Writing an executive summary


An executive summary is a short text within a larger body of text that is used to give the reader a quick overview of a business or organization. It is used in documents such as such as business proposals, business reports and business proposals. It summarizes such documents so that executives can easily get the gist of them without having to read the entire thing.

The executive summary contains a short description of whatever document it is in. In a business plan, the executive summary contains a description of the business, the problem that it solves, the target market and the financial highlights. A business proposal executive summary contains the details of the business, what services or products it offers and an overview of the pricing information.

Sections of an executive summary

An executive summary should answer several questions such as;

  • Who are you? – The executive summary should answer the question of who owns the business document. It should identify the company, organization or entity that the document belongs to.
  • What problems or needs does the organization address? – The executive summary should also have a short summary of the needs that the organization in question addresses. It can also illustrate the problems in society that organizations seek to fix.
  • What is the target market? – The target market of the organization should also be identified by the summary.
  • What is the purpose of the document? – The exec summary is commonly used in business plans where it should state if the business it identifies is looking for funding or investment options. In a business proposal, the purpose can be to deliver a product or service to a prospective client.
  • What is the size or scale of the organization? – Generally, this is the economic stature of the company. It can be done by including a brief quotation of sales or profits.
  • Critical details – Any other information that a prospective investor or client needs to know should also be included in the executive summary. This is information such as a recent merger or funding contract.

Aspects of an executive summary

  1. Audience – Before writing the executive summary, it is important to understand the audience. In normal business transactions the audience of an executive summary is usually that, executives. However, in other situations, such as a class environment, the audience is usually a college professor. Moreover, in such a setting, the paper has word count limitations and therefore, the executive summary can only be so long.
  2. Structure – An executive summary structure sometimes varies from company to company. Before embarking on the job of writing the summary, you should enquire from more experienced colleagues at the organization or by referencing previous business plans or documents.
  3. Appropriate language ­– The executive summary is part of an official document. The language of the summary language should be strictly official. Language should be descriptive and not include just words but content and depths of explanation.

Write the summary

  1. Introduction

As with all written work, the executive summary should have a powerful introduction. Urge the reader to read on. A catchy introduction is more likely to be successful in wooing the target into agreeing to your requests.

  1. Body

The body contains the outlines of the key findings or recommendations from the report, plan or proposal. It should focus on the most relevant parts of the bits of the document.

The main body should stand alone without the support of the rest of the body. This is especially important because executives do not usually have time to read the entire paper.

  1. Conclusion

The conclusion should outline the actions needed from the receiver of the document. Bullet points can be used to highlight the key points of the report.

The magnitude of a business plan or proposal can weigh down on someone and they might need professional writing help from someone who will do the job well. Unemployed professors are such professionals who could help in the situation and any other writing service that you may be in need of.