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What Is a Case Study?

When you’re performing research as part of your job or for a school assignment, you’ll probably come across case studies that help you to learn more about the topic at hand. But what is a case study and why are they helpful? Read on to learn all about case studies.

Deep Dive into a Topic

At face value, a case study is a deep dive into a topic. Case studies can be found in many fields, particularly across the social sciences and medicine. When you conduct a case study, you create a body of research based on an inquiry and related data from analysis of a group, individual or controlled research environment.

As a researcher, you can benefit from the analysis of case studies similar to inquiries you’re currently studying. Researchers often rely on case studies to answer questions that basic information and standard diagnostics cannot address.

Study a Pattern

One of the main objectives of a case study is to find a pattern that answers whatever the initial inquiry seeks to find. This might be a question about why college students are prone to certain eating habits or what mental health problems afflict house fire survivors. The researcher then collects data, either through observation or data research, and starts connecting the dots to find underlying behaviors or impacts of the sample group’s behavior.

Gather Evidence

During the study period, the researcher gathers evidence to back the observed patterns and future claims that’ll be derived from the data. Since case studies are usually presented in the professional environment, it’s not enough to simply have a theory and observational notes to back up a claim. Instead, the researcher must provide evidence to support the body of study and the resulting conclusions.

Present Findings

As the study progresses, the researcher develops a solid case to present to peers or a governing body. Case study presentation is important because it legitimizes the body of research and opens the findings to a broader analysis that may end up drawing a conclusion that’s more true to the data than what one or two researchers might establish. The presentation might be formal or casual, depending on the case study itself.

Draw Conclusions

Once the body of research is established, it’s time to draw conclusions from the case study. As with all social sciences studies, conclusions from one researcher shouldn’t necessarily be taken as gospel, but they’re helpful for advancing the body of knowledge in a given field. For that purpose, they’re an invaluable way of gathering new material and presenting ideas that others in the field can learn from and expand upon.


executive summary of case study sample

How to Write an Executive Summary for a Case Study

Updated February 2022: The first thing you do when faced with any study or report is read the executive summary or overview—right? Then you decide if reading the rest of the material is worth your time. This is why it is so important for you to learn how to write an executive summary for a case study.

The executive summary of your case study serves exactly the same function. If the reader sees nothing beyond this section, they will still walk away with a good understanding of your service.

A great summary might even be enough for a reader to pass the information along to the decision-makers in their organization.

In this post, we’ll discuss what makes a compelling executive summary for case studies, and provide you with 4 examples from leading B2B SaaS companies. This is the third post in a 9-part series on how to write a case study .

That’s why every word counts

When thinking about how to write an executive summary for a case study, you need to create 2 or 3 crucial sentences that provide a concise overview of the case study. It must be informative and:

Write the executive summary first to help you focus the rest of the case study. But don’t be too rigid: in the process of reviewing the interview transcript or writing the main copy, another point or statistic may emerge as having more impact than what you’ve chosen to highlight. Revisit your executive summary after writing the case study to make sure it’s as strong and accurate as possible.

If you need a hand with your SaaS case studies, have a look at our case study writing service .

Executive summaries can be short and sweet

This executive summary example from Segment is just a headline followed by a glorified subhead—but it does the trick!

Segment Twilio example of how to write an executive summary for a case study

Here’s another great example of a quick, yet helpful executive summary for Plaid’s case study:

Plaid example of how to write an executive summary for a case study

Sometimes you may need a longer executive summary

For complex case studies, you may need a more in-depth executive summary to give readers an overview of the case study.

Here’s a more fleshed-out executive summary from Segment:

Segment example of how to write an executive summary for a case study

It’s a bit lengthy, but it effectively introduces the challenge. This executive summary could be more powerful if it included a section for results.

Sometimes executive summaries miss the mark entirely

Bullhorn example of how to write an executive summary for a case study

This is not an executive summary. It is merely an introduction. We have no idea what the problem or solution is, and there’s nothing to motivate us to read further.

You can do better with your executive summaries

Be precise. Impress the reader with key results. Let them see that you offer solutions that matter.

Get the help you need

You and your team are swamped. Check out our done-for-you case study writing service .

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As the founder of Uplift Content, Emily leads her team in creating done-for-you case studies, ebooks and blog posts for high-growth SaaS companies like ClickUp, Calendly and WalkMe. Connect with Emily on Linkedin

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How to write an executive summary, with examples

Julia Martins contributor headshot

The best way to do that is with an executive summary. If you’ve never written an executive summary, this article has all you need to know to plan, write, and share them with your team.

