Business Plan Examples

Articles for "Executive Summary"

The Executive Summary: Your Business Plan’s Core Component

The executive summary is one of the most important parts of your whole business plan because it should demonstrate your entire plan in miniature. In short, the executive summary is really a quick summation of your whole plan, which is why it obviously isn’t the easiest component of your plan to write! However, if you want to draft a sound business plan, your best bet is to first write the executive summary because it will set the course for the remainder of the plan. Here is how you can write an executive summary worthy of a great business plan.

Crystallize All of Your Thoughts

The first step to writing an effective executive summary is to crystallize your thoughts. The executive summary is meant to feature all of your plan’s key points and highlights. Therefore, to write a summary, you’ve got to concentrate on the factors and issues that are most relevant to your business. This applies to both its past and future. It will also do you good to ignore all of the tangential issues that your business faces.

Determine Your Priorities

A good business plan will be itemized according to the order of importance of the various elements. Since your executive summary is a microcosm of your whole plan, the summary must also follow this type of organizational format. By writing your summary, you have to prioritize since you’re forced to select and choose from the different points you wish to make in the business plan. You’ll also have to determine their order of importance.

Come up With the Plan’s Full Foundation

Even if you’ve just completed your first draft of the summary, your task of writing the entire business plan now becomes so much easier! Now, you’ve bestowed yourself with a specific takeoff point for every part of your plan. The few sentences that sum up the way to create a specific product or provide a certain service give you the foundation for that part of the plan.

The executive summary is the core component of your business plan, and now you know why. When you’re drafting your summary, just keep the above tips in mind. Gather all your thoughts and organize them well. Then, order your priorities so that you have a clear path going forward. Finally, establish the full foundation of your whole business plan to tie things together. Follow these simple steps, and you will have a stunning executive summary and, by extension, a highly effective business plan.


The Components of a Killer Business Plan

All business plans that are effective and that will draw financial backers to your idea will share the following components. Some people who write a business plan don’t understand how to properly do so, which leads them to omitting absolutely integral parts that don’t reflect very well on their understanding of a plan. Long story short: If your business plan fails to include these basic components, you’re telling your prospective funders that you haven’t even put together a smart business plan. Here are the components that should be in your plan. You can rearrange the order of said components if you like.

Executive Summary

Your plan’s abstract, the executive summary is a preview of everything that you’re going to cover in more intimate detail in the coming pages. It will spell out both the content and the objectives of your plan, covering the important parts.

Business Offering

This is the part to discuss why you’re in the business you’re in and just what you’re selling. If you’re selling products, explain whether or not you’re the manufacturer or the distributor. If you’re selling services, go into details about said services.

Company Overview

The overview offers additional information about your company. You should explain why you went into business, its model, its objectives and any strategic partnerships that you may have established.

Strategy and Implementation

Include the dates and deadlines of significant objectives in this part of your business plan. Here is where your potential funders will be searching for stuff to actively track. This section’s also great for mentioning your sales forecasts.

Management Team

Here is where you have to fill out the profiles of your executives and your managers. This is particularly applicable if you’re writing your business plan with either bankers or investors in mind as the target audience.

Marketing Plan/Analysis

This part is dedicated to your marketing tactic, where you highlight aspects of your customer service, sales, marketing, market analysis and public relations efforts. You should also include a summary of why you have confidence in the success of your new company.

Financial Projections

Here’s where you jot down the so-called quantitative interpretation of each fact you put down in your marketing and organizational parts of the plan. Finally, this should be the last section of your business plan.

These are the vital components of any good business plan. This is what your funders will be searching for when they read through your pages. Don’t disappoint them and sink your chances of receiving funding by omitting even one of these integral sections. If you include all these sections, your business plan will truly be killer.


How to Write a Perfect Business Plan

A business plan is the first step to building a successful business; no business should go without having one. In essence, it’s the road map of your business looking into the future. So how do you write a plan like this so that it gets you the funding that you deserve? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write the perfect business plan.

1. Organize Your Information

Organizing your information is vital because it’s the basis of every other step to writing the perfect business plan. This includes all the pertinent information about your company, products and services, customers, possible risks, market and competitors.

==> Download your business plan template now!

2. Compose an Executive Summary

The first part of your business plan needs to be the executive summary—that’s just how tradition dictates this plan. The executive summary will be relatively short—about two pages—and it should cover all of the elements of your business that your plan will outline.

3. Describe Your Business

This is the point at which you must literally spell out the whole purpose of your company. This is the ideal place to point out all of the skills both you and your management team possess.

4. Explain Your Product and/or Service

Here’s where you go into the specifics with regard to how you’re going to provide your customers with your product and/or service. You should also analyze all the expenses associated with this procedure, and you ought to list down all your supply sources.

5. Explain the Market You’re Entering

You should talk about any and all general trends in your industry. This should include some details on the market segment you’re after, the niche you’re after, and what type of customer you’re targeting.

6. Explain Your Marketing Plan

Here’s where you have to educate your readers on how you’ll generate sales through ads, public relations and promotions. One thing, though: Always take care to estimate all your costs very conservatively!

==> Download your business plan template now!

7. Talk About Your Revenue and Costs

No business plan will be complete without you highlighting both your revenue projections and your expenses. Take care to be very precise here, even if they’re just projections you’re working with. Your financial backers love hearing how much money you think you’re going to make!

Nobody will fund your business idea if you don’t have a business plan that is sound, makes sense and neatly outlines where you see your company in the future. Incorporate the above steps, and you’ll have a great business plan in no time.


Four Ways to Improve Your Business Plan

If your brilliant idea for a new business isn’t getting attention from investors, it’s a sure sign that your business plan needs some tweaking. Remember that the decision to invest in or pass on your idea depends largely on how you present it. For new entrepreneurs who need funding to get started, writing a great business plan is a crucial part of securing money from professional investors. Even if you are still in the process of writing your business plan and haven’t yet approached investors, following a few simple tips can help you create the type of plan investors look for.

==> Download your business plan template now!

1. Cut out unnecessary information.
If your business plan includes too much information, readers can easily miss the most important details. It’s hard to say exactly how long your business plan should be because only you know that. The length can vary from one type of business to another. The key to figuring out if your plan is too long is asking yourself whether all points in your business plan are necessary to give investors a clear understanding of your vision. Remove any irrelevant details and points that are speculative rather than factual. Investors want to see up-to-date numbers and statistics that can be backed up by current market research.

2. Format your plan correctly.
How you present the information in your plan can have a big effect on how investors respond to your ideas. If you wrote or are working on your business plan from scratch, it’s a good idea to compare it with sample business plan templates to make sure that you aren’t leaving out any important sections. Your plan should be formatted in a way that makes it very easy to find information quickly. For better readability, it’s a good idea to include graphics like financial graphs. They can break up the text and make the document more appealing.

3. Focus on both short-term goals and the big picture.
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing too much on the future and not enough on how they plan to get there. Investors want to hear ideas that can turn into big businesses in the future, but they need to know that you have what it takes to build a successful business from scratch. Make sure that your plan takes them from the first days of opening your business to how you see it in the future.

==> Download your business plan template now!

4. Include detailed strategies that explain how you plan to deal with competitors.
Vague marketing ideas that don’t directly refer to competitors in your area can really hurt your chances of securing funding. When it comes to dealing with competition, your plan needs to include a clear and effective marketing strategy that will put your business ahead of similar local businesses. Do some research on businesses that are the most likely to be your main competitors. Explain how you will deal with them by presenting custom marketing strategies that are based on their strengths and weaknesses.


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