There are multiple components that make up a business plan, and while you’re busy working on your market research or executive summary, there may be other parts of the plan that seem like they’ll be a piece of cake to write — like the executive team section.
In theory, listing out the names of the executive team should be easy. It’s just people, right?
The reality is that even if you’re a solo entrepreneur, this section needs to have some meat to it. And if you’re someone who’s writing a business plan for a business that has lots of team members, it may be tough to decide who to include.
For example, I’ve had clients who are inventors. They focus on product development, and there’s a whole host of people who are involved right from inception.
In that case, who gets listed as a core founder and what information should you include about each person?f
Let’s dig into this a little deeper.
Why Your Executive Team Section Matters
While you may think you know exactly why you’ve decided to start up your new business, this section is where the rubber hits the road, so to speak. This is the section where you have to actually articulate the why behind your business, and dig deep to look at your own motivations.
When working on this section, you may find yourself facing some truths you weren’t expecting. Starting a business isn’t always a rational decision, and as you start to answer questions and examine if you’re doing this for the right reasons, you may be surprised with what’s revealed.
This is exactly why I suggest starting on this section near the beginning of writing your business plan. Because if you start to unpack your whys and aren’t confident in your answers, it may be time to hit the pause button and regroup.
Who to Include
The executive team section of your business plan should be easy to read, but if you’re including 16 different people and their accompanying bios, it’s likely going to look bloated.
The ultimate goal of this section of your business plan should be to focus on the founders of the business, not provide an entire org chart of everyone involved.
The last thing you want is for this section to be confusing. Investors want to know exactly WHO their money is being invested in, and if there’s a massive list of people included it starts to muddy the water. Investors really just want to know who the true decision makers are and to know they can trust them.
If you’re looking for a bank loan, they’ll strictly be concerned with who’s taking care of repayments and how that’ll happen. In this case, the executive team section should be focused on the loan applicants only.
A Few Writing Tips
When writing your executive team summaries, you want to make the link between your experience and accomplishments and how those will help make your business successful. Things like education, professional experience, previous experience as an entrepreneur and any awards will all be of interest to investors.
How and what you include (or don’t include) is what will make each individual component relevant, and in my book, How to Write an Exceptional Business Plan, I provide a breakdown for each one.
A headshot should also be included, and this should be a pic of you looking your absolute best.
As far as what you should avoid, too many personal details about your family life or hobbies aren’t needed, unless they’re directly relevant to your business. Personal information can be subject to interpretation, so it’s best not to even open that door. This is business, so keep things as professional as possible with what and how much you share.
If you’re working on a business plan and are stuck on the executive team summary section, I can help!
Check out my new book How to Write an Exceptional Business Plan HERE for everything you need to know about crafting an executive team summary that hits the right mark.