Components of an Executive Summary (With Example)

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Not only is a business plan essential for any business owner, but it’s also a requirement if you decide to apply for small business funding or find investors. After all, before a bank or individual hands over any money, they’ll want to be sure your company is on solid ground (so they can get their money back).

Elements to Include in Your Executive Summary
  • Summary.
  • Company description.
  • Market Analysis.
  • Organization description.
  • Management team.
  • Product line.
  • Marketing plan.
  • Funding request and use.

4 Main Components of an Effective Executive Resume Summary

Components of an executive summary

When writing your executive summary, there are several components you should include. You can alter section titles as they pertain to your specific objectives or preferences. Here are a few key components of an executive summary for you to incorporate in your own:

Project, business summary or mission statement

The first section of an executive summary should introduce the item youre promoting through your report. This section should define your business or business initiative and give a brief overview of what it has to offer and who will benefit from it. If youre creating a proposal for a business project, you can title this section “project summary.” If youre advocating for more funding or a potential partnership for a new or existing business you can title this section “business summary” or “mission statement.”

Problems and solutions

This section allows the reader to learn more about why youre expanding into new markets, selling a portion of your business or changing company or department operations. It also allows you to outline the solutions you want to achieve by addressing and overcoming problems. You can either combine this section with the first or make it its own section depending on the scope of information you want to include.

Background

The background section outlines the actions and events that led to the creation of a company, business project or another business initiative. You can also combine this section to include problems and solutions if applicable. At the end of your background section, you should name the other team members or executives, their role within the company and, if necessary, a short description of their previous professional experiences that adds credibility to your business.

Market research and competitive advantage

Investors want to know whether you have an understanding of industry trends, competitor details and customer needs. The market research and competitive advantage section should highlight your research and knowledge of your businesss industry, and how your business is different from others at the local, state or national level. You can also use this section to acknowledge your companys weaknesses and how you plan to overcome them.

Business model

If youre writing an executive summary to convince investors or company leaders to support a specific initiative or project, you can replace the “business model” section with “process” or “project structure.”

Financial information, projections and funding

The financial sections may be different depending on whether you have a new or well-established business. For example, if you plan to start a business and need funding, the financial section should highlight your projected growth expectations over time and potential revenue for the first year of business.

In contrast, if you either lead or work for a well-established business, the financial section should outline your past, current and projected financial data. For professionals looking to obtain funding for an internal company project, the financial section should highlight their budgeting needs to complete the project successfully.

Recommendations moving forward

Only include a recommendations section if youre advocating for a project or business initiative. This section summarizes how a company should acclimate to changes based on new initiatives, policies or organizational structure.

What is an executive summary?

An executive summary is important because it helps the reader cultivate an understanding of the document as a whole before they start reading more in-depth. Also, if you write a compelling executive summary with the proper components and information, you have the ability to persuade a potential business partner, employer or company leader to consider your proposal further.

Executive summary example

There are a variety of different ways to structure your executive summary based on the information you want to present and your reasoning for writing one. Here is an example of a common executive summary that a new business would use to attract investors and receive funding:

Our mission

Clawsons Cafe and Tea Emporium will offer a warm and vibrant space for coffee and tea-lovers to read, listen to music and purchase quality coffee or tea beverages. We will have a menu with specialty lattes, tea blends and customizable beverage options in addition to a delicious selection of baked goods.

Customers can also purchase their favorite coffee bean roasts and loose leaf tea to enjoy at home. All of our coffee, tea and baked goods will be sourced from small businesses in the local area to encourage beneficial partnerships with local business owners and sustainability initiatives.

Background

Clawsons Cafe and Tea Emporium has been a dream of Kayla Clawsons ever since she moved to the town of Myersbrook in 2010. At the time, Myersbrook was an up-and-coming destination for civil war era enthusiasts, families and day-trippers as it had a vibrant and historic downtown area for everyone to enjoy. Kayla had previous work experience as a barista and cafe manager but was surprised when she realized that Myersbrook only had three cafes, one of which, was a well-known national cafe chain.

Thats when she decided to pursue her dream of opening her very own cafe. In 2018, she purchased a historic two-story building right on main street. Along with our founder, Kayla, we also have:

Business model

Products and services

We plan to offer a variety of beverage and food items to cater to our customers individual preferences. Here are the products we currently have on our menu:

Coffee menu

(Iced or hot)

(Brews available in packaged containers)

Tea menu

(Available in packaged containers as well)

Bakery selections

Market and competitive advantages

In the Myersbrook area, there are only three other cafes. One of which is a well-known national chain. The other two are well-established local cafes located approximately seven miles in either direction, from Clawsons Cafe and Tea Emporium. What makes Clawsons stand out is that it is the only cafe located on Myersbrooks main street, now a tourism hub. Clawsons is also the only cafe that offers ample seating on its two floors and it is the only cafe in Myserbrook where customers can get locally-sourced produce.

Financial projections

We project that within our first year of business, we will make $200,000 with a growth rate of $10 percent in the years that follow.

Funding needs

We need approximately $100,000 in funds to help start our business. The founder has accumulated the rest of the costs necessary through personal savings and a $20,000 loan.

FAQ

What is the format for an executive summary?

5 Crucial Parts of an Executive Summary
  • Project Summary. In two to three sentences, provide a brief description of the project, its purpose, and the main problem or issue it was supposed to resolve or address.
  • Background. …
  • Process. …
  • Results and Conclusions. …
  • Recommendations.

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