You will need much more than just a business plan if you are looking to raise capital. You will have seconds to “hook” investors! Which begs the question of how?
The executive summary will be the first section of your business plan.
There is one thing you want to accomplish with your executive summary: Send potential investors diving into the rest of the plan!
To achieve this there are three things you must do:
1. Describe what the company does
2. Show them the demand
3. Paint a picture of why your company will best serve demand.
To start, summarize- Use bullet points and very short sentences to give an overview:
Smoothly but quickly, describe what your company does. Within a sentence or two, help them to understand what you do. This is the very first impression an investor will get for your company and you want them to instantly get the concept. Do not beat around the bush; get to the point in a hurry. Your business plan will go into greater detail later, but you have to make them want to read the rest! The best idea is to take the first sentence or so from your high pitch concept. This is taking a familiar brand and putting a twist on it. For example the promotion for the film Aliens was “Jaws in Space!”
Display the size of your market. Clearly show the dollar value and number of potential customers as well as how those numbers may climb in the very near future.
You have identified what you do or what need you fill, now tell investors how your company is uniquely qualified to meet the demand. Perhaps you have a crack management team well versed in your market, proprietary technology or immediate access to an unserved or underserved market.
After you present the “lede”, you can now go into further details about your business. This is the place where you tell investors how your company will accomplish everything you claimed it will. At this point, you are still somewhat constructing the skeleton of your company with the major “bones”. The company analysis section is where you will lay it all out.
Who is your target market? Next, you will want to give more details about what they need and who they are. Display the demographics such as income, locations, marital status, number of kids and ethnicity. You should also know what moves your market, better known in the business world as the psychographics. Investors want to see where the lack is and how you are uniquely qualified to meet the need that already exists.
Wrap it all up by presenting how your company has an “unfair” advantage competitively. Growthink, a consulting firm known for helping businesses raise $1 billion since their inception, says an unfair advantage can include: a proven operations system, major customers, long-term contracts, excellent management, proprietary patents or technology and prior successes of you and your team.
Remember the first crucial step to getting the cash you need for business is in your executive summary. This means the executive summary needs to get down to brass tacks without any fanfare or ado! You do not have to give every single detail in this section, but enough to get an investor to read the rest of your proposal.