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How to Write a Business Plan Executive Summary (Example Included!)

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How do you turn your brilliant business idea into a reality? You've done your homework and know that to get investors or partners, you need a business plan. But more than that, you want to really stand out and make a strong first impression—and that's where the business plan executive summary steps in.

This key section gives a quick snapshot of your entire business strategy, and is designed to catch the interest of potential investors, stakeholders, or partners. It can be the difference between landing that dream deal or getting lost in the slush pile.

So, what's better than a business plan executive summary example to point you in the right direction? Below, you'll find a great one—plus tips on what to include, what to avoid, and how to craft yours.

What is a business plan executive summary?

A business plan executive summary is a condensed overview of the key elements of your business plan. It introduces your business, what you offer (products or services), your target market, and what sets you apart from the competition. It also outlines your financial projections and funding needs (if applicable) and gives a clear picture of your company description and vision.

Your business plan executive summary could be decisive in several situations:

  • Pitching to investors: Investors often make preliminary decisions based on the executive summary. A well-crafted summary can get you a meeting and a chance to present your full business plan.
  • Summarizing for stakeholders: Stakeholders need to quickly understand your business's direction and key strategies. An executive summary gives them a concise update.
  • Business competitions: In many business plan competitions, judges rely on the executive summary to decide which plans move to the next round.

Now that you understand the importance of an executive summary in a business plan, let’s see the key components that make up a winning one.

What should an executive summary include in a business plan

Crafting an effective executive summary means transforming the most critical elements of your business plan into a clear and compelling story. It's typically positioned at the beginning of the document but is written last to ensure it accurately reflects the entire plan.

Here are the key parts of an executive summary in a business plan:

Mission statement

Your mission statement is the heart of your business; it can grab your audience's attention and clarify your business’s core values and objectives. Briefly describe your company’s purpose and what you aim to achieve.

Company history and management team

Provide a brief overview of your business’s history, noting key milestones and achievements. Introduce your management team, highlighting their experience and expertise. This section helps build credibility and shows that you have a capable team behind the business.

Products or services

Describe the products or services your business offers, focusing on what makes them unique and how they meet market needs. This part should clearly explain the value your offerings provide.

Target market

Define your target customers, including their demographics, needs, and pain points. Highlight the demand for your products or services and how your business meets this demand. Assess your main competitors, identifying their strengths, weaknesses, and market share.

Competitive edge

Identify what sets your business apart from the competition. This could be unique technology, excellent customer service, a strong brand, patents, or trademarks—anything that really gives you an edge. Emphasize these strengths to show why your business will thrive in the market.

Financial projections

Give a high-level overview of your financial projections, covering revenue, profit margins, and growth expectations. This section should reassure readers about your business’s financial viability and potential for success. Do not forget to include the amount of funding you're seeking and how you'll use it to achieve your goals.

Speaking of funding, you can build your dream business with the help of a high-paying job—browse open jobs on The Muse »

How to write a business plan executive summary: Dos and Don'ts

So, how do you write an executive summary for a business plan? Here's what you should do—and what you should avoid.


  • Hook them early: Start with a captivating introduction that grabs the reader's attention. This could be a strong opening statement or an impactful statistic that highlights your most compelling value proposition.
  • Write with clarity: Keep your language clear and straightforward. Using jargon or technical terms could confuse your audience.
  • Tell a story: People are naturally drawn to stories. Try to frame your business plan executive summary as a narrative that includes challenges and successes.
  • Focus on impact: Prioritize the most important information. Remember, it's a summary, not the full story.
  • Quantify your success: Use data and metrics whenever you can to back up your claims about market size, growth potential, and financial projections.
  • Proofread like a pro: Typos and grammatical errors can leave a negative impression. Double (or triple) check your work before sending it out. Don’t just use spelling and grammar check—actually re-read it to catch any mistakes.
  • Showcase your passion: That should be the easy part. Just let your enthusiasm for your business and its mission shine through!


