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Business Plan - Executive Summary: summation of your business plan

Updated on January 19, 2012

What Is An Executive Summary?

An executive summary is a summation of your business plan. It is the first section that a prospective client, financier or customer will read. This means that it must meet the following conditions:

  1. Summarise each major section of your plan.
  2. Tell the reader the information they require
  3. Make the reader want to continue reading.

In my personal experience the third point is by far the most important. A investor will not invest in your business unless they can see your business succeeding and this can only been seen from the entire plan. The same with potential clients, suppliers or interested party if you cannot grab their attention here then you have failed. Remember that this is written last.

An executive summary is a summation of your business plan which grabs and holds your readers attention

How to write an summarise a business plan

What do I put

Your Executive Summary should have information on:

  • a description of your company, including your products and/or services
  • your mission statement
  • your business’s management
  • the market and your customer
  • marketing and sales
  • your competition
  • your business’s operations
  • financial projections and plans

Each one of these should ideally have a few sentances to keep it short and succinct, your final statement should a final attempt to sell your business and show the potential success. For example:

"Random industries will push the boundries of performing arts and will be in a great position to win government grants. We will innovate the arts, watch this space."

Writing Styles and Tips

  • Use positive language, do NOT weaken your plan by using weak language. e.g.

"we will be in a position to win govenment tenders."

"We might be in a position to win govenment tenders."

The difference between the two is doubt the top one leaves the reader with NO doubt.

  • Keep it as a summary, the business plan has the detail; don't waste the readers time.
  • It should never exceed more than a couple of pages, use it to summarise, present facts and encourage the reader to read on.
  • Read it and polish keep doing this until it flows well and is understandable.
  • Following this get someone who knows nothing about your business and see if they can follow and understand it. ONLY then is it ready.

Final Thoughts

Remember that the executive summary is the first section of the summary which will be read. If it dosen't generate interest or excitement in the reader then they won't continue.

If it is poorly written or not easily understandable then it will be put asside with the rest of your hard work unread. This will mean an end to you trying to achieve funding, loans, investments or clients.

How To Write a Executive Summary


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    • dipless profile image

      dipless 6 years ago from Manchester

      @headexposed, feel free to ask questions I have written in excess of 50 business plans and have built up a good knowledge of what works.

      @MazioCreate, You are quite right this is the most important part of your plan. It needs to be right and grab your readers attention and hold it, answering most of their questions but leaving enough unanswered to allow them to want to read on.

    • MazioCreate profile image

      MazioCreate 6 years ago from Brisbane Queensland Australia

      A succint summary of how to summarise. You mentioned the important aspects and left me knowing that unless I can get this section right, it doesn't matter what else I've written. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • headexposed profile image

      headexposed 6 years ago from New York

      this is a nice article about writing an executive summary! learned the fundamentals in a nutshell. would really love to learn more from you..

    • dipless profile image

      dipless 6 years ago from Manchester

      Thank You Kevin. Your kind words are appreciated.

    • KevinC9998 profile image

      KevinC9998 6 years ago

      Very well done. I wish more people keww how to effectively summarize. Thanks, Kevin