A good Executive Summary will motive the Investors to read your Business Plan and just might get you the $$$ you want.
Executive Summary Topics: Dill or Ill-Lusion? the Benefits, What can go wrong? Purpose, Refine, Summarize & Define, set Priorities.
Dill or Ill-Lusion? Nearly all business experts agree on one thing: the importance of writing a Business Plan (including an Executive Summary. Yet plenty of companies plunge into the competitive arena without a formal plan. Why? We’ve heard plenty of excuses posing as reasons. A lot of new businesses are carried away and figure their passion & optimism are enough to build a successful company. Others say they were just too busy to develop a formal Business Plan. But operating without a plan can prove even more time-consuming in the long run.
The Benefits of having a Business Plan
The time you invest in your Business Plan will pay off many times over. Some of the most obvious benefits you can gain from Business Planning include
· An opportunity to “test” out a new idea to see if it holds real promise of success
· Mission & Vision – for a clear statement of your business
· A set of Core Values that can help you steer your business through times of trouble
· Strategic Plan you can use to “focus” your energy and keep your company on track
· Benchmarks you can use to track your performance and make mid-course corrections
· Analysis of your Industry, growing or going down
· SWOT – Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities & Threats
· A portrait of your Potential Customers and their buying behaviors
· A rundown of your major Competitors and your strategies for facing them
· A step-by-step Plan (with your timetable) for achieving your goals & objectives
· Description of the Products or Services you offer
· Marketing Strategy explanation
· Financial Analysis of your revenues, costs, & projected profits
· A description of your Business Model, or how you plan to make money and stay in business
· Plan to Periodically Review your Action Plan to identify & resolve potential detours or hurdles you may encounter
· 1 page Executive Summary – you can use to introduce your business to Angels & VCs, etc.
Dis-Advantages: What can go wrong w/out a Biz Plan?
The many benefits of having a Business Plan should be enough to convince you. But in case you’re still wavering, consider what can go wrong if you don’t take time to plan. You risk
· Running out of Cash before you open your doors because you haven’t anticipated all your start-up costs
· Missing Sales Projections, because you don’t really know who your customers are and what they want
· Going Bankrupt because you don’t have a realistic Business Model or a plan for how to make money
Take our word for it: Time spent putting together a realistic Business Plan is time well spent. In fact, the more time you spend, the better prepared you’ll be. But don’t be overwhelmed at the prospect. Start with the first step of writing your Business Plan . . .
Executive Summary definition –a brief synopsis of the company’s purpose, vision & business model. While it can be tough to fit on one or two pages, a good Summary includes:
- A brief Description of products or services
- A Summary of mission, objectives & long-term vision
- Target Market – a solid description
- A high-level justification for Viability (including a quick look at your competition and your competitive advantage)
- A Projection of growth potential
- An overview of Funding Requirements (ie, purpose)
I know that seems like a lot, and that’s why it’s so important you get it right. The Executive Summary is often the make-or-break section of your Business Plan.
Purpose? A great business solves customer problems, If your Exec Sumry cannot clearly describe, in one or two pages, how your business will solve a particular problem and make a profit, then it’s very possible the opportunity does not exist–or your plan to take advantage of a genuine opportunity is not well developed enough yet. Don’t try to “hype” your business. Focus on helping a busy reader get a great feel for what you plan to do, how you plan to do it, and how you will succeed.
Why of Executive Summary. Since a Business Plan should help you start & grow your business, your Exec Sumry should first and foremost help you do the following.
1. Refine, Summarize & Define your Idea. Think of it as an expanded “Elevator Pitch” (with more detail, of course). Your Summary describes the highlights of your Business Plan, includes only the most critical points, and leaves out less important issues & factors. As you develop your Exec Sumry, you will naturally focus on the issues that contribute most to potential success. If your concept is too fuzzy, too broad, or too complicated, go back and refine it.
2. Determine your Priorities. Your Exec Sumry give the the reader an overview of your Business Plan. What ranks high in terms of importance? Product development? Research? Creating strategic partnerships? Your Summary can serve as a guide to writing the rest of your Business Plan.
3. Make the rest of the process easy. Once your Exec Sumry is complete, you can use it as an outline for the rest of your plan. Simply expand the summary with more detail for yourself, then work to accomplish your secondary objective by focusing on your readers. Even tho’ you may be creating a Business Plan solely for your own planning purposes, at some point you may decide to seek financing or to bring on other investors, so make sure your Exec Sumry meets their needs as well. Work hard to set the stage for the rest of the plan. Let your passion for your idea and your business come through.
Conclusion: a good Exec Sumry will motive Investors to read your Business Plan. Just make sure your “sizzle” is in your steak by providing clear, factual descriptions.
Comments: Do you know of any other Benefits of writing an Exec Sumry?
compiled by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz & 5 Star Startup Service. Contact me, if you need help writing your Exec Sumry, Business Plan or Marketing Plan.