What is an executive summary?

An executive summary is an overview of a document. The length and scope of your executive summary will differ depending on the document it’s summarizing, but in general an executive summary can be anywhere from one to two pages long. In the document, you’ll want to share all of the information your readers and important stakeholders need to know.

Imagine it this way: if your high-level stakeholders were to only read your executive summary, would they have all of the information they need to succeed? If so, your summary has done its job.

You’ll often find executive summaries of:

Business cases

Project proposals

Research documents

Environmental studies

Market surveys

Project plans

In general, there are four parts to any executive summary:

Start with the problem or need the document is solving.

Outline the recommended solution.

Explain the solution’s value.

Wrap up with a conclusion about the importance of the work.

What is an executive summary in project management?

In project management, an executive summary is a way to bring clarity to cross-functional collaborators, team leadership, and project stakeholders . Think of it like a project’s “ elevator pitch ” for team members who don’t have the time or the need to dive into all of the project’s details.

The main difference between an executive summary in project management and a more traditional executive summary in a business plan is that the former should be created at the beginning of your project—whereas the latter should be created after you’ve written your business plan. For example, to write an executive summary of an environmental study, you would compile a report on the results and findings once your study was over. But for an executive summary in project management, you want to cover what the project is aiming to achieve and why those goals matter.

The same four parts apply to an executive summary in project management:

Start with the problem or need the project is solving.  Why is this project happening? What insight, customer feedback, product plan, or other need caused it to come to life?

Outline the recommended solution, or the project’s objectives.  How is the project going to solve the problem you established in the first part? What are the project goals and objectives?

Explain the solution’s value.  Once you’ve finished your project, what will happen? How will this improve and solve the problem you established in the first part?

Wrap up with a conclusion about the importance of the work.  This is another opportunity to reiterate why the problem is important, and why the project matters. It can also be helpful to reference your audience and how your solution will solve their problem. Finally, include any relevant next steps.

If you’ve never written an executive summary before, you might be curious about where it fits into other project management elements. Here’s how executive summaries stack up:

Executive summary vs. project plan

A  project plan  is a blueprint of the key elements your project will accomplish in order to hit your project goals and objectives. Project plans will include your goals, success metrics, stakeholders and roles, budget, milestones and deliverables, timeline and schedule, and communication plan .

An executive summary is a summary of the most important information in your project plan. Think of the absolutely crucial things your management team needs to know when they land in your project, before they even have a chance to look at the project plan—that’s your executive summary.

Executive summary vs. project overview

Project overviews and executive summaries often have similar elements—they both contain a summary of important project information. However, your project overview should be directly attached to your project. There should be a direct line of sight between your project and your project overview.

While you can include your executive summary in your project depending on what type of  project management tool  you use, it may also be a stand-alone document.

Executive summary vs. project objectives

Your executive summary should contain and expand upon your  project objectives  in the second part ( Outline the recommended solution, or the project’s objectives ). In addition to including your project objectives, your executive summary should also include why achieving your project objectives will add value, as well as provide details about how you’re going to get there.

The benefits of an executive summary

You may be asking: why should I write an executive summary for my project? Isn’t the project plan enough?

Well, like we mentioned earlier, not everyone has the time or need to dive into your project and see, from a glance, what the goals are and why they matter.  Work management tools  like Asana help you capture a lot of crucial information about a project, so you and your team have clarity on who’s doing what by when. Your executive summary is designed less for team members who are actively working on the project and more for stakeholders outside of the project who want quick insight and answers about why your project matters.

An effective executive summary gives stakeholders a big-picture view of the entire project and its important points—without requiring them to dive into all the details. Then, if they want more information, they can access the project plan or navigate through tasks in your work management tool.

How to write a great executive summary, with examples

Every executive summary has four parts. In order to write a great executive summary, follow this template. Then once you’ve written your executive summary, read it again to make sure it includes all of the key information your stakeholders need to know.

1. Start with the problem or need the project is solving

At the beginning of your executive summary, start by explaining why this document (and the project it represents) matter. Take some time to outline what the problem is, including any research or customer feedback you’ve gotten . Clarify how this problem is important and relevant to your customers, and why solving it matters.

