The first part of a business plan that readers will encounter is the executive summary. This section provides an introduction to the business and informs of the direction that the entrepreneur wants the business to go in.
The executive summary is also used to convey why the business idea is successful. A helpful writing technique is to write this section of the business plan last.
Going through each other section will allow the writer to have a complete vision of the business that makes writing the executive summary a breeze.
So as a tip, begin writing the business plan with the company summary section. When ready to write the executive summary, there are three main parts that need to be included in any business plan whether the business is established or a new start up.
Those parts are the business name and location, the mission goals and objectives, and the keys to the company’s success.
The Business Name and Location
Every business needs to have a name so that it is easily identifiable and separate from the rest. Even as a sole proprietorship, some find it helpful to use a Doing Business As (DBA), or a fictitious name.
The location of the business should be where the business is headquartered. If the business does not have a headquarters, then typically the address that the business would receive mail at will suffice.
This is mostly for contact purposes for clients, bills, or government entities.
The Mission, Goals, and Objectives of the Business.
The mission statement of the business is a key statement in the business plan. This statement should use a few sentences to describe your business’s philosophy and the principles behind the business’s goals.
A great example of this is found in Costco’s mission statement, “Costco’s mission is to continually provide our members with quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices.
In order to achieve our mission we will conduct our business with the following Code of Ethics in mind:
- Obey the law
- Take care of our members
- Take care of our employees
- Respect our vendors
If we do these four things throughout our organization, then we will realize our ultimate goal, which is to reward our shareholders.”
The goals included in the business plan should be the measurable purpose for your business’s direction. These are usually listed in the longer term and can be refined as the business meets them.
The objectives listed in the business plan are more narrow versions of the goals. These are typically mid to short term and are something that the business’s efforts are targeted to attain.
The objectives can be paired with specific action in the business plan to show the reader that the entrepreneur has considered what it takes to meet them.
Keys to the Company’s Success
The keys to the company’s success is also a critical part of the executive summary. In this portion, it is advisable to use a bulleted list of items that will set the business apart and ensure its success.
A good rule of thumb for this is to have three keys to success. This is so that the reader is not over/underwhelmed by the number of points that will make this business successful.
As mentioned in the first paragraph, I recommend to write the Executive Summary last. The next section, the Company Summary is usually a good place to start writing the business plan.