Does Your Small Business Need a Business Plan?

small business components of a business plan

The Business Plan is the blueprint for your business. It is a living document.


The Executive Summary – Your Business ID The Executive Summary is both a marketing tool and a document that provides hard data.

It does not provide all the details contained in a Business Plan.  It is a sales tool that should be concise and persuasive. It is meant to create an interest so that the reader will delve further. 

Like most marketing tools it serves as a “teaser” for a specific audience..

The Executive Summary should not be more than a three page documents. It must include appropriate financial information; with details provided in an attached appendix.  To send a forty plus page document as an introduction to your business is not considered a sensible way to get an immediate response. 

Once the party is “hooked”, more details can be provided.

Each Executive Summary must be customized for its audience. The information contained in an Executive Summary prepared for an investor or a lender differs from content provided to a vendor or a prospective employee.

Material can be added or deleted for each reader.

The material presented to a prospective vendor might include additional marketing material. The material provided to a buyer prospect might include sales prices for each service or product offered.

The following Executive Summary outline is provided for a loan application.

Frequently lending institutions have on-line applications that ask you to provide the same information in their format.  You can receive a quick response from the lender if you are able to complete the application.

This outline will assist you in preparing for the on-line application as well as preparing your own Executive Summary.

Capital Request                

Loan Amount & Loan Term:

Source & Use of Funds: Intended Equity Contribution should be noted

 The Entity                          

Name of Legal Entity and DBA

 Business Address (if leased, include term of lease):

 Years in Business:

 Web Site:

Contact Info:  

The Business                     

The Industry/The Services/The Products/The Market:                                                

Current and Long Term Objectives:

Historical P&L summary:3 years (for existing companies):

Revenue Projections      

Gross Revenue and  EBITDA (3 years):

Company Balance Sheet:

Current Asset and Liabilities, Net Worth  Summarized

The SWOT Analysis        

Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats:

Personal Financial Info  

Net Worth of all Principals. (PFS statements in Appendix)*

Personal Credit Score:    

A current FICO score (not more than 90 days) For all owners of 20% or more of the borrowing entity. (Equifax, Trans Union or Experian)

Schedule of Exhibits:  

To be made available to interested parties. CVs of all principals, financial history of the company, budget details, cash flow   projections, and personal financial statements.

The plan for your business provides the foundation for the Executive Summary.

When the plan for your business is put into a written format it is called a Business Plan.  However the traditional Business Plan is no longer used as a tool to illicit initial interest in your business.

Next- The Business Plan is the blueprint for your business.


About the author

Marjorie Weber

Marjorie Weber has been educating entrepreneurs and guiding them in their search for capital for the past 16 years: combining business training programs with one-on-one mentoring. Marj is currently the executive director of Primed2Grow, a Miami based consultantcy. Most recently Maj was a financial advisor for Florida SBDC at FIU. She was Chair of SCORE Miami Dade from 2010 to 2014. She also serves as an advisor to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program and the SBA Emerging Leaders Program and provides training for Veterans seeking an entrepreneurial path upon retirement from the service. She has  facilitated workshops under the auspices of Miami Bayside Foundation, Little Haiti Cultural Center and .local banks. She commenced her career as a real estate investment banker in New York and Miami..She uses these long term relationships to assist her clients in accessing capital. She knows both the process and the people and has assisted in providing financing for hundreds of businesses in Miami Dade.