The last key element of an executive summary that investors will want to see is the progress that you`ve made so far and future milestones that you intend to hit. If you can show that your potential customers are already interested in—or perhaps already buying—your product or service, this is great to highlight.
Working through your business plan, and starting with a one-page pitch, can help you test the viability of your business idea long before launching. As you work through everything from your branding and mission statement, to your opportunity and execution, the best thing you can do is get feedback and test different elements of your business.
Do not misunderstand, these are important inclusions in your plan; however, during the early stages of drafting, it is important to create a broad vision that can be adapted once your specifics have been identified.
The most common mistake by far is on profits. Startups that grow don`t produce profits. Investors make money on valuation increases, not profits. Real businesses rarely produce more than single-digit profits. Big profit projections are sophomoric. Take all those profits and dump them into marketing expenses and you`ll be better off.
You can skip the executive summary (or greatly reduce it in scope) if you are writing an internal business plan that`s purely a strategic guide for your company. In that case, you can dispense with details about the management team, funding requirements, and traction, and instead treat the executive summary as an overview of the strategic direction of the company, to ensure that all team members are on the same page.
This can be as simple as having a mentor or partner review elements of your plan, or conducting market research and speaking directly to your potential customer base.