To be read, your document must be concise. Here’s how to write a summary of your business plan, with this excerpt from Successful business plans You have a few seconds to grab your readers’ attention and interest them in your project. These people have a busy schedule: do they have several phone calls to make? one call leading to another? E-mails and letters to send, meetings to organize and then a professional conference at lunchtime followed by another session, not to mention the children’s fair at the end of the day.
In the meantime, they have to write a report, solve math problems, and to top it off, there are four other business plans on their desk waiting to be read, in addition to yours. So they are swamped. This is why they will only hover over your document. But what they will read is your resume if it’s short! Ideally, it should be one page. The summary should be written last, even if placed at the beginning of the plan because it is an essential part of the document.
Indeed, you must succeed in selling your project on one page. This page should convince the reader to read the rest of the document. You need to explain who you are, you and your team, your training, what company it is, why your proposal is interesting, why it will work, and what you expect from your readers. How much do you want them to invest, and when? Whatever the critical elements of your plan are, they should be included in the summary.
- the company in question;
- the team;
- the project;
- why it will succeed;
- its advantages;
- significant risks and how you intend to minimize them;
- what you expect from the person reading your business plan.
You can talk about the market and the competition, but very briefly. And all of this on one page! It’s an entirely achievable challenge. The recipe consists of choosing the fundamental ingredients, writing them down, and then removing all the extra parts, starting with the adjectives and the convoluted turns of phrases.
Imagine not being part of the project and writing an article about your business. The only difference with a newspaper is that you must include the crucial figures in your summary. There may be very few actual numbers to insert, but they should be there because they represent the critical element that will convince your reader.
Indeed, they indicate the project’s scope, the market size, the capital invested and the rate of return for the investor. They help clarify fundamental questions and allow the reader to understand your project’s driving forces. In the business world, numbers are an essential part of communication.
Here Is An Example
The founders propose establishing a new chain of hobby-creative stores to benefit from an untapped niche in the retail market in France, representing one billion euros, knowing that the growth potential is considerable, given demographic changes and the popularization of manual activities. This fragmented market is concentrated around a small number of national channels, which this project proposes to strengthen by establishing a new medium of the same type.
The management team has solid experience in developing and managing the largest leisure-creative chains in France, having established more than 150 points of sale. The concept aims to create leisure-creative stores in the city, installed on one floor, located in strategic places where competitors are few, allowing these shops to become the leading stores of the town.
They will offer different products, frameworks and services from their competitors and lower base prices. By providing more than 30,000 items and other complementary products, these specialized shops will establish authority and become references while offering a welcoming atmosphere to attract more customers than their competitors.
The single-storey store concept avoids substantial construction costs and reduces headcount. The low base price is achieved through centralized purchasing and sourcing supplies from wholesalers. Administrative fees will be diminished, and the quality of purchases will improve, thanks to access to an extensive database.
By offering products accessible to a broader amateur audience, we will achieve a better flow of our articles than our competitors, who also stock products for professionals. The founders aim to mobilize an initial sum of 750,000 euros to open three stores in the first year. Then they will raise an additional 4 million euros to finance opening eight stores per year, their ultimate objective being to open fifty stores in total.
Based on sales forecasts of 300 euros per square meter and stocks of 80 euros per square meter, the stores will generate cash from the second year of operation and the company from the fourth year. The attached forecasts show rapid growth of the business as well as handsome returns on net assets. By the fifth year, the return on investment will be 30%. The maximum funding required is 3.5 million euros in the fourth year.
Still, the founders wish to raise sufficient capital in the second funding stage to cover this sum, prepare for possible unforeseen problems, and accelerate growth. The founders are investing €200,000 in common stock and looking for investors to join them on the same basis. Investors are expected to make a return on their invested capital in three to five years through a trade sale (buyout by another company).
According To This Example, The Summary Covers Less Than One Page
- the market;
- the management team;
- the originality of the project;
- of the project;
- returns on investments;
- the possibility of transfer.
Specific points are not dealt with: for example; there is no question of the risks incurred, the drafters having decided that this would take up too much space since they are dealt with in the main document. You can slip a few words on the risks into your summary. Only do this if it proves how minimal they are and if you show that the investment returns outweigh them. Indeed, the summary must be short: focus on the positive points. The reader should not leave with a negative idea in mind.
The numbers in our example illustrate the points discussed, but their use is limited to the most critical issues, and only round numbers are given. The reader must grasp the range of figures precisely to the nearest decimal. The summary is there to provide a general impression, not to go into details.
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