Why? Because once you know the details of your business inside and out, you will be better prepared to write your executive summary. After all, this section is a summary of everything else you`re going to write about.
At the top of the page, right under your business name, include a one-sentence overview of your business that sums up the essence of what you are doing. This can be a tagline but is often more effective if the sentence describes what your company actually does. This is also known as your value proposition.
And you don`t have to start with the full, detailed business plan that I`m going to describe here. In fact, it can be much easier to start with a simple, one-page business plan—what we call a Lean Plan—and then come back and build a slightly longer, more detailed business plan later.
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.
First, you want your business plan to be read. No one is going to read a 100-page or even 40-page business plan. Sure, you may need supporting documentation for specific sections but you can include those elements in your Appendix.
All business plans should be reviewed and revised at least monthly. The review should include looking for changed assumptions and analyzing plan vs actual results with management of the difference.