from INC magazine 9/10 enhanced by Peter/ CXO Wiz4biz 8/13 (an Exec Sumry expert)
The First Paragraph. Just like a movie might begin with a fight scene or a magazine article opens with a funny anecdote, you’ll need a strong “hook” for your Executive Summary. The most important part is the first paragraph that clearly explains what the company does – to get the attention of the Investor. the 1st Paragraph is the Exec Sumry of the Executive Summary. The first paragraph needs to compel the reader to read the rest. Perhaps you have a compelling “Aha!” moment, so you might start with that. If you’ve identified a problem in the marketplace that isn’t being adequately serviced, you might start with that, too.
Guidelines to the Text. There are various Template you can get or buy, but there are absolute Guidelines you must follow, to ensure your business plan or investment proposal gets the attention it deserves. First, think about your “core” strengths. Use bullet points to present your ideas, and make sure you always use concise language to make it perfectly clear. You need to match your story of your Exec Sumry to your audience, your business, & your desired outcomes. If you have an exceptional product or service – that has far-reaching benefits – you might start with that. Ask yourself what’s unique & exciting about your company. After you’ve explained what your company does, it’s time to sell “why” you believe you’re uniquely qualified to succeed.
Address these Questions when putting together your Exec Sumry:
• Do you have a unique Partnership – that has experience creating successful startups?
• Do you already have Customers & Traction? Do you have several impressive quarters? Are your sales starting to take off?
• Do you have Patents to protect your technology or methodology?
• Is your Marketing Plan showing a strong attack on your Target Market? Are you setting up alternate delivery channels?
Conventional Approach. Depending on your audience, you can also try a more “conventional” approach to the Executive Summary. After the 1st paragraph, one effective structure is to summarize each section of the Executive Summary in the same order that is presented within the full business plan. To make the structure as relevant as possible for the reader, who is typically an Investor or a Lender, he suggests considering these categories:
• Company Description
• The Problem
• Our Solution
• The Timing
[ Company Description, The Problem, Our Solution, The Timing + Determining the Tone & The Length in next Premium Content ]