There is no set structure for an executive summary, but there are guidelines you must follow to ensure your business plan or investment proposal gets the attention it deserves.

A well-written executive summary needs to contain the following elements, among others:

  • Vision – What problems are you trying to solve? What are your guiding principles?
  • Mission statement – What’s the purpose of your venture?
  • Business model – What’s the rationale of how you create, deliver, and capture value?
    • How will you create value?
    • Who will you create it for? B2B, B2C?
    • How will you generate revenue?
    • How capital intensive is your venture?
  • Describe your product or service – Does it meet customers’ needs?
  • What are its key attributes?
    • Products – function, durability, installation, ease of use, packaging
    • Service – function, environment, reliability, responsiveness, availability, usability
    • Retail – product offerings, ambiance, decor, layout, location
  • What are the benefits of the product?
    • Quality – durability, reliability
    • Good service – on-time delivery, maintenance, tech support
    • Efficiency – ease of use, greater output, less waste
    • Convenience – flexibility
    • Cost savings

When you’re trying to sell an idea to a potential investor, you’ll need to craft the pitch-perfect executive summary. The tips above will show you how to write one that will get your business plan read and get your foot in the door.