What is an Executive Summary?
Executive Summaries are often the first real impression that Investors will get about you, your team and your investment opportunity.
Making a great first impression with your Executive Summary is critical, it literally sets the tone for how the relationship develops or how it crashes and burns.
Over the last fifteen years or so I’ve been both lucky and unlucky enough to read hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Executive Summaries.
Believe it or not, there is a tried and tested format and approach which works. But works how?
Well, an Executive Summary has a few purposes….
1) To give potential investors enough information for them to decide if you qualify for a first meeting. Qualify in terms of ‘relevant’ and ‘interesting’ to their personal and business objectives. i.e. to qualify.
2) To ‘sell’ your opportunity enough to compel them to set up the first meeting. Note – it is NOT meant to sell them to the point where they will make the decision and write you the check right now. That’s never gonna happen…
3) To get you that first meeting….
Yes there is repetition – purposefully – because that is the real goal of an Executive Summary – to get you a first meeting with a qualified and relevant potential investors.
If an Executive Summary turns off an unqualified, irrelevant potential investor GREAT! You’ve just saved yourselves days of wasted time!
Yet despite the above (and the tried and tested format mentioned above…) many first time entrepreneurs make the same mistakes.
1) Instead of creating a succinct and clear Executive Summary in 2-3 pages – they write a mini-Business plan and try to cram everything about their business into those 6…8…10 pages (8 point font here we come…)
2) They focus too much on the ‘How’ of their businesses instead of the ‘who’ (the customers) and the ‘why’ – the big opportunity.
3) Despite a tried and tested format (did I say that yet?) – they cover everything and kitchen sink because, as they are so close to it, the entrepreneur cannot prioritize what an potential investor wants to know at this qualification stage of the process.
So – that covers a few dos and don’ts to creating an Executive Summary.
And the tried and test approach, format etc?
Go here to grab it. Tried and Tested Executive Summary