Except it happens through some sort of miracle (Hallelujah), no legit business deal is closed without the client recieving a business proposal. The client may request companies or business to present business proposals in which case, it is a solicited business proposal.
Or you may decide to take the initiative and send a business proposal to a client you believe would need your product or service, an unsolicited proposal.
Whatever the case maybe, with any kind of business proposal, the point is for you to win the contract.
And since there is the obvious concern of competition (or not), an important factor that would determine the success of your proposal is, it's content.
To further buttress the point of how important a well written business proposal is to the bagging of a business deal, is the fact that some business owners pay professionals to write business proposals for them.
Now, while that is certainly an easier, it is by no means a pocket friendly option. And some people believe the get things done by yourself rule.
So, if you are not willing to part with your hard earned money or you enjoy doing your work yourself, you will need to learn how to write a business proposal or plan the right way.
But, we've already dissected the general procedure for writing a great proposal along with it's features in previous posts. In today's post we will be looking into another vital component of a business proposal, the Executive Summary.
An executive summary is an important part of your business proposal's content. It is basically a brief, yet detailed run down of the whole business proposal.
Does that mean the executive summary is just a summary of your business proposal? Nope.
Your executive summary is usually the first thing your client reads before going into the main body of your proposal. As such, it should be written with the express aim to persuade the client to continue reading.
This is always the first step before you write any business document especially ones such as business proposals or business plans. Proper research would make all the difference, your document would have a better edge and be more professional.
You would be able to impress investors, clients or whoever it is that you are writing to when your document is written well. Your research should not only be limited to your business, try to research on the party you are presenting the document to. It would enable you figure out the best way to tailor your work.
An executive summary is best written after you have finished writing the main body of your document. This practice is best because you would have all the knowledge you need all that is left would be for you to put it down. Now after research and all, draft an outline.
It is a small document I know, but also an important one, an outline would give you a general structure for your summary. You would be able to know what content goes into what paragraph and also ensure that you cover every point that needs to be included.
3. Start Writing
Now we know there is no standard format for an executive summary but, ensure that while writing your executive summary, you:
Describe your business
Talk about the problem in question
The solution to the problem
Why you are the best option
Then call to action
Your first paragraph should be something that grabs the reader's attention. Please, don't start with a story or a joke, remember your reader may very likely be the CEO, most of them don't have time to waste.
Your first paragraph can be the description of your business, your team of experts or you can start off by discussing the problem in question.
After you are done writing, you read through every thing and check for errors. Ensure that every terminology, word or phrase used in your executive smart would be easily understood by your reader. This is why researching the recipient of your business plan or proposal is important. Your content would lose its value if the reader does not understand what you wrote.
Read it again and again. This is important, have someone else who is not related to your niche maybe a child, read your executive summary. Ask them what they think you do from what they've read if you get a good answer, your executive summary is good to go.
Tailor the tone of your summary to the reader. That means your reader should me able to relate to the content of your executive summary.
Use personal pronouns such as we and our. It would make it seem you are directly addressing your reader.
The accepted length for an executive summary is between one to four pages. But like I said before, two pages at most is ideal, anything exceeding that is lengthy.
Remember that your executive summary is also meant to persuade the reader to continue reading your proposal or business plan, or invite you for a meeting to close the deal. Make sure every content leads the reader firmly to the Call to action.
Finally, your executive summary should be professional and free of any form of error.
Bottom line is, research, outline, draft, write and proof read before submitting.