For example, let’s imagine you work for a watch manufacturing company. Your project is to devise a simpler, cheaper watch that still appeals to luxury buyers while also targeting a new bracket of customers.

Example executive summary:

In recent customer feedback sessions, 52% of customers have expressed a need for a simpler and cheaper version of our product. In surveys of customers who have chosen competitor watches, price is mentioned 87% of the time. To best serve our existing customers, and to branch into new markets, we need to develop a series of watches that we can sell at an appropriate price point for this market.

2. Outline the recommended solution, or the project’s objectives

Now that you’ve outlined the problem, explain what your solution is. Unlike an abstract or outline, you should be  prescriptive  in your solution—that is to say, you should work to convince your readers that your solution is the right one. This is less of a brainstorming section and more of a place to support your recommended solution.

Because you’re creating your executive summary at the beginning of your project, it’s ok if you don’t have all of your deliverables and milestones mapped out. But this is your chance to describe, in broad strokes, what will happen during the project. If you need help formulating a high-level overview of your project’s main deliverables and timeline, consider creating a  project roadmap  before diving into your executive summary.

Continuing our example executive summary:

Our new watch series will begin at 20% cheaper than our current cheapest option, with the potential for 40%+ cheaper options depending on material and movement. In order to offer these prices, we will do the following:

Offer watches in new materials, including potentially silicone or wood

Use high-quality quartz movement instead of in-house automatic movement

Introduce customizable band options, with a focus on choice and flexibility over traditional luxury

Note that every watch will still be rigorously quality controlled in order to maintain the same world-class speed and precision of our current offerings.

3. Explain the solution’s value

At this point, you begin to get into more details about how your solution will impact and improve upon the problem you outlined in the beginning. What, if any, results do you expect? This is the section to include any relevant financial information, project risks, or potential benefits. You should also relate this project back to your company goals or  OKRs . How does this work map to your company objectives?

With new offerings that are between 20% and 40% cheaper than our current cheapest option, we expect to be able to break into the casual watch market, while still supporting our luxury brand. That will help us hit FY22’s Objective 3: Expanding the brand. These new offerings have the potential to bring in upwards of three million dollars in profits annually, which will help us hit FY22’s Objective 1: 7 million dollars in annual profit.

Early customer feedback sessions indicate that cheaper options will not impact the value or prestige of the luxury brand, though this is a risk that should be factored in during design. In order to mitigate that risk, the product marketing team will begin working on their go-to-market strategy six months before the launch.

4. Wrap up with a conclusion about the importance of the work

Now that you’ve shared all of this important information with executive stakeholders, this final section is your chance to guide their understanding of the impact and importance of this work on the organization. What, if anything, should they take away from your executive summary?

To round out our example executive summary:

Cheaper and varied offerings not only allow us to break into a new market—it will also expand our brand in a positive way. With the attention from these new offerings, plus the anticipated demand for cheaper watches, we expect to increase market share by 2% annually. For more information, read our  go-to-market strategy  and  customer feedback documentation .

Example of an executive summary

When you put it all together, this is what your executive summary might look like:

[Product UI] Example executive summary in Asana (Project Overview)

Common mistakes people make when writing executive summaries

You’re not going to become an executive summary-writing pro overnight, and that’s ok. As you get started, use the four-part template provided in this article as a guide. Then, as you continue to hone your executive summary writing skills, here are a few common pitfalls to avoid:

Avoid using jargon

Your executive summary is a document that anyone, from project contributors to executive stakeholders, should be able to read and understand. Remember that you’re much closer to the daily work and individual tasks than your stakeholders will be, so read your executive summary once over to make sure there’s no unnecessary jargon. Where you can, explain the jargon, or skip it all together.

Remember: this isn’t a full report

Your executive summary is just that—a summary. If you find yourself getting into the details of specific tasks, due dates, and attachments, try taking a step back and asking yourself if that information really belongs in your executive summary. Some details are important—you want your summary to be actionable and engaging. But keep in mind that the wealth of information in your project will be captured in your  work management tool , not your executive summary.

Make sure the summary can stand alone

You know this project inside and out, but your stakeholders won’t. Once you’ve written your executive summary, take a second look to make sure the summary can stand on its own. Is there any context your stakeholders need in order to understand the summary? If so, weave it into your executive summary, or consider linking out to it as additional information.

Always proofread

Your executive summary is a living document, and if you miss a typo you can always go back in and fix it. But it never hurts to proofread or send to a colleague for a fresh set of eyes.

