How to Write an Executive Summary

Congratulations on registering for the 2019 Architecture Business Plan Competition. Our competition is designed to guide you through important topics when considering planning for your business. Our hope is that the process, regardless of the outcome of the competition, will inspire firm owners to invest time and thought into planning for the future of their business.

The next step is the drafting of your Executive Summary. Many business plan formats include a summary section at the beginning to encapsulate the detailed documents in a more concise format. The process of drafting this document forces you to consider important questions.

Here are some important aspects of the Executive Summary:

  1. It is a high level, abbreviated view of the overall plan.

  2. The summary should be 1-2 pages maximum.

  3. It should be engaging and capture the passion you have for your business.

  4. It should clearly define your vision for the future of your business (ie. what does the business look like in five years).

  5. It should define the mission (the “why”) of the firm.

  6. It should clearly define your value proposition (why do clients hire you).

  7. Be cautious of overused language like “we are collaborative” or “we listen to our clients” or “we design beautiful buildings”.  Look for ways to define your value in a unique way.

  8. Do you have a geographic focus?

  9. Are there key business goals over the next several years?

  10. How many employees are there now, and how many will there be at different intervals of your growth?

Although a summary that is visually pleasing is a nice representation of the firm; the most important part is the content.  Don’t get too consumed in layout, images, colors, fonts, etc. Be specific and be realistic.

Send your completed Executive Summary to by 5:00 p.m. CST January 31, 2019.