Writing an executive business summary is the first step to take before starting a new business. While an executive summary can effectively communicate the key points of your business to executives, investors, and stakeholders, it also serves as an overall summary of your business plan.
It is not uncommon for small business owners to skip the steps leading up to a good business plan. This is a costly mistake. If you are starting a new business, writing your executive summary should be your number one priority. Creating an executive business summary that clearly outlines the organization’s details and goals will provide the leadership with a sense of direction for the long term growth of the business.
I know that business plans can be intimidating, so we developed these steps to help you identify the most important aspects of your business plan. Kick off your executive summary with the following steps and you will set your business up for growth and sustainability.
How to write an effective executive business summary. Listen to the episode here.
Identify Your Target Audience
Before you begin writing your executive business summary, consider who your ideal customer is. Is there a great need for your products and services? Highlight the target market and customers by clearly defining your customers problem or pain point they are experiencing as it relates to your products and services. Be sure to outline the main characteristics of your ideal buyer. Knowing this is going to help you create marketing and sales language curated specifically for this ideal customer.
End this section with an explanation of how the business will reach and attract the identified target market and how it differentiates itself from competitors.
If you are stuck on how to identify your target market, download the “Six Steps to Your 6-Figure Business“ and discover an exercise that will walk you through this step.
The Overview of Your Small Business Executive Summary
Once you understand your ideal customer, writing your executive business summary will be so much easier. In just 5 steps you will provide an overview of your business. Your business summary is best described by the mission, vision, core values, elevator pitch, and tagline.
Mission – Aim For Purpose In Your Small Business
A concise statement that explains the purpose of your business as it relates to what you sell, who it’s for and how it transforms your customers life.
Vision – Communicate Your Why In Business
A brief statement expressing your company’s aspirations, strategic goals and plans for the future; communicating what you will achieve through your business.
CORE Values – Make An Impact With Your Small Business
Identify the fundamental beliefs of a company or organization. Typically, we recommend business owners or leaders should identify 3-5 values that the business lives by. These values are more than just words posted on a picture in the lobby. The CORE values of a company are actionable and lived out naturally throughout the culture of the business.
Elevator Pitch – Introduce Your Business
An elevator pitch will communicate the most important details about your business in less than 30 seconds. It should clearly identify the ideal customer, the problem or pain they experience as it relates to your products and services; ending with the transformation your customer will experience after using your products and services.
Tag Line – Communicate Your Business
Your tagline is a short, memorable statement that makes your brand recognizable and easily differentiated from competitors. Ideally, this statement is 5-7 words. This statement should be able to be used apart from your main marketing channels. This means it should be able to stand alone on a flier, a business card or a t-shirt.
How do you know the tag line can stand alone or apart from marketing content? In just 5-7 words your target consumer should be able to identify what kind of business it is the very least.
Describe Your Products or Services – What Do You Sell?
Your products and services are the solution that solves your customers problems or alleviates their pain points and transforms their life for the better. So, the big question is, what do you sell? Having a product or service to sell will be the lifeline of your business. It is the only way to generate cash flow into your business. Think of cash flow as the fuel to your business operations. In this section of your executive business summary, explain what products or services the business offers and highlight its unique selling points or competitive advantages. Here are a few things you should highlight in regards to your products or services:
- Pricing structure
- Potential revenue streams
- Distribution channels
- Outline for product or service launch
- Marketing plan
Create a timeline of events from creating your products or services, and then launching and promoting. This helps demonstrate the business’s progress and potential for success.
What Are the Financial Projections of the Business?
Lastly, provide a summary of the financial projections, including revenue, expenses, and profitability. Highlight key financial indicators such as gross margin, net income, and return on investment. If relevant, mention any funding requirements or previous investment raised.
And, while you are looking at your financial projections, keep in mind that people are your greatest assets. Don’t forget to include the cost of people in these numbers. Briefly introduce the key members of the management team and their relevant experience and expertise. Highlight their roles and responsibilities in driving the success of the business.
Jump Start Your Business With the Clarity and Direction of Your New Executive Summary
Once you have written your executive summary, review it looking for conciseness, clarity and cohesiveness. Remove any jargon or unnecessary details, and ensure that the summary flows smoothly from one section to the next. Remember, your executive business summary is likely to end up in the hands of executives, investors, and stakeholders, so proofread for grammar and spelling errors.
Remember, an executive business summary should be brief and to the point, usually ranging from one to three pages. It should provide enough information to generate interest and prompt further engagement while highlighting the key aspects of your business proposal or plan.
When we work with our clients, it is important to us that your executive summary is at the forefront of every decision you make for your business. It serves as a filter, allowing you to make wise and educated decisions about your business; setting your business up for long term success. If you need help establishing your executive summary, schedule a FREE 30 minute coaching session! Complete the FREE assessment and we will help you discover areas of your business that are going really well, and give your feedback worth thousands on an area needing improvement.
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