Executive Summary Guidelines

Companies should prepare a brief summary or presentation to serve as an initial introduction to investors. This summary should be professional in format. The goal of the executive summary or presentation is to attract a face to face meeting with the investor. Below are some suggestions of important items to include in a presentation or summary.

  • Business description – State what your company does. Provide a general overview of the product or service.
  • Accomplishments to date – Paying customers, strategic partnerships, technology development, profitability, etc.
  • Value proposition – How is your company better, faster, cheaper, or different from the status quo?
  • Financing sought – Amount of capital and uses of proceeds.
  • Brief backgrounds of management and other key individuals – Focus on specific reasons why they add value to the company. Include information about their past successes and achievements.
  • Initial organizational structure.
  • Identification of immediate and future personnel needs.
  • Market size – How big is the opportunity? Use specific facts and cite sources.
  • Market analysis – Anticipated growth, key changes and trends. Use facts to support your claims; don’t rely on anecdotal information.
  • Summary of any proprietary market research. If a totally new product, how will you change established customer buying patterns?
  • How will you attract customers? Describe direct sales methods, potential channel partners, etc.
  • How will you create or increase awareness of your product among potential customers.
  • Describe any existing customer relationships.
  • List other companies that address the same need.
  • How much of the market does each competitor control?
  • What are the advantages/ disadvantages of their offering? How do your margins and pricing compare to theirs?
  • On what points of differentiation will you compete?
  • Unit level economics – Describe the revenue and costs (fixed and variable) that can be attributed to each new customer.
  • Describe any economies of scale that can be achieved over time.
  • How will changes in market trends and policies affect the economics of your business?
  • Include a projected income statement for a 3-5 year period. Consider including a balance sheet if your company has notable assets or liabilities. Summary financials are sufficient for an executive summary.
  • Make note of the major assumptions in your projections – Number of customers served, average pricing, direct costs, penetration of the target market, etc.
  • How much capital is needed to achieve your projections? When will you reach cash flow break-even on a monthly basis? Will you need additional financing over time?
  • Financing history to date – How much has been invested in the company to date and by whom? Provide a summary of share ownership.
  • Use of proceeds – Provide summary detail on how the sought capital will be spent?
  • Brief timeline of product development if applicable.
  • Exit strategy – Describe the potential exit strategies for your business? One good way to do this is to list acquisitions that have occurred in your industry.