It's that time of year again for the annual Business Plan Competition to take place. Got a great business plan? Apply by Feb. 21 with your executive summary to be considered for up to $10,000 in prizes. Before applying, it is important to know what an executive summary is and how to write one.
There are 8 key parts to a proper executive summary document.
- Company Name & Contact Information
- Competition and Competitive Advantage
- Target Market
- Why Us?
- Financing Needed
The Company Name and Contact Information section is where participants should put the name of their company or idea, and include the one central contact information for the entire group that includes an address, group members, and an email.
The Opportunity/Problem section should include a brief description of the key problem that your idea will solve. This is one of the most important parts of the executive summary because how you translate the purpose and problem your idea will solve will determine how the judges will take in your proposal.
The following section is the Solution section. It is here that you will continue your description of the problem and show how you will help to address this situation with you invention or idea.
One of the larger sections, the Competition and Competitive Advantage section, should include some key answers to important questions such as:
- What other options do your customers currently have to address their needs, and what makes your solution better for them?
- What is your "crystal clear" competitive advantage? What are you most counting on to encourage potential customers to buy from you?
- If you have a common business, explain why customers need your particular business. Do you offer lower prices? More convenient hours? A better location or distribution method? A specialty that is not otherwise available in your area? Do you have a different way of promoting your business?
- If your company is doing something new and different, explaining why the world needs your product or service innovation. What is it about existing businesses or situations that are sub par? Are you improving on a mediocre product or service category?
The Target Market Section is key for competitors in the Business Competition as almost equally as important to the idea that participants come up with is who that idea will help. In this section participants should include a description of the target market for their idea including the size and trends that are found within that market. This section should include what makes the idea appealing to the target market.
In the Why Us? section is where students and participants can explain the company personally. They can explain the company and company members' skills, experience, expertise etc. This section is where the participants can market themselves to judges to get them to see their idea as profitable and put faith in the company and the members.
In the Forecast section is where students will describe the financial goals of the idea and how the predicted revenue and revenue growth is to be expected.
Immediately following the Forecast section is the Finances Needed section which will show if the project is worth the effort that needs to be put into it. This section is important to think about as it directly correlates with the Forecast section.
The Executive Summary is a key part of the application process for the Business Plan Competition. If one isn't confident in their ability to complete the summary, students can feel free to reach out to the School of Management & Marketing for help with their summary or even find a business major student who has more knowledge of the process to join their team. Having a business major student on a team is of great benefit when applying. If students have a good idea they should apply.
To register, students will need to use the link on Kean's web page about the competition. In addition to registering online, competitors must email the executive summary of their business plan to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some important dates for the Business Plan Competition are as follows:
- Feb. 21, 2020 - Registration ends
- March 6, 2020 - Semi-Finalists notified
- March 16, 2020 - Deadline for submission of full business plan
- March 27, 2020 - Finalists notified
- April 9, 2020 - Final event
Students are highly encouraged to participate in this competition and represent Kean! Good luck to all participants.