  • Bury the lead: Don't wait until the end to share your most important information. Start strong and capture their interest right away.
  • Be too vague: Instead, be specific and provide concrete details. Vague statements don’t add value or clarity, so they don't belong in your business executive summary.
  • Ignore your audience: Tailor your summary to the needs and interests of your audience. Consider what they need to know and what will capture their interest.
  • Overpromise and underdeliver: Be realistic about your projections and timelines. Setting unrealistic expectations can damage your credibility.
  • Get bogged down in details: Save the nitty-gritty details for your full business plan. Focus on the key highlights in your executive summary.
  • Forget the call to action: Tell your readers what you want them to do next. Do you want them to invest? Partner with you? Clearly outline your desired outcome.
  • Write in a vacuum: Get feedback from trusted advisors or mentors before finalizing your summary. Fresh eyes can help spot areas for improvement.

Business plan executive summary example

Wondering how these tips look in action? Here's the business plan summary example you've been looking for.

This one is for a fictitious company—let's call it Econnovate—specializing in renewable energy solutions. Use it as a guide to craft your own business plan executive summary.

Mission and vision statements

Econnovate is revolutionizing the energy landscape with innovative, sustainable solutions that empower businesses and communities to embrace a cleaner future. Our mission is to use the power of renewable energy sources to provide innovative, affordable, and sustainable energy solutions to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and create a more environmentally conscious world.

Company history and management team

Founded in 2021, Econnovate is a team of passionate engineers and environmental enthusiasts dedicated to developing cutting-edge renewable energy technologies. Our team boasts over 50 years of combined industry experience, including experts in technology, marketing, and operations. Headquartered in Denver, CO, we operate with a global mindset, serving clients across diverse industries and geographies.

Our products

Econnovate's flagship product, SolarMax, is a cutting-edge solar panel system that offers 20% more efficiency than conventional panels. Additionally, we provide EcoBattery, a state-of-the-art energy storage solution that maximizes the utility of our solar panels, ensuring energy availability even during non-sunny periods. Our products are designed to be both cost-effective and easy to install, making sustainable energy accessible to a wider audience.

Target market

The global renewable energy market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.8% over the next decade. Our target market includes environmentally conscious homeowners and businesses seeking sustainable energy solutions. With increasing regulatory support and growing environmental awareness, the demand for our products is poised for substantial growth.

Competitive edge

Econnovate’s proprietary solar technology not only increases efficiency but also reduces costs, giving us a significant edge over competitors. We not only provide renewable energy solutions but also adhere to sustainable practices in our own operations. Additionally, our exceptional customer service and strong brand reputation further differentiate us in the marketplace. We also offer comprehensive warranties and maintenance services, ensuring long-term customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Financial projections

We project a 30% annual revenue growth over the next five years, with profitability expected to be achieved by year three. Our robust financial model is based on conservative estimates and thorough market analysis. By year five, we anticipate generating $50 million in annual revenue, with a healthy profit margin of 15%.

We are seeking $2 million in funding to scale our manufacturing capabilities and expand our market reach. This investment will enable Econnovate to double production capacity and increase market share by 15% within two years. The funds will be allocated to enhancing our production facilities, boosting our marketing plan, and expanding our sales team.


1. What is an executive summary in a business plan?

It's a concise summary of the key points of a business plan, highlighting the business’s mission, products or services, market, competitive advantages, financial projections, and funding needs. The goal is to give a quick overview that captures the reader’s interest and encourages them to read the full plan.

2. How long should an executive summary be?

An executive summary is typically one to two pages long. It should provide a concise overview without overwhelming the reader. Focus on the most important aspects of your business plan, making sure each point is clear and impactful.

3. Can I use a template to write an executive summary?

Yes! Templates offer an effective structure and help ensure you cover all essential elements. But don't just fill in the blanks. Tailor the template to fit your business and make it your own. (Feel free to use our example as a guide.)

4. Should an executive summary be written in first person or third person?

An executive summary is typically written in the third person to maintain a professional tone. However, if your business plan is for internal use or a more personal presentation, using the first person can be appropriate. The key is to keep your writing clear and professional at all times.

5. How do I make my executive summary stand out?

To make your executive summary stand out, focus on being clear and compelling. Start with a strong opening statement that grabs attention. Use visual elements like bullet points, headings, and charts to make it easy to read. Highlight your unique selling points and ensure your summary is free of complex jargon and technical language.

Remember, your executive summary is often the first impression of your business, so make it count!