3 Do’s of Writing a Strong Executive Summary
Apr 20th, 2012 | By Lauren Bailey | Category: Money & Business, Women in Business
By Lauren Bailey –
You may have the most well written business plan known to man, but if you don’t manage to immediately grab an investor’s (or lender’s) attention because your executive summary fell flat, then your project will most likely never take flight. For many, writing an executive summary is something that is viewed as an afterthought— something that is simply just slapped in front of the real deal for aesthetic purposes. But executive summaries are far more important that you may think. Just like with every great piece of literature, if the “introduction” is a lack luster readers will just stop, well, reading. That said, to learn some common do’s of executive summary writing, continue reading below.
Do be Concise/Direct
On average you have about 30 seconds to “wow” investors. That said, don’t waste your time trying to fill up your summary with long, unnecessary flowery language. Be as direct and concise as possible. You don’t want to write more than a page either— it can be overwhelming. Thus, instantly dig into the meat and potatoes. State your purpose—what your business is and what you aim to achieve. Address why you believe your business model is unique and vital to the consumer market (or at least how your version outshines the competition). Talk about your team and how they are the only ones “fit” to ensure proper execution of your business model. Talk about how your business plans on making revenue. And of course state why you need your investor’s funding.
Do Give Statistics
Wherever possible, try your absolute best to incorporate concrete statistical evidence to support your claims. If you want to target a certain demographic group because studies show that this age group favors the product that you want to sell, put it in you summary. Investors are easily more swayed when numbers are involved. So really do some thorough research. Even if the rest of your proposal has some great figures and stats, make sure the executive summary includes some interesting ones as well.
Do Sound Overly Confident
Arrogance is often a personality trait frowned upon, but confidence is highly respected and should reflect in your executive summary. How to accomplish this? Easy—stop writing sentences like “we hope to xyz.” These types of sentences mean that there is “promise” but some doubt exists. Investors want to take a risk on those who are only 100 percent positive there idea will work. The way you use your language can really help support your case so be aware of word choice. Preferably say things like “we will make this much money” or something similar. Act as if your plan will not fail.