A Strategic Business Plan Maintains Continuity of Theme

Executive summaries provide a quick overview: The first thing investors, acquisition candidates, strategic partners, etc. review is a compelling one or two page executive summary together with GAAP financial projections, or at the very least, a financial pro-forma.  The goal of any executive summary and financial projection is to persuade the reader to request a copy of the external version of the business plan. Creating a compelling executive summary can often be as challenging as composing the business plan itself. There is one chance to grasp the reader’s attention and to make a positive first impression.

Revise Business Plan for external readers:  Because of the proprietary assets and strategies detailed in the internal version of the business plan, most clients’ provide a less detailed version written specifically for people outside the organization. This more summarized version allows the reader to review the company strategies without jeopardizing any intellectual property or concepts unique to this business model.

Pitch Decks: Rather than reading an executive summary and financial projections, let alone the entire business plan, many prospects today, such as equity investors, prefer a stand-alone pitch deck to explain the company’s attributes. Most often created using PowerPoint, Prezi or Keynote software, a pitch deck is a brief summarized presentation providing a quick overview of a client’s business plan. It tells the company’s story in a precise manner without going into excessive detail. These pitch decks are used in various circumstances where time is limited. Examples include on-line meetings with partners, co-founders, investors and maybe even customers. Sometimes potential investors ask that a copy be provided to them; consequently, the pitch deck needs to be able to be a standalone communication tool that is logical, clear and precise without being accompanied by verbal delivery.

  • A pitch deck is often the best medium for quickly expressing the company strategy and plan. For example, if employees, new customers, strategic partners, advisors, or even equity partners need a quick overview.
  • Pitch decks consist mostly of images and a few bullet points forcing the audience to visualize the bigger picture. Understanding the business strategy on more general terms rather than any specific details that could be offered at a later time.
  • Most sophisticated funders, such as venture capitalists, angel groups, banks, etc. require a presentation by a pitch deck rather than an executive summary or business plan. All funders do require a full business plan when due diligence begins.
  • In the event an invitation is extended to present in person, the pitch deck provides the structure to better ensure information is delivered timely and logically.