how to write a good executive summary? It’s rather simple to respond to a request for proposals (RFP). You give a brief background of your business, your product or service, the timetable for when it will be implemented, and the assistance you’ll offer. The executive summary is the only problematic portion since everyone will read it. What does it accomplish? To reiterate the proposal, don’t respond to that. This article will give you an overview of how to write a good executive summary. Keep reading.
Write an executive summary of your company strategy, every entrepreneur. The document that affects whether a potential investor will even bother to read your business plan is actually far more significant than the business plan itself.
And many make mistakes. Why?
since selling is the executive summary’s primary objective.
You have 30 seconds to pique the reader’s curiosity. If not, you’ve already lost them.
It’s important to comprehend this. Selling your vision to consumers, workers, future employees, the media, vendors, partners, and possible investors is your essential responsibility as an entrepreneur.
How to write a good executive summary
The components of an executive summary are outlined in several business publications and academic document templates. Although most people mean well, there is a significant difference between an academic executive summary that explains a firm and an executive summary that sells a business opportunity in the real world!
Tom Sant, founder of the Cincinnati-based Sant Corporation and author of Persuasive Business Proposals: Writing to Win Customers, Clients, and Contracts, claims that the term “executive summary” is somewhat of a misnomer (Amacom, 1992). You’re attempting to set forth the business case, in reality.
As a result, the executive summary necessitates a whole different writing style than the remainder of the proposal, one that strikes a balance between an effective presentation of the most important details and a strong, well-supported argument.
Above all, the executive summary has to show that it fully comprehends the demands of the potential client. Include the ROI your services will provide as part of it as an excellent method to do this. Sant adds, “You need to describe results. Describe the effect on performance, especially one that can be measured.
1. Write with your audience in mind
The target audience for a compelling executive summary is busy executives who are more interested in bottom-line deliverables than specifics. Executives read for certain phrases and pricing, according to Stacia Kelly, head of the writing agency Catklaw in Woodbridge, Virginia. If he loves it, he will give it to a helper and ask them to read it from cover to cover.
Put the most important material in the opening few lines, recommends Bud Porter-Roth, author of Proposal Development: How to Respond and Win the Bid (PSI Research/Oasis, 1998). He says, “The executive may not read anymore.”
The RFP writers will read everything, he warns, though. The intermediate managers who will brief high management on you and your plan are thus an extra, secondary audience for the executive summary. Therefore, Porter-Roth advises making sure the executive summary provides them with the means to advocate for you. An executive summary should do the following three tasks to reach these two audiences:
2. Identify the issue or requirement
It could be harder than it seems to do this. According to Porter-Roth, “RFPs are drafted incorrectly. Because the RFP was created by technical individuals who only noticed technical problems, you may need to identify the business challenges.”
Sant advises, “You need to persuade them that this is an issue worth addressing.” “Their inaction and decision to spend the money elsewhere may be your fiercest competitors.”
3. Offer a suggestion and describe its advantages
Sant says, “Provide carefully to make a firm, unequivocal advice.” Say something like, “We propose that integrated content management software be used throughout the organization,” for instance. Next, you must justify the importance of your answer. Instead of concentrating on what it is in this situation, consider its potential advantages or returns.
According to Porter-Roth, you should emphasize business benefits rather than technical aspects. For example, “This solution will cut your work crew by five employees” or “This CRM will allow you to answer queries while online, rather than in a callback.”
4. Cite supporting evidence
Describe the main factors that make your business the ideal candidate to provide the solution. Here is where you may set yourself apart; for example, emphasize a distinctive process or give a succinct case study of your prior work.
Another suggestion is to provide client endorsements. Just be careful not to overdo it and draw attention away from the potential customer and onto your business.
Sant explains, “It’s not about the vendor—about it’s the client. His guiding principle is to ensure that the customer’s name appears in the executive summary three times more frequently than the name of your business.
4. Keep it concise, orderly, and clear
Remove jargon, Kelly from Catklaw suggests. World-class, turnkey, value-added, and leverage are some of her pet peeves (as a verb). And be sure to proofread, advises Porter-Roth. “Always have a second set of eyes read the executive summary to check for consistency, selling points, and language. The executive summary is far too frequently copied and pasted, and it is obvious.”
Make sure your executive summary maintains true to its name while you’re revising. Keep your executive summary brief, Sant advises—one to two pages for the first twenty-five pages of the proposal content and an extra page for every subsequent fifty pages.
6. Use visuals to emphasize
To emphasize your point, use formatting and images. The executive summary will be simpler to skim if it has bullet points and titles, and a well-selected image can emphasize a vital point.
Use a visual to depict the client’s predicament if the data is available in the public record. According to Sant, “This may really rivet their awareness of how horrible a situation is.
7. Take the help of technology
Kelly advises using Microsoft Word’s connecting features when delivering electronically. Make it simple for readers to click on further information in the document.
Other pointers recommended by experts for creating an executive summary that attracts interest and business are as follows:
8. Template for Executive Summary
This is a strong argument for why your concept, item, or business will succeed. Make it succinct and specific. Do not introduce your team or your goods. Rather than placing safe bets, investors are more concerned about losing out on the next great thing.
Clearly state the issue that you plan to tackle. Describe the discomfort and your plan for resolving it. Make sure the subject’s breadth is obvious, but refrain from estimating the market’s size.
Here, describe your product or service. Clearly state what you have and how it addresses the issue you’ve identified while using simple language. List the users of your solution and how you may reach them.
Describe the market’s size, lifetime, and dynamics in this paragraph. How quickly is it expanding? What is fueling the expansion? Be precise. Don’t be overly general when using unit sales and income numbers; instead, focus on the precise size of the niche you’re entering. When marketing to a particular $250 million industry, avoid describing a $100 billion market.
Your Advantage in the Market
Do you possess any original works? Is the patent? only available? Clearly state how you want to defeat your rivals.
Model of your business
Describe your unit metrics and revenue model. What are the costs involved in acquiring customers? Your lifetime value of a customer? Does your manufacturing unit cost? Your point of break-even? And how will these alter as your company grows?
Be sure to be able to describe the essential metrics important to your product or service, such as DAU, MRR, CMGR, churn, and your burn rate, if you work in technology. If you’re unsure, research the measures that experienced investors in your sector consider, then determine your own.
Because you’re pitching an investment opportunity, quantify the level of success you anticipate by using your financial estimates. Your predictions need to stand up.
Watch out for generic hockey stick curves; if they don’t hold up, you’ll lose credibility. Include yearly predictions for revenue, costs, net income or loss, unit sales, and headcount that are at least three years out.
How much are you requesting? Make a list of how much is required to reach your next goal. Don’t ask for too little; experienced investors will anticipate that you’ll require twice as much as you’ve indicated. Explain how you intend to use these monies to reach the milestone.
All of this must fit on two to three pages. Also, don’t forget to provide your contact details!
Since this is a marketing piece, make every sentence count by refining the wording across several iterations. Anything that doesn’t address the aforementioned points or generate interest in the investment offer should be removed.
I hope this article on how to write a good executive summary will be helpful to you.
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