Writing the Executive Summary
Write an Executive Summary That Gets Your Business Plan Read
While the business plan’s executive summary is the first thing the readers of your business plan see, it should be the last part of the business plan you write.
The purpose of the executive summary of the business plan is to provide your readers with an overview of the business plan. Think of it as an introduction to your business. Therefore, your business plan’s executive summary will include summaries of:
· a description of your company, including your products and/or services
· your mission statement
· your business’s management
· the market and your customer
· marketing and sales
· your competition
· your business’s operations
· financial projections and plans
The executive summary will end with a summary statement, a “last kick at the can” sentence or two designed to persuade the readers of your business plan that your business is a winner.
How to write an Executive Summary
To write the executive summary of the business plan, start by following the list above and writing one to three sentences about each topic. (No more!)
If you have trouble crafting these summary sentences from scratch, review your business plan to get you going. In fact, one approach to writing the executive summary of the business plan is to take a summary sentence or two from each of the business plan sections you’ve already written. (If you compare the list above to the sections outlined in the Business Plan Outline, you’ll see that this could work very well.)
Then finish your business plan’s executive summary with a clinching closing sentence or two that answers the reader’s question “Why is this a winning business?”
For example, a business plan’s executive summary for a pet-sitting business might conclude: “The loving on-site professional care that Pet Grandma will provide is sure to appeal to both cat and dog owners throughout the West Vancouver area.”
(You may find it useful to read the entire Pet Grandma executive summary example before you write your own.)
Tips for Writing the Business Plan’s Executive Summary
· Focus on providing a summary. The business plan itself will provide the details and whether bank managers or investors, the readers of your business plan don’t want to have their time wasted.
· Keep your language strong and positive. Don’t weaken the executive summary of your business plan with weak language. Instead of writing, “Dogstar Industries might be in an excellent position to win government contracts”, write “Dogstar Industries will be in an excellent position...”
· The executive summary should be no more than two pages long. Resist the temptation to pad your business plan’s executive summary with details (or pleas). The job of the executive summary is to present the facts and entice your reader to read the rest of the business plan, not tell him everything.
· Polish your executive summary. Read it aloud. Does it flow or does it sound choppy? Is it clear and succinct? Once it sounds good to you, have someone else who knows nothing about your business read it and make suggestions for improvement.
· Tailor the executive summary of your business plan to your audience. If the purpose of your business plan is to entice investors, for instance, your executive summary should focus on the opportunity your business provides investors and why the opportunity is special.
· Put yourself in your readers’ place... and read your executive summary again. Does this executive summary generate interest or excitement in the reader? If not, why?
Remember, the executive summary of the business plan will be the first thing the readers of the business plan read. If your business plan’s executive summary is poorly written, it will also be the last, as they set the rest of your business plan aside unread!
Financing Comprehensive Checklist for Commercial Loans
List of items typically needed on a Commercial Loan Request:
1) Signed and Completed Business Loan Application (attached)
2) Signed and Completed Personal Financial Statement on all principals (attached)
3) Personal Cash Flow Statement on all Guarantors (attached)
4) Proof of liquidity (most recent month end bank and/or brokerage statements - personal and/or business) – proof of down payment
5) Last 3 Years ('10, `11 & ‘12) Personal Tax Returns on all principals (all schedules) – ’12 Drafts OK
6) Last 3 Years ('10, `11 & ‘12) Business Tax Returns (all schedules) – ’12 Drafts OK
7) Last 3 Year End ('10, `11 & ‘12) Company Financial Statements (Balance Sheets, Income and Cash Flow Statements)
8) Interim 2013 Company Financial Statements (Balance Sheet, Income and Cash Flow Statements)
9) Current Business Debt Schedule (attached)
10) Completed Real Estate Investment Worksheet (attached)
11) Copy of most recent appraisal on property
12) Copy of most recent survey on the property
13) Copy of the most recent HUD Settlement Statement
14) Background information on you and your partners and their experience
15) Breakdown of the current ownership structure and titles/authorities
16) Copy of Existing Corporate, LLC or Partnership Paperwork
17) Copy of Company By Laws
18) Copies of construction budgets
19) Copy of valid Driver’s License(s), ID, or Passport
20) If property is for sale, Copy of Purchase Agreement
21) If property is rented, Copies of Rent Rolls (last 2 Years) and copies of leases
22) Copy of Existing Loan Documents
23) Payoff Information on the project
24) Business Plan and exit strategy on the project
25) Signed and Completed Credit Authorization (attached)
26) Signed and Completed Tax Transcript Request for Personal Taxes (attached) – form 4506-T
27) Signed and Completed Tax Transcript Request for Business Taxes (attached) – form 4506-T
28) Signed and Completed Form 912 (attached) – if applicable
* Where the word (attached) is used, a copy of that document or item would be included as an attachment.