How to Write an Executive Summary + Video

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how to write an executive summary video

What is an executive summary?

An executive summary is the brief introduction to a business plan. It should describe your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.

What should an executive summary include?

  • Who you are. Start with your business’s name, location, and contact information.
  • What you offer and the problem your business solves. Include a brief description of the product or service you offer and why it’s necessary. Your business doesn’t need to serve a larger social problem, but it should address a need or opportunity in the market.
  • Your target market. Sometimes the product itself defines the market, such as “Peoria’s best Thai food,” or “Mini Cooper dashboard accessory.” If not, then a brief description of the target market.
  • Business plan purpose. Say whether you’re seeking investment or trying to secure a bank loan. An executive summary is only really necessary when you are sharing your business plan with outsiders.
  • Size or scale. For example, with an existing company, that information might be as simple as adding recent annual sales or number of employees to the basic company information in the first bullet here. For a startup, it might be a brief description of aspirations, such as a sales goal for the next year or three years from now. I often recommend a simple highlights chart, a bar chart with sales and gross margin for the next three years.
  • Critical details. Mention any defining details that would matter to the person that will ultimately read the summary–like that the founders are all MBA students at the local university, or that your business has been awarded a prestigious development grant. Remember, some readers will only look at the summary of your business plan.