Using a Sample of a Business Plan to Get Funded
Because the executive summary may have to act as a stand-in for the entire plan, it must be a basically complete, though shortened version of the entire plan. That means that the highlights of each of the sections within the plan should be summarized. Three to five sentences should be enough to sum up the main points of each section of the plan.
Although presenting a more or less complete overview of the business plan, the executive summary must, nonetheless, present a much more simplified version. Supporting data will have to be summarized or mentioned only in passing. Enough support should be included to show that research has been done, although you will certainlynot be able to show all of the research of your industry, customer, and competitive analyses in the executive summary.
Whenever possible, use charts or graphs to show numerical data in the executive summary. One chart showing the financial metrics of your company's growth over its first five years may be all that is needed in this regard. It should include a summary of sales, expenses, and profit as well as non-financial statistics like the number of customers, employees, and products sold annually.
If, during the process of writing the executive summary, you feel the language becoming so general that it could be describing any business in the industry, take a step back and remember how your company differentiates itself. Differentiation is not needed within each section of the plan, but it must be apparent where it creates competitive advantage for the company. Allow additional sentences to explain this differentiation and cut down language which describes common business practices as much as possible.
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