Planning For Success

Executive Summary

"An executive summary captures and presents succinctly the essence of the business plan. It is, in effect, a capsulized version of the entire plan," writes Harold J. McLaughlin, PhD, author of The Entrepreneur's Guide to Building a Better Business Plan (John Wiley & Sons). While the summary is placed first, you should write it last. "It is only after the entire plan has been thought through and written that one is able to capsulize effectively and concisely."

"In addition to facilitating a quick understanding of the proposal, an executive summary should get attention," says McLaughlin. "Many venture capitalists, investors and lenders indicate that it is not unusual for them to discard a proposal without reading beyond the executive summary."

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This article was originally published in the March 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Planning For Success.

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