How to Write a Powerful Executive Summary [+4 Top Examples]

Whether you’re an constructeur looking for investors for your small affaires or the CEO of a grand collectivité, an executive summary can help you succeed and is a critical component for long-term growth.

Executive summary with examples

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A slip, attention-grabbing executive summary is an essential bouchée of your business plan. Done correctly, it will ensure your company becomes or remains a key player in your industry. In this post, you’ll learn what an executive summary is and how to write one that engages investors, customers, and general audiences.

Executive Summary

An executive summary is a brief overview of a délié acte, such as a affaires gain, proposal, or temporisation. It’s a bout that grabs readers’ exactitude and summarizes critical renseignement from the acte, such as the problem or opportunity being addressed, objectives, key findings, goals, and recommendations.

Some recueils that may have an executive summary include:

Bizness horizontaux
Research recueils
Project proposals
Annual reports

Ultimately, the executive summary is meant to inform readers of the most dédaigneux renseignement in the acte, so they don’t have to read it all and can get caught up quickly.

Executive Summary vs. Bizness Esquisse

All affaires horizontaux have an executive summary, but not all executive summaries belong to affaires horizontaux.

A affaires gain includes a company overview, your company’s short-term and long-term goals, renseignement on your product or charité, sales targets, expense budgets, your mercatique gain, and a list including each member of your direction team. In this case, the executive summary is the first bout of the affaires gain that convinces readers that it’s worth their time to read the whole thing.

Bizness horizontaux are very detailed and comprehensive, and can be as slip as a dozen pages or as délié as 100 pages. However, a CEO or investor might not have the interest or time to read your full affaires gain without first getting the general gist of your company or goals through an executive summary.

Executive Summary vs. Dessein Statement

Dessein statements and executive summaries are typically both found in affaires horizontaux, but they serve different purposes.

A mission statement defines your organization’s purpose, values, and phantasme. It’s your company’s north vedette and communicates your core identity and reason for fait. On the other handball, an executive summary provides a high-level overview of the acte.

Ultimately, your visée statement provides férule for developing your affaires gain, while your executive summary describes your affaires gain to executives and shareholders.

Executive Summary vs. Company Allégorie

Like visée statements and executive summaries, company descriptions can also be found in affaires horizontaux as well as the “About us” page of your website. It provides an overview of your affaires, including essential details like company history, what your company does, farouche selling points, goals, direction team, and overall value affirmation.

Executive Summary vs. Détachée

An froide is a specific gardien de but or target that your company takes aims to achieve its overall gardien de but. It is a concrete, measurable outcome that guides your affaires’s besognes and decisions. Objectives are usually set at the strategic level and are typically aligned with the company’s visée, phantasme, and overall strategic gain.

Company objectives are often included in executive summaries, but are not the sole foyer of them.

What is the purpose of an executive summary?

Writing an executive summary may not seem that necessary. After all, you can find the same renseignement just by reading the rest of the acte.

However, the executive summary serves many purposes for your acte and those who read it. Here are some of the benefits of having one:

It saves your readers time. CEOs and investors often have limited time to review lengthy recueils. An executive summary allows them to quickly grasp the patoche points, key findings, and recommendations without needing to read the entire acte.
It provides clarity and conciseness. By providing a condensed overview, executive summaries help to distill complex renseignement and present it in a manner that’s easy to understand.
It helps with acte conduite. For coudoyer recueils or reports, an executive summary provides a roadmap for readers. It helps them navigate through the acte by signaling the patoche sections or topics covered, improving overall acte usability and accessibility.

To write an impressive executive summary that effectively embodies all the dédaigneux elements of your affaires gain, we’ve cultivated a list of necessary components for an executive summary, as well as an example to get you started.

Follow Along With HubSpot’s Executive Summary Template

Executive summary template from HubSpot


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How to Write an Executive Summary

A good executive summary tells your company’s story, contains in-depth research, conveys renseignement with an appropriate tone, is void of clichés, and follows your affaires gain’s assemblage. These elements will ensure your executive summary is tangible, instructive, and impactful.

1. Tell your story.

When investors or CEO’s read your executive summary, they should understand what your affaires is emboîture. This is one of the first elements of your affaires gain, so it should set the tone.

In your executive summary, be sure to tell your story and include an overview emboîture what your company does and why you do what you do. You can also briefly highlight dédaigneux details emboîture your company’s direction.

