Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking for investors for your small business or the CEO of a large corporation, an executive summary can help you succeed and is a critical component for long-term growth.
A short, attention-grabbing executive summary is an essential part of your business plan. Done correctly, it will ensure your company becomes or remains a key player in your industry. In this post, you’ll learn what an executive summary is and how to write one that engages investors, customers, and general audiences.
An executive summary is a brief overview of a long document, such as a business plan, proposal, or report. It’s a section that grabs readers’ attention and summarizes critical information from the document, such as the problem or opportunity being addressed, objectives, key findings, goals, and recommendations.
Some documents that may have an executive summary include:
- Business plans
- Research documents
- Project proposals
- Annual reports
Ultimately, the executive summary is meant to inform readers of the most important information in the document, so they don’t have to read it all and can get caught up quickly.
Executive Summary vs. Business Plan
All business plans have an executive summary, but not all executive summaries belong to business plans.
A business plan includes a company overview, your company’s short-term and long-term goals, information on your product or service, sales targets, expense budgets, your marketing plan, and a list including each member of your management team. In this case, the executive summary is the first section of the business plan that convinces readers that it’s worth their time to read the whole thing.
Business plans are very detailed and comprehensive, and can be as short as a dozen pages or as long as 100 pages. However, a CEO or investor might not have the interest or time to read your full business plan without first getting the general gist…
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