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.
If you say your management team is experienced and qualified to help the business succeed, you have to support that claim with resumes that demonstrate that experience. It`s easy to lose credibility – and investors – if you`re making claims you can`t fully support.
There are tons of good outlines available, plus books, blogs. Down below I have some specific resources related to my work; but not now. There is no single best outline to use, but investors will want to know about the market, potential growth, competition, differentiation (or secret sauce) strategy, tactics, key milestones, important assumptions, the management team, and financial projections including use of funds, projected sales, income, balance, and cash flow. Use your common sense to put first things first and organize it all well.
The business plan is a necessary but not sufficient condition for finding outside investors. The plan describes the business and what it might become, and that`s all. A beautifully written, edited, and formatted business plan will not make a less investible business more investible.
In the beginning, one may have the urge to delve straight into specific strategies, such as evaluating production methods, studying market segments, and evaluating the competition—but do not do that, at least not yet.
The more you test and review elements of your plan, the better your plan and business will be. This can save you from spending days developing a strategy that just isn`t feasible.