The Importance of the Executive Summary

Statistically, only 5% of business plans are read by prospective investors beyond the executive summary.

It is vital to write the Executive Summary  from an INVESTOR's point of view and to meet all their assessment criteria to pass this gate.

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The executive summary is the single, most important part of the business plan. Describe the market opportunity, your product to harvest the market opportunity, your strategy for addressing and selling to that market, financial results in the first years of operation, long term objectives, and the key personnel. This is a ”commercial” of your business plan as investors will read it first. It should be written last ensuring that only vital information is included in most clear and convincing way.

As a general rule, your first paragraph should include your business name, what it sells, where it is located, and the nature and purpose of the plan. You might also refer to the keys to success, or at least summarize them briefly.


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The outline of the executive summary should include:

Disclaimer page (registration number; return instructions; non-proprietary)

The Purpose of the Plan (attract investors; document an operational plan for controlling the business; test the financial feasibility of a business concept)

The Company (the needs your company will satisfy; the products or services you will offer)

Market Analysis (the characteristics and the size of your target market)

Product or Service Research and Development (major milestones; ongoing efforts)

Marketing and Selling Activities (marketing strategy; sales strategy; keys to customer success in a competitive environment)

Organization and Personnel (key managers and owners; key operations employees)

Financial Data (funds required and their use; historical financial summary; prospective financial summary, including brief justification for sales projections; valuation and deal structure; valuation summary and methods used)


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Vadim Kotelnikov advice quotes

A startup business plan is not a box to act within, it is a seed to grow.

Vadim Kotelnikov

Vadim Kotelnikov, founder of 1000ventures - personal logo    Business e-Coach    Innompic Games icon