Business plans are great but many potential investors don’t read the whole plan. Many choose to read the executive summary and scan the rest of the plan. If that is the case, then your executive summary needs to tell whole story.
As simple as it sounds, the executive summary is a summary of the business plan (including operations, sales and marketing, and finance), but is also a selling document. Here is a short list of things to consider or include.
1. Is the executive summary concise and well written? One to two pages is all you will need.
2. Does the executive summary include a description of your business? This should appear in the first or second paragraph.
3. Does the executive summary identify the product or service along with an explanation clear of a customer need for the product or service?
4. Does the executive summary identify the target market and market opportunity?
5. Does the executive summary identify the value proposition? Why will they buy?
6. Does the executive summary identify the competitive advantage and the competitive environment?
7. Does the executive summary show that the business idea fits the owner’s distinctive competencies?
8. Does the executive summary identify how the product or service will be made or delivered?
9. Does the executive summary identify a proof concept? This is the evidence that the idea has legs.
10. Does the executive summary describe the basic financial opportunity including a forecast of sales for three years?
11. Does the executive summary describe how the company will make money? This is often referred to as the business model.
12. Does the executive summary identify the type and amount of funding required and the ROI?
13. Does the executive summary describe a potential exit for investors?
Answer these 13 questions and you have done your job. The goal after that is to continue the conversation.
John Bradley Jackson
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