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Arizona's closely held businesses need an executive summary

Starting a new business involves delving into a multitude of business and legal issues. In addition to making numerous decisions, the owners of closely held businesses in Arizona will need a business plan. This plan spells out the details of the business and where it is going.

Conversely, an executive summary provides a concise outline that potential investors can review instead of having to read the entire plan. Many investors read numerous business proposals, and do not want to read through an entire business plan just to determine that they do not want to invest in the business. The executive summary should gain enough of the reader's interest so that he or she wants to read the business plan.

It should not be more than two pages in length, in plain language and clearly outline the business's purpose, income needs and potential returns. If a friend or family member is unable to understand the contents of the summary, it will most likely need to be redone. The best time to write the summary is after the business plan is written, even though it is the first part of a completed plan.

Without a business plan and an executive summary, the company is at a disadvantage. This document sets out goals that the company wants to reach, and which will -- presumably -- make it profitable. However, as time goes on, practical experience in the Arizona market could necessitate changes to the business plan in order to put in more in line with reality. The more accurate the plan remains, the better it can help closely held businesses to succeed.

Source: The Huffington Post, "How to Write a Business Plan: The Executive Summary", Melinda Emerson, Dec. 2, 2015

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