Building a Business Plan
Laying a Solid Foundation | Lesson 8

Executive Summary

Once you have all the pieces of your business plan properly thought through and documented, it’s time for the executive summary.

We mentioned in an earlier lesson that this is the first part of your business plan, and that’s true.

The executive summary is a concise overview of your business plan. And it’s much easier to write it last, after you’ve crafted your full, detailed, business plan.

It’s the high-level summary for investors, bankers, and well, executives.

Contents should include a brief introduction, business highlights, goals, mission statement, your secret sauce or differentiator, and a conclusion.

First, you’ll start out with an introduction.

Keep it simple and to the point, just a paragraph or two about what the reader is about to learn.

What is it that you’re doing? Why are you doing it? What do you hope to achieve?

After that, it’s time for the highlight reel. Another good word for it is your elevator pitch.

What are the standout aspects of your insurance business? How do you expect to nurture and grow those elements?

You thought through this information in your business overview and most of your planning in general. Include the most important takeaways here, but again.

Keep it short and keep it simple.

Remember, the ideal elevator pitch is 30 seconds to two minutes, depending on the speed of the elevator.

Next, let’s talk Goals & Timeline.

This is the place to list your goals, and remember, make sure they’re SMART goals. Include a realistic timeline for these goals as well.

SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.

That last one, timely is important when it comes to goal-setting.

Including goals, objectives, and a timeline in your executive summary shows that you’ve done your homework.

You’ve thought through the process of what you want to do, how you want to do it, and when you want to accomplish it by.

After listing your goals, it’s time to declare your mission statement.

This is a concise explanation of your agency’s purpose and its overall intentions.

Keep your wording short and simple so everyone can remember it!

After the mission statement, it’s time to summarize what makes your insurance business special.

What’s your differentiator?

What will make you stand out from any competitors? This is that secret sauce that only you bring to the table.

It’s why your customers will choose to do business with you, keep their business with you, and refer their friends and family to you.

As you move through each of these categories, make sure to mention or at least consider any known hazards that would prevent the execution of your plan.

Is there competition?

Maybe there’s an expected demographic change that would impede your business growth.

How do you plan to overcome these hazards?

Whether you include them in the plan or not, you need to think through hazard scenarios.

Why? It’s likely your investors, bankers, or executives will have questions about your plan.

If you’ve thought through potential hazards ahead of time, you’ll be able to answer these questions when asked, or simply direct them to the proper page in your business plan.

And then once you’re done with all of these sections, it’s time for a conclusion. Similar to the intro, just a few sentences to wrap it up and put a bow on your executive summary.

This can be short as well, just a paragraph is fine.

If you couldn’t tell, short and simple is the theme for our executive summary.

High-level info with keywords, bullet points, all the main takeaways.

Basically, it’s the TL;DR for your business plan.

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