Business plan executive summary example startup refers to the condensed version or summary of an administrative or executive business plan modeled for a startup company.

Executive Summary

Majority of guides on how to write an executive summary fail to focus on the essence of an executive summary, which is to market, and not to describe. The executive summary is the first impression a potential investor gets about your company, so it's crucial that you get it right from the get-go.

Unlike the recommendations you may have read on the subject, you don't have to describe the whole business plan in hundreds of words. You only have to relate the essence of it and its potential benefits. Your first 30 words of your summary have to hook an investor, so the copy needs to be clear-cut and persuasive.

How to Start an Executive Summary

Start with the most attention-grabbing words that state why your idea is worthwhile. The first few words set the standard for the rest of the executive summary. Normally, they should introduce your unique, winning solution for a huge problem. They should show and tell with clarity.

If it's possible to include some notable names in the introductory paragraph, do so to your advantage. Such names can be the names of successful and famous people in your field, reputable companies you're involved with, or well-known brand names you've done business with.

You shouldn't assume that an investor will patiently read your document until the seventh paragraph where they'll find out there are Nobel laureates on your advisory board. Investors are typically not that patient.

Establish Your Business's Value

To establish your business's value, you need to paint a vivid picture of the problem(s) you're going to solve. You have to clearly state how you're going to address or achieve the following:

  • The pain points of your target audience
  • Increase revenue
  • Decrease cost
  • Increase speed
  • Expand scope
  • Eliminate inefficiency

You have to be clear on the particular solution you're offering, and state your target audience. For instance, are you developing software, building hardware, rendering a service, or doing a combination of things to solve a problem for a particular demographic? Use everyday language to answer the question above. Avoid short forms and don't try to use a lot of terms that mean nothing to most people.

State Your Place in the Value Chain

You should pinpoint your position in the value chain or distribution chain. You need to state with whom you collaborate in your industry, and why they're willing to do business with you. If you have clients and are already generating income, say so. Otherwise, let your investor know when you will.

Dealing with Competition

Whether you like it or not, there's competition out there. At the very least, you have to keep up with business trends. You likely already have a competitor, or a competitor is about to emerge. Get ready for a challenge.

Therefore, asserting your dominance is necessary. It's not enough to count on being the first in the market to get your target investor's attention. You ought to be able to spell out why your solution is the clear-cut winner in a few sentences.

The Ask

"The ask" is the amount of funding you currently need from your investor. Generally, this ought to be the least amount of equity you need in order to achieve your next milestone. You can always ask for more if your investor is ready to give, but it wouldn't make sense to ask for less. If you're looking to raise more money later, make sure you say so and specify the amount.

The Volume of the Executive Summary

The executive summary ought to be approximately two pages, perhaps three. Some people say it ought to be a page. That's wrong. Why investors request one-page summaries is because some summaries are so horrible the investors want to finish with them and discard them as soon as possible. Most investors realize that there isn't enough information to study and understand a company on a one-page summary.

No Perfect Model

Please bear in mind that all of this information aren't hard and fast rules. There's no one-size-fits-all executive summary model. However, make sure that your summary includes all the essential points in your company's specific case. Leave out the irrelevant points and emphasize and elaborate on the important ones.

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