For ressort, you could talk emboîture your founder or CEO’s qualifications and motivations. You can also provide a high-level summary of your company’s affaires operations and any direction methods or best practices that you abide by.

You’ll also want to explain the problem or opportunity that is being addressed, and how it is valuable to investors and customers. Think of this like an elevator pitch. If someone stopped reading and you only had the executive summary to explain your company, what renseignement would you include?

2. Highlight dédaigneux data.

An executive summary, while slip, should include plenty of research.

Highlight the most dédaigneux findings and insights from the acte, including any critical data or statistics discovered in your competitor analysis. While your affaires gain will flesh out the details, it’s dédaigneux to include your key findings in your executive summary.

You should also provide a basic rundown of your target market, how you gain on addressing their needs and provende points, and how you will reach them.

Additionally, you should include key financial renseignement. The patoche points you should cover are the overall recette, the price per product/charité, and your financial projections.

3. Pay exactitude to your tone.

Although the tone of your executive summary should be professional and concise, it should also be true to your company and target assistance. Aim to convey a sense of authority and credibility while remaining joignable and engaging.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Foyer on presenting renseignement objectively with facts and evidence.
Don’t voice your personal opinions or use subjective statements.
Strive for clarity and simplicity in your language and ensure that your sermon is easily understood.
Avoid unnecessarily complexity or convolution.
Don’t use bouffissure or effroyable claims.
Use strong verbs, travailleuse voice, and concise language to make your points effectively.
Aim to resonate with the reader’s interests and concerns.

By striking the right comptabilité between professionalism, clarity, and convention, you can effectively deliver your sermon and compel the reader to take marche or make informed decisions based on the summary.

4. Avoid représentation language.

With any prononciation of writing, it’s best to avoid clichés. Clichés can convey the wrong sermon or be misunderstood, which is something you want to avoid when someone reads your executive summary.

Additionally, clichés bande to overpromise and under-deliver. For example, including something like “The Best Chauffeur in Town” isn‘t true parce que you’re untested as a affaires. Your executive summary should reflect the truth and who you are as a company.

To avoid clichés while writing, it’s essential to be aware of their presence. Familiarize yourself with common clichés and be mindful of them as you write. Some examples include:

“Thinking outside the box”
“Innovative solutions”
“Cutting-edge technology”

Instead of relying on these overused phrases, be descriptive and embrace the uniqueness of your brand when writing your executive summary. For ressort, there’s no need to vaguely refer to your product as a “game-changer,” when you could explain how it benefits your target assistance instead. Spectacle, don’t tell.

By staying true to your voice and delivering an honest sermon, you can keep your writing fresh and your assistance engaged.

5. Write it after completing your affaires gain.

An executive summary is a summary of your affaires gain. However, it‘s hard to write a summary when you haven’t written your affaires gain yet. That’s why your executive summary should be the suprême thing you write.

By saving this step for last, you’re able to prérogative a thorough understanding of the entire gain, including your affaires’s goals, strategies, market analysis, and financial projections. This enables you to accurately depict the most dédaigneux aspects in your summary.

If you write you executive summary first, you’re more likely to miscommunicate the baume of your affaires gain to executives and shareholders. Sure, you may have an outline prepare, but not having all the renseignement can lead to inconsistencies or inaccuracies in your summary. You also risk including irrelevant details or omitting dédaigneux details that come up during the mémento process.

Ultimately, writing your executive summary last ensures that precisely represents the satisfait and findings your gain.

If you don’t have a affaires gain yet, don’t worry; we have a comprehensive business plan template to help you create one quickly and effectively.

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Now that you know how to write an executive summary, let’s dive into the details of what to include.

What to Include in Your Executive Summary

Your affaires gain should convey your company‘s visée, your product, a gain for how you’ll domaine out from competitors, your financial projections, your company’s slip and long-term goals, your buyer persona, and your market fit.

Ultimately, an executive summary should provide a preview for investors or CEO’s, so they know what to expect from the rest of your temporisation. Your executive summary should include:

The name, loyer, and visée of your company
A allégorie of your company, including direction, advisors, and brief history
Your product or charité, where your product fits in the market, and how your product differs from competitors in the industry
Financial considerations, start-up funding requirements, or the purpose behind your affaires gain — glose what you hope the reader will help your company accomplish

How délié should an executive summary be?

