How To Write An Executive Summary – Think A Call-to-Action
Executive Summary: 1-3 pages which summarizes the overall business plan/proposal and the vision of your company. Clear and concise it encapsulates the mission and pre-sells the whole idea of your venture/proposal.
An Executive Summary is not a summary at all, but a marketing tool designed to sell your business to the client /investor. It needs to be persuasive, specific, focused – not descriptive but purposeful. Having the just right graphics and detailing solutions to problems. It is a Call-to-Action to lure the reader into wanting to delve further into your proposal.
When to Compose? First or Last
Write the Executive Summary first to organize thoughts and use it as a Guide to prepare the overall business plan/proposal.
Write the Executive Summary last after you have conceived the entire plan/proposal and pull out the best parts for summation.
There is no right or wrong time to compose the Summary. Some people prefer to compose/compile it before writing the body of the plan/proposal. While others prefer waiting until the plan is completed and then writing the Summary. Either way, it’s what you are comfortable with.
How the Executive Summary should be structured
– Opener: The Why of your vision.
– Need: Talk about the ‘what’s in it for them’. Show you understand there perspective and how they benefit, ie. the positive outcomes.
– Solution: Why your plan/proposal will work. No details, just enough to entice further reading
– Evidence: Why your company. What qualifies you vs. the competition. What differentiates you.
– Call-to-Action: Close the deal. The whole summary is a CTA. Why they want to invest in your venture and how everyone will share in its success.
Do’s and Don’ts
– Keep it short. No more than three pages.
– Use straight-forward language not buzz-words
– Don’t use too much technical jargon/lingo
– Focus on Client/Investor. What do they want to know. How can you help them.
– Mention the Client/investor’s company name several times, if possible.
This is the Executive Summary as Call-to-Action. Follows the advice above and it will work for you.
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