In summary: an executive summary is a must-have

Executive summaries are a great way to get everyone up to date and on the same page about your project. If you have a lot of project stakeholders who need quick insight into what the project is solving and why it matters, an executive summary is the perfect way to give them the information they need.

For more tips about how to connect high-level strategy and plans to daily execution, read our article about strategic planning .

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What Is an Executive Summary? Examples and 101 Guide

All you need to know about writing persuasive and informative executive summaries in one place. Read more for actionable tips and sample executive summaries for different use cases.

executive summary of case study sample

John McTale

6 minute read

What is an executive summary

What is an executive summary?

An executive summary is a short section at the beginning of another document, usually a business plan, proposal, or report. As the name suggests, the executive summary summarizes the rest of the document. Its purpose is to inform readers about all the key points of your document without making them read it in full. Typically, an executive summary consists of the statement of the problem, background information, proposed solutions, abbreviated analysis, and main conclusions. An executive summary is a very important document for your business. It’s the first part of your proposal or business plan that will get read. If it doesn’t convince the stakeholders that reading the whole thing is worth their time, you can kiss that deal or investment goodbye. If you’re creating your summary for a business proposal, read our in-depth guide to writing every part of a deal-landing business proposal here: How to Write a Killer Business Proposal . In this article, you’ll find tips for creating an executive summary that gets the attention your company deserves, plus sample executive summaries for different scenarios and use cases. But first, think about this—

Why you should use interactive business document templates

What you say matters just as much as how you say it. If your business plan or proposal is a plain, boring PDF, investors and customers will forget it in a matter of minutes. At Storydoc, we’ve developed a better way of creating business documents. We transform your static slides into dynamic, interactive web presentations: engaging your audience on a deep level and helping you get your message across more effectively.

Just pick one of the templates below and create a presentation that leaves a lasting impact on your audience:


Why do you need a perfect executive summary?

Executive summaries are aimed at executives . And they are a busy bunch. Most likely, they don’t have the time to read a 100-pages-long project overview or a detailed financial analysis. They need a shortened version to help them understand the most important issues and decide whether or not to do business with you. And this is exactly what you should have in mind when writing the summary: imagine it’s the only part of your whole document that will get read. Make it compelling and comprehensive enough to let people make a decision based solely on it.

Sample executive summaries

Of course, every executive summary is different and there are many factors that determine its ideal shape. For reference, you can refer to these two (very general) examples of executive summaries for two most common use cases. Note that these examples are for fictional businesses and have been abbreviated for better readability. You can’t just copy and paste a sample executive summary or base yours fully on a template.

Executive summary example for a business plan

The problem A vast majority of mass produced dog food is a product of highly-processed food waste which has not been used in the production of food for human consumption. Dry or canned dog food is filled with unidentifiable chemicals such as preservatives, gelling agents, or other food fillers. Because of a poor diet, many of our four-legged friends suffer from various health complications. Our solution At Dog’s Buffet, we believe dogs deserve better. We know that proper nutrition is key to overall health so we decided to challenge the status quo. In cooperation with top veterinary dieticians in the UK, we developed dog meals containing the proper mixture of all the necessary nutrients. We produce our food from fresh ingredients with no artificial additives. We provide dog food to our customers in a subscription model. Every two weeks, they get a new pack from us containing all the food The market Our surveys found that 83% of dog owners would like to feed their pets with meals cooked from fresh ingredients yet only 12% do. When asked why, most people (71%) pointed at their lack of time to cook for their furry friends by themselves. Only 7% of our respondents said they knew about companies providing freshly-cooked dog food. 64% of all dog owners said they would be interested in subscribing to our program at a price of 2.50 GBP per meal. Financial analysis Based on the pricing point of 2.50 GBP per single meal and our production capacity, our sales projections for the upcoming year are at 170,000 GBP. Our projected annual growth rate is at 80% for the first three years.

Executive summary example for a proposal

This proposal outlines a detailed plan of action aimed at maximizing the profits of XYZ Real Estate by boosting your social media presence with the strongest focus on LinkedIn and Facebook. Our market research has shown that between 20% and 25% of leads in real estate in your area come from unpaid (organic) social media marketing efforts. Improving your visibility on two of the key platforms for real estate—LinkedIn and Facebook—will result in an increase of new monthly leads of around 15% in the first three months, boosting your monthly revenue by an estimated $220,000. XYZ Real Estate is lagging behind its key competitors in social media engagement metrics: reactions, clicks, comments, and shares, despite having a similar number of relevant followers. This is mostly due to the irregularity of your updates resulting in penalization of your content by automated algorithms, as well as the lack of appropriate visuals. Improving your posting schedule and creating professionally shot images of your properties will result in a dramatic increase of audience engagement and, as a consequence, viewings of your offer.

