the needs of stakeholders. Stakeholders include anyone involved in a project including end-users, clients, and project sponsors. You need to identify the stakeholders, meet with them, and write down their needs. You can use a decision matrix to ensure you prioritize tasks in the right manner. When meeting with stakeholders, ensure you lead structured conversations and get everything in order.

Set out objectives

You need to set up smart project objectives. There should be clear deliverables and deadlines. You need to understand the specific products and services you must deliver to your clients. All deliverables need to be well written on what must be delivered and the time allocated for each item.

Come up with project schedule

You must come up with a detailed project schedule. Tasks must be assigned to each deliverable. You must specify due dates for tasks as well as who is responsible. By specifying who is responsible, you will be avoiding misunderstandings in the future. You should also identify dependencies. Are there any specific tasks that depend on the completion of other tasks? There might be chances where you need client approval on a design so that you can carry the tasks ahead.

Define roles and responsibilities

You need to be specific on who’s responsible for each task. Additionally, you must define all the roles that need to be taken up. Indicate who is responsible for the entire project, and each deliverable as well. Define the client roles as well as the reporting structure. When you have well-defined roles and responsibilities, you will need to perform regular check-ins to ensure everything is going per the plan. The check-ins may be in the form of meetings, weekly reports as well as daily conversations.

Have a well-defined budget

With a well-defined budget, you will be able to work on project costs and identify any shortfall. All plans must specify the upfront costs so that you can allocate budgets in the right manner and identify any shortfalls. Additionally, you must have a plan for monitoring and controlling costs. With such a plan, you will be able to remain on budget and keep the project running. There should be a solid communication plan in place as well, that will help to keep the project forward.