The executive summary is arguably the most important section of the business plan. It must be concise, specific, and well-written. It summarizes the highlights of the completed business plan and provides a brief snapshot of the plan, with sales, spending, and profit summary figures. The summary emphasizes those factors that will make the business a success. It must contain sound numbers for market size, trends, company goals, spending, return on investment, capital expenditures, and funding required.
For new businesses or businesses seeking funding, credibility and excitement are key elements of the executive summary. Venture capitalists receive hundreds of plans each month, and just a few are actually read from cover to cover, or even close. A quick 20-second scan of the executive summary is the basis for screening which plans to read and which companies to interview for investment. When the plan is the vehicle used to attract financing or investment, the executive summary should make it clear to the reader who is a potential source of funds why this is a sound investment.