Executive summary format and outline

There’s no one template for executive summaries you can just copy and fill out. Depending on what your key selling points are, you’ll need to structure each of your executive summaries differently (much like you’d create different versions of project proposals, case studies, or business reports for different audiences). The main (common) elements of a good executive summary are the following:

Your company’s description. Depending on the case, it could be focused on your history, vision, or mission statement. Think of this part as a semi-formal introduction or an answer to the “so… what do you do” question.

Problem statement. Identify the problem your customer is facing or an overall issue on the market. Explain what makes this problem important and why it’s crucial to fix it.

Your solutions. Once you’ve agitated your reader, time to offer a solution. When writing to a particular customer, make sure to offer a solution 100% tailored to their situation. Make them realize that if they don’t do business with you, their world will burn. If they do, in turn, not only will it not burn but be turned into an ever-blossoming utopia.

Description of your products or services. A more technical explanation of what you do, and how it solves the overall problem. This is a place to talk more about your methodology, timelines, and expected milestones .

Your achievements and social proof. Any milestones that legitimize your business’ success: revenue growth, customer satisfaction , testimonials, awards, or other signs of recognition.

Financial overview. If it’s a business plan, map out how much money you’ll need and what you’re planning to spend it on. If you’re writing a summary for a proposal, explain your pricing here and tell them how much working with you will cost.

Next steps. No matter what the ideal outcome is from your perspective, make the next steps obvious for your reader, whether it’s booking a demo, an in-person meeting with you, signing a deal, or offering you financing.

Executive summary writing tips

For the (almost) final word— If I could only tell you one thing about writing executive summaries it would be this: there’s no single winning approach to writing those.

Every time you sit down to write an executive summary, you have to reinvent the wheel and make it 100% tailored to that one customer, that one investor, or that one board member. That said… There are some general tips you should always have at the back of your mind.

Personalize, personalize, personalize.

Write it last.

Avoid cliche phrases.

Use the right language.

Keep it as short as possible (but not shorter).

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And that’s a wrap

Thanks for reading my executive summary 101. I hope it helped straighten out any doubts or questions you might have had. Good luck writing yours!

executive summary of case study sample

Hi, I'm John, Editor-in-chief at Storydoc. As a content marketer and digital writer specializing in B2B SaaS, my main goal is to provide you with up-to-date tips for effective business storytelling and equip you with all the right tools to enable your sales efforts.

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How To Write the Executive Summary for Case Studies

The Executive Summary of your Case Study must make the right impression on your readers. It’s the first section they read. However, the Executive Summary must be the last part of the document you write.

How to Write a Case Study

When writing this section, remember this is your best chance to interest the reader—and get them to take action! For example: call your Sales team and get more information about your products, sign up for a newsletter, download a trial product, or request more information about your product line.

What’s the Purpose of an Executive Summary?

Executive Summaries should give readers a high-level overview of your Case Study.

This is NOT the introduction to your document; rather this sets the scene and describes your company, vision and product offering. In your mind’s eye, see the Executive Summary and the Case Study are two separate documents. Approach each one with a different ‘writer’s hat’.

The tone, style, and language may be different. In general, the Executive Summary will be tightly-written, direct, and high-level. You dive into these points in the case study itself. This applies to in-depth case studies over five pages. Shorter case studies may not require the same background information.

Best Practice: Writing your Executive Summary

Write your Executive Summary as though it were standalone document. It’s usually best to do this when the proposal is finished as you will then have digested the material and have a fuller grasp of the business objectives.

The Executive Summary as a ‘document’ introduces your business, principles, products, and people.

When writing your Case Study’s executive summary provide brief summaries of the following:

Case study for Architecture projects

Guidelines: Writing the Executive Summary

The Executive Summary should be no more than one or two pages.

I’ve seen very concise and persuasive introductions that were less than three-hundred words. The business writers knew how to introduce the key points, ignore/relegate less important material, and use a writing style that made the reader want to read the rest of the document.

This applies to in-depth case studies over five pages. Shorter case studies may not require the same background information.

