The executive summary of your business plan introduces your company, explains what you do, and lays out what you`re looking for from your readers. Structurally, it is the first chapter of your business plan. And while it`s the first thing that people will read, I generally advise that you write it last.
All business plans should establish strategy, tactics, milestones, tasks, assumptions, and essential numbers (projected sales, direct costs, expenses, and cash flow). All business plans should develop accountability and tracking.
Writing a business plan is about establishing a foundation for your business. You`re not predicting the future, you`re working through the core strategy of your business that will help you grow. This initial document isn`t meant to be perfect but is designed to be reviewed and adjusted to help you identify and reach your goals.
Provide a brief overview of your team and a short explanation of why you and your team are the right people to take your idea to market. Investors put an enormous amount of weight on the team—even more than on the idea—because even a great idea needs great execution in order to become a reality.
When writing a business plan, have an end goal in mind. You need to ask yourself, Where do I want it to go? What will my business look like? Stated differently, how do you want your business functioning in the next five to ten years? This is your vision.
Projections are important not for their actual numbers as much as for their presentation of drivers, relationships between growth and spending, key spending priorities, sales aspirations, and assumptions related to cash flow. They have to be solid and integrated, but accuracy is much more a matter of transparent assumptions than accurately predicting the future.