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Executive Summary

This is the place for you to share your business goals. Make it short and sweet to quickly draw in your business plan's readers.

Within the overall outline of the business plan, the executive summary will follow the title page. The summary should tell the reader what you want. This is very important. All too often, what the business owner desires is buried on page eight. Clearly state what you are asking for in the summary.

The statement should be kept short and businesslike, probably no more than half a page. It could be longer, depending on how complicated the use of funds may be, but the summary of a business plan, like the summary of a loan application, is generally no more than one page. Within that space you'll need to provide a synopsis of the entire business plan. Key elements that should be included are:

1. Business concept: Describes the business, its product, and the market it will serve. It should point out just exactly what will be sold, to whom, and why the business will hold a competitive advantage.

2. Financial features: Highlights the important financial points of the business including sales, profits, cash flows, and return on investment.

3. Financial requirements: Clearly states the capital needed to start the business and to expand. It should detail how the capital will be used, and the equity, if any, that will be provided for funding. If the loan for initial capital will be based on security instead of equity within the company, you should also specify the source of collateral.

4. Current business position: Furnishes relevant information about the company, its legal form of operation, when it was formed, the principal owners, and key personnel.

5. Major achievements: Details any developments within the company that are essential to the success of the business. Major achievements include items like patents, prototypes, location of a facility, any crucial contracts that need to be in place for product development, or results from any test marketing that has been conducted.

When writing your statement of purpose, don't waste words. If the statement of purpose is eight pages, nobody's going to read it because it will be very clear that the business, no matter what its merits, won't be a good investment because the principals are indecisive and don't really know what they want. Make it easy for the reader to realize at first glance both your needs and capabilities.

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