Shashank’s manager asked him to write a business report and send it by the end of the day. As a new professional, he began his report with an abstract followed by different sections. His manager’s feedback was to redo the introduction and write an executive summary instead.
He assumed that an abstract works just as well for a business report as it does for a college essay. When, in fact, for business reports, what you need is an executive summary.
What Is An Executive Summary?
The meaning of an executive summary is a condensed form of an entire business plan or report. If you’re starting your own business, you’ll need to add an executive summary to your business plan.
From the purpose and key points to results and a conclusion, an executive summary is a summarized version of strategies, plans and ideas.
An engaging executive summary will encourage people to read the contents of the report. The purpose of writing one is to convey ideas clearly and accurately. In the context of a business plan, it helps the reader—potential investor, banks or venture capitalists—understand your product or service, financial projections and mission statement.
How To Write An Executive Summary
The easiest way to write an executive summary is to break it down into different sections. For a clearer understanding, start with the purpose of the report and end with a conclusion. Not only is this a more structured format but also minimizes errors of omission.
Any example of an executive summary will include the following sections:
The purpose defines what the business or team aims to do. In the case of a business plan, the purpose summarizes your business to the reader. From what you have to offer to customers to how you’re planning to make a profit—or plan for contingencies—the purpose will include critical information. It’s the most important part of an executive summary. Tailor it to impress a potential investor.
Highlighting key points of the business report is a way to condense key takeaways, decisions and strategies. Investors are looking for points that elaborate on your business ideas and future projections. If you have a unique product or a unique roll-out strategy, highlight the same in your key points. You have to write to impress if you want a successful conversion.
An executive summary also includes the results or outcomes laid out in the report. The report may be written to highlight a new sales strategy or a financial budget for a new business segment. It’s important to mention the outcomes of these strategies or plans. From the planning to implementation stage, each aspect of any function or action needs to be incorporated into this section of the document.
Suggestions or recommendations are either the writer’s own or developed in collaboration with team members, heads or other stakeholders. Recommendations list any new ideas or solutions to existing problems, how to overcome immediate challenges or how to improve strategies.
Your summary must end with a conclusion that brings everything together. Investors—or key stakeholders—will be introduced to your ideas through your executive summary. The conclusion has to be impactful and action-oriented. Focus on short and crisp sentences that leave a lasting impression to package it perfectly.
As a professional, you’ll encounter many written documents during your work life. Equipping yourself with the right skills, mindset and approach to effective writing will help you write with impact. Learning how to write an effective executive summary will strengthen your business reports and business plans.
Harappa’s Writing Proficiently course will teach you important frameworks like the PREP model to help you summarize long and dense reports. From stating the main point, providing reasons and examples to concluding expertly, the PREP model is designed to help you write better. In today’s fast-paced world, writing effectively means to write with brevity and accuracy. Learn from Harappa’s expert faculty to convey ideas with clarity. Never miss another chance to get your point across by writing like a pro!
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