Writing Executive Summary. Why is it Important and How to Write It?

The executive summary is crucial as it allows investors or banks to be able to understand the nature of your business by just reading a few paragraphs. Investors who constantly receive new business proposal do not have the time to read every page of what you submit.

This is where the summary becomes essential. It gives the investors/banks an idea of the nature of your business instantly. Based on it, they will also get to understand your business, what makes you – unique. With enough reasons, they can decide whether to read further or even end up investing.

1. First paragraph

The first paragraph is always the most crucial and the most difficult to write.

Structure systematically about what you want the investors to know about your business. What is the problem you’re trying to solve? What product and which audience? These are the things you need to focus on in the first several sentences.

Then, write about how do you operate and sell? What equipment or assets you have at your disposal to run your business?

Finally, write in one sentence what your business needs from them (investor/bank) to grow? Write in general terms, with little details. Keep it simple. If your investor is interested, they will read further to find out more.

Use the guidelines below to help structure your executive summary. Use them as guidelines, make adjustments to which you feel fit your industry.  

What you want your investors to know about your brand?

  • What problem you’re trying to solve?
  • To which audience?
  • Operation and how you sell?
  • Equipment and asset?
  • Why and where will the money be invested?

2. Second Paragraph

This is where you talk in details about your operations and sales; and how the money invested will be spent on improving your business activities.

Your focus on this one should be inclined more towards how you intend to reach your market and eventually selling your service. This, followed by how you intend to support your selling effort. Inform the investor how your supply chain functions

Remember, always keep in mind how investor’s money will be spent and how it improves your profitability when you write. Just be careful not to be too redundant.

3. Third Paragraph

It’s best I divide this into 2 sections.

In the first few lines, this is where you talk about how you want to grow the business using the money. Where will your business be in another 3 or 5 years?

Then, explain generally how you intend to use the money from the revenue on paying back the investor. Do not over promise your investors about paying back the principal plus dividend. Be realistic and honest. Investors can sense you’re being dishonest if you intend on paying them back quickly as it affects company’s survivability if you do.

4. Fourth Paragraph

Describe briefly where will the money go in supporting your business justifying the amount you request. Write from general perspective. Let the investor know the overview of the money flow.

Imagine yourself in their own shoes, you’d definitely want to know how the money will be spent and how you will be getting paid.

This is the closure of your summary.

5. Other Tips

It becomes a difficult task to write as you need to squeeze in almost everything about your business in one paragraph. Business proposals consist of many content ranging from your financial statements and forecasts to competitive edge. How is it possible to share all the depth of information in one paragraph? Well, it becomes easier if you truly understand the ins and outs of your business. It is why the best person to write the proposal is yourself, the owner. If you feel you lack the stomach to write, be participative when it is being written.

Heard of ‘write your executive summary once you’ve completed your proposal’? Well, it’s true it does help. Do this as soon as you complete writing it as your brain is still fresh from it. If you’re short on time, take note of all the important things that make your business unique. Keep it for when you’re ready. Even then, try not to wait too long to write it down. I’d still recommend to write it immediately after completing the proposal though.

6. My Final Two Cent

Personally, I am surprised to see ‘experts’ advising aspiring entrepreneurs to keep the executive summary to one or one and a-half page. The advise immediately constricts the flow of writing. It does not help the process gets easier.

Instead, focus on what you want the investors to know. Tell them what separates you from the rest. You might end up with one or two or three pages, but the very least, you have done your job on informing them accurately about your business and why you need the money. If you summarize correctly, meaning you remain on point and concise, you will get it done much better than focusing yourself to write one page as advised in the first place.

Most important of all, do not digress. Stay on point.

If you’re looking for an example of the executive summary I wrote back when I started Mirsky Mode, click to download. It’s FREE.

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Weaknesses Entrepreneur Must Get Rid In Order to Succeed in Running Business

5 Weaknesses That You Need to Get Rid to Become an Entrepreneur.

Yes, running new business is exciting. The idea of success and the bountiful benefits which come with it are truly desirable. But, can anyone just do it? Can anyone who dives into this achieves success?

Recent report that 90% startup in USA fail is enough to scare away people from venturing into the entrepreneurial world. Apart from the distinct weaknesses in the technical department, what the article fail to realize is also the required mindset in order to achieve the difficulties and challenges of entrepreneurial world.

Having said that, here’s a list of weaknesses you need to get rid of in order to make the entrepreneurial journey less difficult:

1. Escape from your 9-5pm job

Majority of my clients began startup as a mean to escape from their 9-5pm job. I caution you if that is what you’re looking for. Starting your own business is just as difficult, if not more.

You are no longer just working at a company. You are running it which means every business activity needs to be at your fingertips. Your responsibility becomes broadened. You no longer check in and out at 5pm.

As an entrepreneur, your work continues making sure your budget is balanced. That you have enough money to pay salaries, rent and utility bills. You’ll begin to worry ‘what if’ you can’t afford to pay your employees end of the week if business not going well. You also need to consider your loan repayment and its interests (if you did take one).

Once done, only then you start thinking about getting your pay – unless you are a dishonest person, taking the share early leaving everyone else who worked for you ‘dry’. Something which I do not advocate and strongly condemns.

I’m hopeful that I did not scare you away with those rants, I was just stating the truth. This is the reality of starting an honest business from scratch and I have barely scratched the surface.

If you feel this person is you, then I’d recommend you to eliminate this thinking and prep yourself in facing more challenges as an entrepreneur. Otherwise, I’d recommend you keep your job until you are mentally and physically prepare for it.

