18+ Free Executive Summary Templates & Examples (Word)

business plan executive summary

An executive summary template is used to provide a simplified view of the project to lenders, investors, and executives who don’t have time to read the full proposal. It outlines the important points, problems, solutions, and conclusions of a longer report. Usually, it is used in;

  • Business plans
  • Investment proposals
  • Grant proposals
  • Project proposals
  • Internal reports

The executive summary should be precise and focus on the important information of the entire report. The content of your summary may vary on the basis of your audience and the information you are trying to summarize.

What is an executive summary?

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An executive summary gives a concise overview of larger documents or research. It is typically the first thing that readers see. It will analyze the problem, make conclusions, and suggest a course of action in a complete but brief synopsis.

A good executive summary grabs the reader’s attention and tell them what it is you do.

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What is an executive summary in project management?

An executive summary in project management is a summary of the most vital details of your project proposal. It contains everything that management requires to know before they review your project plan.

Don’t confuse this executive summary with a project overview. However, they have the same elements but the executive summary can stand alone. On the other hand, a project overview has to be attached to your project.

Key elements of an executive summary:

For a project, the key elements are;

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  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Value proposition
  • Conclusion

In a business plan, you should include the following;

  • Introduction
  • Company description
  • Products and services
  • Market analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • Funding request and use
  • Financial projections
  • Conclusion

What is included in an executive summary?

An executive summary should include the following information such as;

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  • Key points of the report.
  • Purpose of the report.
  • Highlights the main points of the report.
  • Explains the results, conclusions, or recommendations concisely from the report.

Furthermore, it has to include enough information so that reader can easily understand what is discussed in the whole report.

Why should you write the Executive summary?

No one has that much time anymore to read the entire document that you have made. This is the main reason that why you should write the executive summary. People do not have time to spare and are really busy especially lenders, investors, managers, executives, and CEOs. They will only like to read the shortest text. However, if they find it convincing then they will surely go in your favor.

An executive summary is the only thing that many people prefer reading in many cases according to the CEO of Katy, Pablo Bonjour. Further, he states that they would prefer reading the rest of the business plan if they find it effective and good enough otherwise they will not.

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It isn’t possible for busy people to read the entire business plan report. Investors will only be interested in reading the summarized version if you are showing your business plan to them. This is because the analysis would be of no use to them. For funding, they will only see the considerations. Therefore, having a strong executive summary is important and key for positive feedback.

How do you write an effective executive summary?

An effective executive summary should consist of the following 5 paragraphs;

  1. The first paragraph of an executive summary includes an overview of your business. Here you have to discuss the name and nature of your business, and relevant insights about your industry. You can get your reader’s attention by adding a quote or statistics in this paragraph.
  2. The second paragraph should discuss the target market, competition, and marketing strategy.It includes a clear and precise definition of your target market. The most important point your business aim to solve. Then, mention the competitive landscape of your industry. And your marketing strategy should consist of three primary ways that you plan on reaching your target market.
  3. The third paragraph should provide an overview of operational highlights. Operational highlights such as;
    (i) – Where your company office will be situated
    (ii) – Either or not you will incorporate or remain a sole proprietor
    (iii) – How will you serve as a brick-and-mortar or online business?
  4. The fourth paragraph shows the forecasting. After your business plan has been applied create sales forecasting projections for one and two years. Then, calculate the break-even points. And, let the audience know when your project to turn a profit.
  5. In the last paragraph, explain in detail the investments that your business needs. Make sure the number you include here should be clear.

Mistakes to avoid while writing executive summary:

Here are a few common mistakes that you should avoid while writing an executive summary;

  • Everyone from project contributors to executive stakeholders should be able to read and understand your executive summary. You should read your executive summary once over to ensure that there’s no unnecessary jargon because you are much closer to the daily and individual tasks than your stakeholders.
  • If you find the details of specific tasks, due dates, and attachments then check whether this information belongs in your executive summary. Some details are important but bear in mind that these details will be captured in your work management tool not your executive summary. Make sure your executive summary should be actionable and engaging.
  • Take a second look after writing your executive summary to ensure that the summary can stand on its own. If there is any context that your stakeholders require to understand the summary then weave it into your executive summary.
  • Keep in mind that your summary is a living document. Thus, you must proofread it before sending and if you find any mistakes, fix them.

Is an executive summary really beneficial for you?

Of course, it will benefit you in the best possible ways if you write a precise and clear summary and provide relevant explanations in it. Make sure to proofread it after writing the summary. When you reading it again, you will identify where you lack and if it really sounds effective to the investor. You will definitely be called for the meeting if you have written it as per the guidelines. Furthermore, there are chances that with other projects and business ideas that you may have in the long run your investor may be willing to invest more in future.

Do you really require to write the Executive summary?

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If you are willing to convince your investor, you do have to write the executive summary. This is the simple answer to this question. It assists you in organizing and presenting all your thoughts in a concise manner. In addition to this, your investor may want something brief and precise as they don’t have adequate time to read everything you have included in the report. Therefore, it becomes essential to write the executive summary of any business plan that you want to get investments for.

Make use of templates for your Executive summary:

Not every business has time to make an executive summary. They can get help from online summary templates. There are executive summary templates on Word too. But, you can also find several business plan executive summary templates online. Get benefit of your business plans and then add an impact to your report by using these templates.

In getting through the process, it can also assist you as a guide so that you don’t forget a single step. Download the executive summary templates now from any website if you are also willing to summarize your business plan in a concise manner. It makes your investor able to read the summarized version.

The advantages of an executive summary:

Nowadays, everyone is so busy in their lives that they don’t have time to dive into your project and see the goals of your project and why they matter. With the help of work management tools, you can capture a lot of important details about a project. This way, you and your team know who is doing what and when.

An executive summary proves beneficial for stakeholders as compared to team members who are actively working on the project. It provides stakeholders with quick insight and answers about why your project matters. They get a big-picture view of the whole project and its crucial points.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a project executive summary?

A project executive summary is a concise report that highlights the important items of the project. A manager who reads the executive summary, without going into fine detail gets the essence of the project status. You should include the information such as the goal or outcome to be achieved, overall cost needs to complete the project, opportunities, general concerns, etc.

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What do you know about the executive summary in the business plan?

An executive summary provides an overview of your business plan. It includes the description of your business, the solution to the problems, your business target market, and financial highlights.

A good executive summary grabs the reader’s attention and tell them what it is you do. Moreover, the summary also let them know why they should read the rest of your business plan. However, it’s a significant element of any business plan.

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