Free Business Plan Software & Templates

"The executive summary is the most important part of the business plan. Many people will only read this. The summary in itself will not secure an investor, however, it can loose them.

Quality - the quality of the summary must therefore be outstanding and you should pay particular attention to it. Obtain critical feedback from others on your drafts.

Stand-alone - it is also used as a stand-alone document when introducing the project to others so it must be able to capture interest and entice the reader to take the next step and request more information - and secure a meeting.

Style – cogent and terse. It should be direct and organized as a series of bulleted paragraphs, each deals with one key area. No waffle.

Length - ideally one page, and certainly not more than two pages.

Content - it needs to:

• Introduce the project in terms of what area it is concerned with, what it is trying to do, and list the key individuals and advisors involved
• Describe the stage the project reached particularly in terms of the "readiness for market" of its products, or product concepts, and outline any intellectual property, such as patents, that may support the products
• Highlight the main market characteristics, including size and growth, and specify the market opportunity that you are addressing
• State the central competitive advantages of your products and/or processes, how distinct they are from the competition and in what way, and how these are important to customers
• Summarize the objectives of the company in the short and long term, and quantify these with specific numbers. Outline the key strategies you will use to achieve them
• Include any "evidence of success" - this may be trade reviews, analyst comments, sales or partnership agreements, working prototypes, market testing, etc. which help to make the project more tangible to the reader and raises confidence in the project
• Highlight any other key issues that should be noted
• State your finance requirements and what stake in the company is available for this (see Financial Structure), and the planned exit strategy for the investor - i.e. how the investor will realize their return from the project."

From the free business plan template available along with other useful templates and materials from Innovateur.