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How To Write an Executive Brief for a Report

By Joan Ang, Jan 27, 2022

executive brief

An investor or business plan needs to hold a reader’s attention. But plans and reports can be very long. Give your readers a summary of what to expect by adding an executive brief to your plan.

An executive summary or brief highlights the key points of a business plan. The recipient of the plan will have a better idea of what to expect from the plan and how much they need to dedicate to it.

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What is an executive summary or brief?

An executive summary gives a brief synopsis of a project proposal and distills all the pertinent information from a longer document into bullet points.

Sometimes referred to as a market brief, an executive summary is used to convince a prospective investor of the value of doing business with a company or to inform them of a product or service that will be valuable to them.

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Where are executive summaries used?

Executive summaries are used by large businesses or companies that operate in more than one country. They can also be included in business plans for companies with a large number of products or services.

An effective executive summary example, like the presentation below, highlights the problem the business is providing a solution for, as well as the value it affords potential and current investors.

executive brief
 

An executive summary like the one above helps executives and supervisors involved in decision-making analyze a business plan faster.

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executive brief

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What are the benefits of writing executive briefs?

The main benefit of writing an executive summary is how much time decision-makers can save when evaluating data.

Here are a few more benefits of including a business plan executive summary or brief synopsis of your project plan.

An executive summary acts as a project overview

Executive summaries are short so people spend less time reading them. They are designed to give readers an overview of the content, the project goals, and the financial information.

This helps readers quickly assess the information they need before making a business decision.

executive brief
 

As this infographic shows, abstracts give readers a taste of what’s to come to encourage them to keep reading. 

In other words, executive summaries effectively condense critical information about your business model and market research.

Make an effective executive summary using Venngage’s real-time collaboration feature. Upgrade to a business account to invite team members, add comments and share feedback.

executive brief

A powerful executive summary is backed by evidence

The purpose of an executive summary is to provide an overview of your business plan to highlight your value proposition.

Remember that an executive summary is a short document. It is concise and to the point, without too many slides or pages about analysis, methods, or conclusions, like in this executive summary template.

executive brief
 

Most executive summaries tend to follow a similar layout. Stand out from the crowd by presenting your problem, solution, and results in a single infographic. It’s a great way to encourage someone to read the concise analysis you’ve created of your business plan.

A good executive summary can highlight certain evidence and data, but it should not go into deep detail. The report itself will discuss the other aspects in full detail.

Executive summaries personalize a business plan

Who writes executive summaries? Usually, they’re written by experts within the organization, like this executive summary template.

executive brief
 

This example is aimed at investors and clearly shows the problem being addressed and why this business’ solution is the best choice. But it also includes the name and designation of the report writer.

Executives reading the brief won’t need to do in-depth research about the backgrounds and dependability of the study’s authors because of the latter’s reputations in their respective industries.

An executive summary gives investors a great first impression

Your business plan needs to make a strong impact on potential partners. Executive briefs can create great impressions on readers because they deliver information in a concise and organized manner, like in this executive summary example.

executive brief
 

Note how this investment proposal uses a sliding scale to show relevant financial information. It could have been outline in words, but visuals give a quick overview of the major points.

Combine this executive summary with images, and you’ve got a report that’s easy for anyone to read. A few sentences, some bullet points and a data visualization will leave clients with a favorable impression of your brand.

Executive summaries are a great inclusion in a marketing plan, as well, depicting the intended target market as well as potential market share.

What is included in an executive brief?

The following is the most important information to be included in an executive summary:

  • Title
  • Company description and management team
  • Statement of the problem
  • Value proposition and intended solution
  • Financial overview and financial projections
  • Key findings about target market research

Once you’ve created your summary, you can share it online with a private link. Or upgrade to a business plan to download your executive summary as PNG, PNG HD, PDF, or Interactive PDF.

executive brief

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Tips for writing an effective executive brief

It’s often easier to write a longer report than a brief one. What are the main points you need to remember when you write an executive summary?

Start with the basics

An executive summary is a high-level overview of your full business plan or project plan. Your opening paragraph can be a company description.

Then you can dive into your target market, financial projections, or specific tasks that your project management team intends to complete.

Here’s a tip: remember to use personal pronouns like ‘we’ and ‘our’ to build a connection with investors reading your brief, like in this executive summary example.

executive brief
 

Spotlight your problem and solution

You need to showcase your problem and solution by providing background information that is relevant to the topic.

executive brief
 

In this executive summary template, the problem was about the product’s affordability, which they discovered through customer feedback.

This encouraged the company to find new ideas to lower prices, which they detail in the Solution section of the executive summary.

Make the target audience care about your project

Most venture capitalists receive a project proposal every other day. You have to assure them that your project matters.

The executive summary examples in this post have focused on highlighting the value proposition of a business plan, like in this template.

executive brief
 

The above executive summary focuses on solving a problem regarding high price points. It’s important to provide key information about your product or services and how your project will positively impact investors and customers.

Highlight your brand’s competencies

An executive summary is the best place to highlight your business expertise and results. Most of the executive summary examples in this post have included a few lines about the company’s growth, as does this template.

executive brief
 

If your team produced excellent results in using a particular marketing method, your executive summary should include all the key findings and the core methodology you used.

Use data-backed financial projections

Numbers speak for themselves. If you have numbers to back up your project proposal, you need to include it in the executive summary, like in this marketing plan example.

executive brief
 

The goals section of your executive summary is a good spot to share financial successes and KPIs.

However, don’t go overboard and use all the data you’ve collected. Handpick data that supports your solutions to your specific problems.

For example, if your problem was how to increase your social media followers, your executive summary should indicate growth in followers by implementing a new method of engagement.

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FAQs about executive summaries

How long should executive briefs be?

While there’s no benchmark or standards to follow regarding executive summary lengths, using two paragraphs for your introduction and adding three to four sections to highlight your problem, solution, value, and recommendations is a great starting point.

What is the difference between an executive brief and an introduction?

An introduction is a way to present or provide information. It usually includes a summary or overview of the topic that is to be discussed. It’s similar to an abstract.

On the other hand, executive summaries are the condensed versions of a complete report because they include data and other important details. Think of it as an analyst’s report in four to five slides.

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Executive briefs are an essential part of every business plan

These executive summary examples will help you create business plans that hold your reader’s attention and give them the incentive to read the complete business plan.

Use Venngage’s executive summary templates as a starting point to write an executive summary that will convince project stakeholders to invest in your company.

 
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