Arousing the interest of bankers and investors is an essential step and it is the executive summary that allows you to present your project to them. All incubators, incubator nurseries, etc. train their project leaders to present an effective executive summary and, moreover, the competitions which leave the candidate a few minutes to convince his audience is an excellent illustration of the strength of the executive summary.
What is an executive summary?
Executive summary or operational summary, this document is a summary of your business plan. It must clearly set out the key points of your project in order to allow the reader to quickly have a general idea of your business plan and to decide whether he wishes to continue with you or not.
How to write it in ten points?
The first sentence being decisive, it must inform the products or services that your company offers.
- The offer
- The members of your team, their experiences, their background, their skills. Do not forget to underline the differences and the complementarity of each member of the founding team.
- The means you plan to implement for its design: promotion.
- Your market: the size of your market and the target customers ? Who are your clients ? How many are they ?
- The need: why are your customers interested in your products?
- The potential competitors? Who are your competitors? What makes you different from your competition?
- The advantages of your project
- The strategy: what is your commercial positioning?
- How will you distribute your products?
- The expected profitability.
- This is the reason why it is advisable to write it after writing the completed business plan.
How to present the executive summary in four points?
Your document should be written in a short and succinct format (one or two pages maximum!). Indeed, your interlocutors receive a lot of them and only have a short time to study them (2 to 3 minutes on average). To make it easier to read, keep sentences short one idea at a time and three to five line paragraphs highlighting the main conclusions of your business plan.
Use the style tools to make the information stand out as well as possible (bold, italics, underline) without abusing it;
Include a summary table or relevant graphic clearly and concisely supporting an important idea (an Excel table is always an asset);
Do not use a too technical register which instead of showing the interest of your project risks scaring any investor;
Take care of the layout, the spelling …
How to synthesize your project?
Investors will use the information in your executive summary to decide whether or not to read your business plan . Your summary should be both short and to the point. You need to make sure it is clear. Since it deals with all aspects of the project, it should reflect its essence. In order to allow your reader to easily get an overall idea of the project, the document must state the vocation of your company, its ambitions and its commercial strategy.
You will mainly present in the content of the project:
1. What it will cost investors
2. How much to invest in your project brings them back
3. The market you are targeting.
Don’t forget to specify:
Your financing needs, what you are asking for an investment for and how high (how you are going to use the funds).
If you lack skills in the team, how do you plan to compensate for this deficit (recruitment, external advice, etc.).
The key figures of your financial forecast
To be successful in writing your summary, avoid wanting to say too much, it is important to get to the point. The executive summary should present your project objectively, avoid overselling and lacking realism. Have several people proofread your document if necessary in order to clarify the ideas it contains as much as possible. You will eventually need to include the strengths of your project and the expected profitability in order to better awaken the reader’s attention.