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Executive Summary

One Element of a Business Plan

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The executive summary section of your business plan gives you the chance to introduce your business – kind of a thumbnail sketch of what’s going on behind the business name. While everything in a business plan can vary from the norm, for a small business, the executive summary is generally less than two pages.

Below is a brief executive summary for my fictitious craft business. The name of my business is Authentic Costuming and this business researches, designs and makes period garments for special events. I’ve been in business for 10 years and have decided that it’s time to expand my business by providing period costuming for the motion picture industry. Here’s an example of how my executive summary would look:

Executive Summary

Authentic Costuming, Inc. has been in business in the Chicago, IL area for the past 10 years and specializes in authentic, period garments. The business is well known in the Midwest section of the United States as a supplier of quality costumes for parties, special events and stock theatre. The company plans to expand into the motion picture industry over the next three years.

Authentic Costuming plans to achieve this goal by staying current with motion picture industry trade publications. When notice of suitable film projects are announced in the trades, the company will research the appropriate historic fabric and styles and pitch the producers of the movie with line drawings of the fabrications. The company expects that its ability to expand into this area will depend on brand awareness, competitive pricing and providing complete authenticity and superior customer service.

Tailoring the Executive Summary

Depending on the type of your craft business you can then go into a brief explanation of your shop’s square footage, how you plan to market and advertise your business, if you plan to outsource any of your work, if you have a web presence mention it here and just briefly, financial projections of gross receipts and net income.

You can also describe your company’s qualifications for the start-up or expansion: skills, talents, accomplishments, and personality traits. Don’t go crazy. Pick out your company’s top three skills and explain how those make your company stand out. For example, for my fictitious executive summary, I would mention that a principle in the business majored in art history and took their secondary education at the Rhode Island School of Design. This is just a suggested list. You probably have already thought of other information specific to your business that you can add in.

Think of the executive summary like the cover letter for a resume. Like a cover letter, the executive summary makes your first impression and is another way of introducing yourself to a potential business resource. What it says about you can be the difference between getting in the door and missing your chance.

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