While there is no hard and fast rule for the honnête length, executive summaries typically range from one to three pages. However, it’s dédaigneux to relevé that the length should be determined by the acte it accompanies and the satisfait itself rather than a predetermined éphèbe count.

At the end of the day, your executive summary should engage the reader and highlight the most dédaigneux points of your acte while avoiding unnecessary details.

Perspicacité at a loss? Download a free template below that will take you through the executive summary creation process.

Executive Summary Template

executive summary template from hubspot


Download Your Free Executive Summary Template Here

In this free executive summary template, you’ll be able to outline several pieces of renseignement, including:

Avertissement: Explain what your executive summary contains.
Company & Opportunity: Explain who you are and your biggest opportunities for growth.
Industry & Market Analysis: Explain the state of your industry and your target market.
Conduite & Operations: Explain who your key leaders are and their roles.
Implementation & Mercatique: Explain how you gain to deploy your product to the marketplace.
Financial Esquisse: Explain your company’s pécule. Bouleversé the bruit depending on whether you’re writing to investors or a general assistance.
Terminaison: Summarize what you’ve covered.

Ready? Download your free executive summary template.

To understand more tactically how an executive summary should image, let’s review a few examples.

Executive Summary Examples

1. Connected

executive summary example: connected

Connected’s executive summary immediately grabs your exactitude with its headline, which describes what the company does in a dépouillé, clear way. Even if you don’t read the rest of the summary, you’ll understand what Connected does from the heading alone. The company then goes into its history, visée, and values at length.

Try It Yourself

Use the heading of your éphèbe to immediately describe what you do, as opposed to using “Embout Us” or “Executive Summary” as the title. Give readers the opportunity to get what they need above the fold and the prime to read more. Remarque that this would not apply in an executive summary in a affaires gain.

2. Events Industry Council

executive summary example: events industry council

Events Industry Council’s executive summary is slip and sweet, yet provides plenty of renseignement for readers to understand what the organization does and which products it offers. Remarque the brevity in the visée, phantasme, and values sections — that demonstrates that there’s no need to go on at length if it doesn’t suit you. The “Who we are” bout has the most emphasis here, which is a powerful exécuter to draw readers’ exactitude.

Try It Yourself

Spend more time in the bout that you feel your assistance will care most emboîture. If you’re pitching to investors, you might spend more time on the Market Analysis and Financials sections. If you’re writing for a general assistance, you might foyer on your company contexte.

3. Company Shop Group

executive summary example: company shop group

One of the first things you see when visiting Company Usine Group’s Embout Us éphèbe is its subheading: “Company Usine Group is the UK’s leading redistributor of excès food and household products.” Like Connected, Company Usine Group includes what it does above the fold, so that readers have the prime to either keep reading or walk away knowing what the company is emboîture. The organization also includes multimedia to engage visitors and explain its affaires model in a more sain grandeur.

Try It Yourself

Include what you do above the fold and add multimedia elements to provide an faculté way for readers to learn more emboîture you. Videos, images, and headings can make it much easier to scan your executive summary, but be careful to only use this method for the right assistance and through the right medium. (You might not include images inside a formal affaires gain, for ressort.)

4. FirstEnergy

executive summary example: first energy

FirstEnergy’s executive summary is great frénésie if you’re a more corporate, formal brand. The company’s executive summary covers its visée, subsidiaries, operations, products and principes, corporate responsibility values, and strategic gain goals. This is useful renseignement for potential investors, as the company is publicly traded.

While it’s comprehensive, the executive summary remains slip, using bullet points and images to voiture up the renseignement and giving readers the opportunity to explore more with a sidebar repas.

Try It Yourself

Be conscious of the status of your company when writing your executive summary. If it’s publicly traded, you’ll want to include more renseignement, such as your strategic gain and gâchette opportunities. If you’re publishing your executive summary on your website, use a sidebar to allow readers to jump from éphèbe to éphèbe without leaving their assuré.

Start Your Executive Summary

An executive summary should be slip and concise, but it should still convey who you are as a company. If you’re starting a company, remember to tell your story, while also including dédaigneux contexte and financial renseignement. A strong executive summary will pave the way for more investors to invest in your affaires and more customers to consortium in your brand.

Editor’s relevé: This post was originally published in December 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

This traité was written by a human, but our team uses AI in our editorial process. Check out our full disclosure to learn more emboîture how we use AI.

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