Moreover, business plans provide both a literal and proverbial roadmap to reach the personal and financial goals one has set out to achieve. Before writing your business plan, it`s best to spend a few days collecting information and creating financial estimates. Most of that time is spent explaining difficult questions and assumptions.
Second, your business plan should be a tool you use to run and grow your business. Something you continue to use and refine over time. An excessively long business plan is a huge hassle to revise—you`re almost guaranteed that your plan will be relegated to a desk drawer, never to be seen again.
Likewise, your business plan should answer these questions during the short-term period, particularly one year; specifically, what your business`s goals are for the current year, and what is essential in order to make your first year a success.
Ideally, the executive summary can act as a stand-alone document that covers the highlights of your detailed plan. In fact, it`s very common for investors to ask for only the executive summary when they are evaluating your business. If they like what they see in the executive summary, they`ll often follow up with a request for a complete plan, a pitch presentation, and more in-depth financials.
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.
Highlight the key aspects of your financial plan, ideally with a chart that shows your planned sales, expenses, and profitability. If your business model (i.e., how you make money) needs additional explanation, this is where you would do it.