Five Points for Better Exec Summaries and BriefingsPosted: February 1, 2010
Here’s a quick five-point format for executive summary/briefing documents. This is intended to be a short “get to know you” briefing for prospective investors. It’s also supposed to be a scalable document — that is, you can expand it into a full business pitch deck by fleshing out each section more. Or you can compress it all the way down into a single paragraph by just putting the punchlines together.
- Bullet points: Quick recap of team members’ experience
- Punchline: why your team has the right experience and/or unique industry connections that give you an unfair advantage in this business
- Bullet points: who are your paying customers? who are your users (for ad/audience-driven businesses)? what’s the overall industry size? what specific segment (or sub-segment) of that industry are you going to dominate? how big is that segment (e.g., how many customers/users are there in your target initial segment multiplied by your expected penetration of that segment multiplied by anticipated customer lifetime value)?
- Punchline: there’s a believable path for the company to get to $100MM in annual revenue
- Bullet points: if working alpha/beta product, then what are the customer/user activity stats like? if no product yet, then what surveys, smoke tests, or mockup tests have you run?
- Punchline: we’re not just sitting in an office making up a business plan; we’ve gone out to talk with real customers or users, lots of them. We’ve tested working product or realistic mockups with customers/users and they like it.
- Bullet points: how will your customers/users learn about your service? how much do you need to pay per customer/user acquisition? how will you drive a customer/user adoption curve that is doubling every month?
- Punchline: we know how to reach customers/users. we’re not gonna end up blowing your money on building something that it turns out we can’t sell.
- Bullet points: how much are you looking to raise? what will that money be used for; e.g., what milestones will you hit? what questions will you be able to answer with this investment? which risks will be de-risked with this investment? how long will these milestones take to achieve?
- Punchline: your money is going to buy significant reductions in risk (and therefore significant increases in the next valuation)
Hope that’s helpful. Did I miss anything? Leave any questions or edits in the comments section… Thanks!