2. You Look for Quick Results

I’ll be honest. Every millennials (myself included) fancy the idea of making quick buck. We mistook the idea of internet available everywhere enables us to reap results fast – along came Mr Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Systrom’s & Kriger’s Instagram which were considered as an ‘overnight’ success at the time.

Ever since then, we take pride in the idea that ‘if Zuckerberg can do it, so can I’ often leads to impatient approach and taking shortcuts even if it means to lie and cheat. We also start making ridiculous short-term business objectives for the purpose of making it ‘big and quick’.

And whenever we don’t get the results we set out, we falter. We began questioning ourselves and raise doubts over the business. These are the setbacks of looking quick results or in other words, an instant success.

This particular characteristic is dangerous as I have seen quite a number of young entrepreneurs who fell for the ‘quick buck’ mentality. They went down not only at the expense of being demonised by their unpaid staff, but also at the cost of owing more money to the bank at a very young age.     

3. Quick Diversification

At a certain point, entrepreneurs have always been reminded to diversify their business activities. This is true, but needs to be applied the correct way at the right time.

Diversification somewhat implies your business is growing. However, quick diversification could cost your business too. Businesses that grow rapidly could cause strain to activities that support your growth. Once a business’ growth exceeds its supporting functions, it will cause a reaction to its failure.

For example, your business grows quick till it does not give enough time and support to its departments which drives growth in the organisation. The quick and large diversification of business activities will strain them and eventually will lead to organisational failure due to lack of support and time to recover.

In short, quick diversification overloads your departments from functioning properly due to lack of support and time to recuperate.

I’d recommend you to diversify your business, but only when your business is ready to grow. Take your time, understand the market you intend to enter and; implement new principles to your business and its staff patiently.

4. You’re Connecting for Sales, not Relationship

This is somewhat related to ‘looking to get quick results’ section mentioned above. Making sales is fun and great. However, it does not guarantee customer retention and referrals.

Entrepreneurs can be very financially-driven – at least from my experience consulting. Whilst it is great to see our sales performance skyrocket, it does not ensure that next annual performance could maintain, if not better.

Many entrepreneurs tend to forget that building relationship with your customers is just as crucial. They would normally spend a lot of time and money on selling their product to customers and less on customer relationship. This could end up to confusion and dissatisfaction in the customer service department. And sometimes deceit.

The barrier between the business and customers will likely have the latter ends up not supporting due to lack of confidence and trust. You can forget about customer retention and referrals – two of the most sought after customers in business.

At the end, building relationship is just as crucial as making sales. It requires more work especially dealing with demanding customers, but the outcome of these relationships is long-term. By communicating and resolving their issues, customers will be more willing to support you and don’t mind referring peers to your business which they truly feel honest and trustworthy.

5. ‘Maverick-Lead’

Maverick leadership is an old concept of team management which is no longer applicable in this century. Exchange of information is quick and there will always be people smarter than you. You can no longer make decisions based on your ‘hunch’ alone without any supporting evidence to back you up. You are just going to get heckled by your staff when things go wrong.

In this modern era, even the slightest mistake will have you ruined. One man or woman can’t run the organisation alone. You need to be good at management, delegation, teamwork and inclusive decision-making process.

A true leader sees leadership as a responsibility, not a privilege in which anything can be done as pleased without reasoning. You need to listen, have open discussions and accepting criticisms.

The more you listen, the better your decisions will be having to consider wealth of information from bottom-top of your organisation.

Having said that, also learn to accept the amount of information gathered is enough and not more is needed – which purpose is to prevent information overload.     

6. Final Two Cent

While all these weaknesses or misconceptions sound easy to deal with, doing it practically is far more difficult. Aspiring entrepreneurs have the tendency to ‘make it big quick’. I guess everyone does. This is where your long term business plan is crucial. Stick to it. You have done the homework, now is the time you learn to trust it.  

Seven Deadly Reasons of Business Failures and How to Avoid It?

Top Seven Deadly Reasons of Business Failures and How to Avoid?

A survey by CB Insights has compiled ranges of study on businesses that failed. The report found 20 top reasons, naming absence of market, lack of capital and a startup team which did not fit for the job in the top three.

Whilst the report listed 20 reasons, I decided to only focus on 7 most deadly reasons you need to pay more attention to and how to overcome it:

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Lesson We Can Learn From Starbucks. How Starbucks Did It?

How Starbucks Did It? (5 Must-Learn Best Business Lessons)

“We’re taking time to perfect our espresso. Great espresso requires practice. That’s why we are dedicating ourselves to honing our craft.”

February 2008, Starbucks made it on top news headline that it has shut down its US operations. Speculations and rumors started brewing in the media fearing for the worse.

For Howard, apart from the headache he suffered from the company’s recent losses, he knew the operation shutdown happened for right reasons. The losses and problems made him to take drastic measures for the company he built. In short, he ordered the shutdown because he cared.

Here’s the four must-learn best lessons from Starbucks’ shutdown in 2008:

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6 Important Questions You Must Answer Before Becoming Entrepreneur

6 Important Questions You Must Answer Before Becoming An Entrepreneur

Based on the statistics by Small Business Administration (SBA), about 50% businesses fail in the first year and 95% fail in five years, US alone. What’s even worse, the report has identified that many failed due to starting business for wrong reasons. Poor business planning and no website were primary contributors too.

It does look discouraging for new aspiring entrepreneurs. Identifying the problems are one thing, but how do you know whether you’re certain that entrepreneurship is the one for you. Here are the 6 important questions you must answer:

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Don’t Fall for These 5 Deadly Myths of Startups

As every aspiring entrepreneur ought to be, we tend to listen advises from people about creating, running and growing startups.

But how do you know which advice to take, and which myth advises you don’t fall for. Here are 5 deadly myths about startups:

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