The executive summary is often considered the most important section of a business plan. This section briefly tells your reader where your company is, where you want to take it, and why your business idea will be successful. If you are seeking financing, the executive summary is also your first opportunity to grab a potential investor’s interest. The executive summary should highlight the strengths of your overall plan and therefore be the last section you write. However, it usually appears first in your business plan document.
What to Include in Your Executive Summary
Below are several key points that your executive summary should include based on the stage of your business.
If You Are an Established Business If you are an established business, be sure to include the following information:
- The Mission Statement – This explains what your business is all about. It should be between several sentences and a paragraph.
- Company Information – Include a short statement that covers when your business was formed, the names of the founders and their roles, your number of employees, and your business location(s).
- Growth Highlights – Include examples of company growth, such as financial or market highlights (for example, “XYZ Firm increased profit margins and market share year-over-year since its foundation). Graphs and charts can be helpful in this section.
- Your Products/Services -- Briefly describe the products or services you provide.
- Financial Information – If you are seeking financing, include any information about your current bank and investors.
- Summarize future plans – Explain where you would like to take your business.
With the exception of the mission statement, all of the information in the executive summary should be covered in a concise fashion and kept to one page. The executive summary is the first part of your business plan many people will see, so each word should count.
If You Are a Startup or New Business If you are just starting a business, you won't have as much information as an established company. Instead, focus on your experience and background as well as the decisions that led you to start this particular enterprise.
Demonstrate that you have done thorough market analysis. Include information about a need or gap in your target market, and how your particular solutions can fill it. Convince the reader that you can succeed in your target market, then address your future plans.
Remember, your Executive Summary will be the last thing you write. So the first section of the business plan that you will tackle is the Company Description section.
START A BUSINESS IN AVON PARK, FLORIDA. What makes Avon Park, Florida, so ideal is its historical foundation teamed with the potential for new businesses and community growth. Settled in 1884, incorporated as a town in 1886 and later as a city in January of 1926, Avon Park is the oldest city in Highlands County, Florida, and named after Stratford-upon-Avon, England.
Avon Park is home to the South Florida State College main campus. Main Street retains a WW2 vintage Americana ambiance rich in history of United States agriculture and citrus productivity, as well as baseball (Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees trained here in the early 1900’s and our local high school has won 8 state championships). Avon Park is also where “Brown and Serve” rolls were invented. Avon Park has a population of nearly 11,000 people and welcomes over 800 businesses (home-based and brick and mortar). Avon Park is located five miles from Sebring, Florida – and about 45 minutes south of Lake Wales, Florida, off US HWY 27. About an hour north of us on US HWY 27 is the I 4 & US HWY 27 exchange at Davenport, Florida.
The “Mile-Long Mall” in the heart of “Charm City” was once occupied by many thriving boutiques, antiques/arts & crafts vendors, department and grocery stores. These businesses were frequented by decades of loyal and inspired consumers – many were stationed here living or working with the US Air Force Base that closed its public/ primary operations in 1992. Today, downtown is ripe for growth and revitalization. The Hotel Jacaranda, the Depot Restaurant, Little Italy, and 18 East restaurant have become popular tourist and dining destinations. A block away on Main Street is Donaldson Park – located on the grounds of beautiful Lake Verona and its public park, tennis courts, beach, and newly constructed lunch pavilions.
Are YOU a trusted builder seeking new clients by creating opportunities for homeowners? Are YOU interested in starting a NEW BUSINESS and helping to build stronger commerce and Avon Park and fill vacant buildings? Your ideas will be welcomed. Many developers and civic-minded individuals have already shown interest in creating additional museums, an arts-walk with crafts and food and beverage vendors, specialty shops and business offices, an elder spa or a wellness center, health and organic foods & pharmacy, a water splash park or even a professional sports team! The Brickell Building, located on Main Street, and owned by the City of Avon Park, could possibly be renovated and sourced for housing or retail.
If YOU or someone you know is interested in starting a new business, then please contact the City of Avon Park for information on how to acquire a business license. Once you obtained a business license with the City of Avon Park *( website HERE ) and file appropriate paperwork with SunBiz of to verify your business with the State of Florida, your enterprise is ready to become a member of the Avon Park Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit 501 (C) 6 membership business organization. Through fundraisers, community events, marketing efforts, monthly sponsorship networking luncheons, and access to employer/employee development training programs offered through APCC members such as South Florida State College and CareerSource Heartland (and their partners) the APPC can help grow your business and facilitate business opportunities with other APCC members, the City and County governments, and School District and with each other as friends and potential clients.
*An important step is to write a company description first, an executive summary, and our helpful advice on creating business/ link to SBA on our website HERE. One must eventually attain a business license and permit with Avon Park HERE.
Business establishments operating in Avon Park must register businesses with SunBiz and have an approved Avon Park City Business license. Their number: 863-452-4403 –ask to speak to City Clerk or City Manager.
NOTE: every municipality in Highlands County operates with slightly different criteria. So it will be important for you to reach out to Sebring and Lake Placid Chambers and their local governments as well for their necessary requirements. Ultimately, one must file with SunBiz Here.
*The Florida SBDC of the Heartland can help you create a strategy to strengthen and grow your business. : The Florida SBDC of the Heartland features a two-hour seminar each month on the “Steps to Starting a Small Business.”
According to the SBDC website: If you are ready to jump-start your business, want to attend business seminars, or seek one-on-one consulting, simply contact: Michael Noel, MBA, CPBA, CPDFA at 863-784-7378 or firstname.lastname@example.org … Mr. Noel is a professionally certified business consultant at the Florida SBDC of the Heartland, a satellite office of Florida SBDC at University of South Florida Muma College of Business, SBDCTampaBay.com/highlands. The Florida SBDC at USF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funding in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners; hosted by the University of West Florida; and nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs.
BELOW you will find a variety of credible, online resources that might serve your business needs as well .
The following business-related online resources can be accessed for free using the Florida Electronic Library -
Business Plans Handbook Series
Gale Business Insights Essentials (FLE – all access)
Gale Courses – Online Classes (LW)
Gale Demographics Now (FLE – all access)
Gale Small Business Collection (FLE – all access)
Gale Small Business Resource Center (FLE – all access)
Local Business Resources -
Central Florida Score
Central Florida Development Council
Florida Small Business Development Center
Other Business Resources - all credible, online that are helpful -
Bureau of Labor Statistics
US Census Bureau
Economic Indicators (US Census)
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Sweet’s Catalog of Building Materials
United States Patent & Trademark Office
Wall Street Journal Online
American Express Small Business Network
Findlaw’s Small Business Center
Minority Business Development Agency
SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives)
Small Business Administration
Trade Show News Network