The Executive Summary is a synopsis of your business plan. It is often considered the most crucial part of the plan because it is the first section your readers will see and is designed to capture their attention and draw them into reading further. As an abridged version of the larger business plan, the Executive Summary should capture a couple of key points from each of the other sections.
The Executive Summary should touch on most of the areas of the business plan, including:
Your significant products and/or services What makes the business unique or distinctive The market analysis An overview of the management team Your company's strategies for future success The current competition in the market Requested funds and plans for their use Summary of your past financial operations and future financial projections
If your business depends largely on technology, such as an online retail business, you should also include a brief overview of your technological capabilities. In addition, if you foresee significant potential risks, you should mention them and the steps you plan to use to overcome such risks.
The key to a strong Executive Summary is to keep it concise while still engaging the reader. Although you will present the important aspects of the business plan, you should do it in a manner that allows the reader to quickly explore each area without becoming bogged down in details. (Those will appear in the complete version of the business plan.) Remember, however, that the Executive Summary is neither a place to simply list your plans and ideas nor a place for hyping your business.
Although it appears at the start of a business plan, the Executive Summary is written last, after each section has been written and evaluated. This allows you to carefully write and review each section before determining which key points to include in the Executive Summary.