Executive Summary

If you’ve developed a full business plan, you should be able to pull out the executive summary to offer readers a high-level overview of your product, sales plan, and financial projections. This will give someone a more detailed look at your plan without requiring them to review all the data. It also means you don’t have to share the full business plan with anyone who requests more information.

To create the first draft of the executive summary, simply read through your business plan and pull out the first and/or last sentences from each section. You should capture key words and phrases as well. If you have written the rest of your business plan using correct paragraph structure, those selected pieces will contain the main ideas of your entire business plan. If you are missing something, locate it within the business plan, summarize it briefly, and add it to your executive summary. Once you have the elements you need, simply shape and re-write them so that the text flows well together, and then do a second draft. From there, create it as a separate document and do a final read through. Adjust it so that it stands on its own, and you’re done!

If you have created a one-page business plan, you can write the executive summary separately. Simply write a few paragraphs on each of the topics mentioned above (your product, sales plan, and financial projections), as well as a brief introduction about the company.

In both cases, you should have someone you trust review your executive summary. As well, make sure that the formatting reflects your business: if it doesn’t look good, you won’t look good either. As your business evolves and work progresses, you will want to update the executive summary to keep it current.