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Executive Summary: What Is It?

An Executive Summary is a brief summary of the business so that people can understand what it is about at a glance. Various sections will be included, such as the business’ product or service, risks, competition, management, and more.

The Executive Summary should describe the business in its entirety, but the summary should not be more than 2 or 3 pages. It should communicate the gist of your business to investors or partners without requiring them to read many pages of an official document. In the summary, ensure all information is accurate. This is especially true of a section regarding financial summaries or profits. 

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Contents of an Executive Summary

contents of an executive summary


An executive summary is, in summary (pun intended), a shorter, sweeter version of a business document. Its purpose is to summarize the contents of a larger document or group of documents, such as a business proposal or report. Concise forms, executive summaries generally eat up no more than two pages, and are digestible and frill-free. Executive summaries are commonly used in all forms of business. If you are a blossoming entrepreneur, it makes sense to throw together an executive summary template, which will allow you to plug in information rather than start fresh every time. To help you do just that, we've outlined the basic components of an executive summary below.

Opening Paragraph

This is the hook. The opening paragraph of your executive summary must be intriguing, compelling, and overall, accurate. It should explain exactly what is outlined in the document. If the executive summary applies to, say, a business plan, your opening paragraph should concisely explain what your company does.

Bobcat Fortunes is a fast flourishing company, producing cutting-edge financial-management software. Our goal is to provide entrepreneurs with first-rate financial management, via personalized customer service and financial systems tailored to each customer's needs.

The Meat

Here's where you need to be both as explicit and concise as possible. You need to summarize all major points of your business document. This portion needs to convey a high volume of information in a small amount of space. The best way to do this is through stringent organization. For example -

Products & Services

Clearwater Vehicle Transportation is a U.S.-based transportation company provides large-scale transport for personal and commercial vehicles, including but not limited to:

  • Bicycles

  • Motorcycles

  • Cars

  • Vans

  • Trucks

  • Buses

  • Watercraft

  • Small-scale aircraft

At the moment, our primary service is intra-national transport of personal vehicles. Our future plans include extending our services to Canada, Mexico and eventually overseas.


Our primary market is adults with families, ages 35-65. We currently control 30% of the market in the northeastern U.S. and plan to increase that influence by 10% by 2020.

And so on. Basically, you're summarizing every major point touched upon in your main document. While the document itself will explore each subject in depth, your executive summary forms a neat, concise outline .

That's basically all you need to know about writing an executive summary. Here are a few things to remember -

  • Only state main points and pertinent facts.

  • Keep your executive summary template to one or two pages.

  • Bullet points are your friends.