Executive summaries are particularly crucial for startups. They’re often one of the final hurdles to landing a pitch meeting with investors. Often referred to as a ‘one pager’ document, the best startup executive summary would be concise, engaging, and informative. It needs to instil confidence in prospective investors, but when the stakes are so high, that can be easier said than done.
In today’s blog, we’ll be breaking down all of the most vital steps to creating a startup executive summary.
Understanding the purpose of your executive summary
First things first. There are a number of fundamentals that your prospective investors will be eager to learn from your startup executive summary. Before you actually start writing the document, you need to be asking yourself: why am I writing this? What sort of information will investors be looking for? If that information isn’t readily apparent in the document, your executive summary will likely be dismissed.
Make a memorable first impression
Much like any written document of its kind, the introduction to your executive summary needs to be engaging, otherwise, the rest of the information you’re presenting will likely go unread. Consider your company’s ethos, your big ideas, and try to turn them into a concise, but compelling, opening statement.
The problem, and the solution
Put simply, most businesses exist because they have the solution to a problem. Your business is likely no different, and one of the first things you should be trying to get across in your executive summary is both the problem that exists without your business and how your business plans to solve that problem.
Introduce the team
While it might go without saying, the management team for your startup will be a huge factor in the business’s success. For that reason, don’t be coy when you’re introducing your team. To provide investors with the impression that everyone in your management team is playing a crucial role in the business, make sure that their title and their duties are clearly established in the executive summary.
Show you know the market
Your business having a big, new idea doesn’t mean much if there’s not a clear market for that idea to flourish in. The investors will want to know that you and your team have a clear understanding of the market you’re trying to target.
How your business will compete
Once you’ve conveyed that you understand the market, your investors will next be wondering about other businesses that already exist within that market. Some of these businesses may, at least on a surface level, look similar to your own business. At this stage in a startup executive summary, it’s important to establish what differentiates your business from competitors, and how you aim to beat them.
Show them the numbers
One of the final fundamentals of any convincing executive summary is the numbers. If an investor has read this far, then the numbers may be the deciding factor that will land you a pitch meeting. Break down, in as much detail as you can, what your finances are currently looking like, how much funding you’re looking for, and where that funding would go.
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