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Executive Summary: Why Do We Care?

You’re building your business and bought your domain name. Congratulations on your new venture! You’ve made the decision now what? The business plan and business requirements are key for the success of your journey. Several budding business owners that have asked me to help them were puzzled by my request for their documentation. Can I read your business plan and the requirements? “What? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

In every single one of those cases, I had to choose to try to help them accomplish their need for a website, intranet or both and the absence of a business plan made it very hard to determine whether I was fulfilling what they really needed. What is their mission statement? What is their vision? What are their values? These are all vital components to the message that will be conveyed on their site. You have less than 30 seconds to grab your audience’s attention and retain them.

The customers are asking, “Why should I consider this business for what I need?” I love asking groups who want my participation, “Who is your target audience?” Too often, that question is answered with a long pause and a blank stare–“I’m not sure what you mean.”

Totally understandable. I remember the first time I was asked that question by a marketer. I had the same response. The result of my business attempt, along with many others who chose to travel the same route–the business did not go far because we did not have a solid foundation to build on. That is the value of a business plan.

If you have researched the information to begin the path of creating your business plan, you may be looking at the Executive Summary and wondering what that should be.

In short, the Executive Summary is similar to the introduction of your resume. Why should they care? Are you sending them a message that creates a desire to read further or will they want to put it down and move on to the next business venture that they have been pitched?


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