Don’t resort to clichés and hackneyed phrases. Your customers read business documents all day. Make sure yours stands out.

Note : This applies to in-depth case studies. Shorter case studies may not require the same background information.

What else should go into the Executive Summary?

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Free Executive Summary Template [PDF + Masterful Examples]

Use these templates to craft a powerful executive summary for your business or project.

According to Time Magazine, 55% of people only read a piece of content for 15 seconds. Attention spans across the board are at an all-time low —  including those of potential investors and project stakeholders. If you want to capture and hold interest, then you need to craft an engaging executive summary that can effectively hold someone’s focus.

Before you dive into the details of your business plan or project proposal,  your first step should be an executive summary that captures the attention of those in a position to give buy-in.

Think of the executive summary as the back cover of your book. It convinces readers to purchase a copy because the storyline is worth their time. An investor or C-level executive with limited time probably won’t feel motivated to read a full business or product plan without a compelling executive summary.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to write a captivating executive summary, what to include in the document, and jumpstart yours with customizable templates.

What is an executive summary? 

An executive summary is a brief synopsis of a larger document such as a business plan. It provides a quick overview of your business plan with details like a description of your company, financial information, and market analysis.

The executive summary is made for lenders, investors, and busy executives who don’t have time to read the full proposal.

Done right, it zeroes in on what your prospective investor or project sponsor wants to hear and clearly communicates the value of your business. Many investors will only read the executive summary during the first contact with your business, so all the information they need should be included. 

The goals of an executive summary include:

What is an executive summary in project management?

An executive summary in project management is a summary of the most critical information of your project proposal. It’s everything that management needs to know when they land on your project before they review your project plan.

An executive summary in project management shouldn’t be confused with a project overview. While they have similar elements, an executive summary can stand alone as a document, while a project overview needs to be attached to your project.

Executive summary vs abstract

An abstract summarizes a document like a journal article while an executive summary sums up a longer document.

An abstract is mostly used in academia as a requirement when submitting conference papers, book proposals, or applying for a research grant. The abstract is not an excerpt but an original document that is self-sufficient.

An executive summary is aimed at a business audience. It contains information to help executives make funding decisions. Where the language in an abstract is technical, the language of an executive summary is non-technical. An executive summary is written as a condensed version of a project plan to secure buy-in while an abstract is written for orientation.

Executive summary vs introduction

The introduction is the first part of your project plan or business plan. It explains what the project is about and the goals you want to achieve. On the other hand, the executive summary is a standalone document condensed into a few paragraphs. It is thorough and high-level. Decision-makers can choose to read only the executive summary and still get the gist of the entire project proposal.

Think of the introduction as the first few pages of a long book with many chapters and an executive summary like a short book with only one chapter. You can understand both context and storyline when you read a short book. 

What should be included in an executive summary? 

For a project .

What is the problem you’re going to solve? What product plan, customer feedback, or insight led to this project? Why should it happen now ? These are questions to lead with in the opening paragraph of your executive summary.

What steps or methods are you taking to solve the problems you’ve listed in the opening paragraph? What are the goals and objectives you’ll achieve at the end of the project? Detail the answers in this section.

Value proposition

This is an important section where you briefly explain the value of the outcome. What is the ROI of the solution you’ve proposed? How will it improve service delivery and customer experience?

In a few sentences reiterate why it’s important to solve the problem now and the next steps or actions you want the reader to take.

For a business plan 

Introduction  .

For a business plan, the introduction is an opening statement that explains the purpose of the document. Your goal is to grab and hold the reader’s attention by clearly communicating the value of the business and the desired outcome. 

Company description

Include the following details in the company description:

Products and services

Briefly explain the problem you’re going to solve. If you’ve conducted research that shows a need for the proposal, include your findings here. Also, explain how you’ll accomplish the project goals and what you’ll need for success.

Market analysis

A few questions to answer in this section include:

Competitive analysis

Questions to answer as part of your competitive analysis include:

Funding request and use

Use this section to sweeten the pot for investors. How much will you need to fund your business? What is the profitability of your business? How will investors benefit?

Financial projections 

Include financial data that supports your research such as:


The conclusion is a recap of the problem and the solution. Ask about the decision you want the reader to take. The outcomes should be obvious but leave room for intrigue so they feel compelled to read the rest of the business proposal.

Executive summary examples 

Executive summary presentation.

Often, executive summaries are presented to stakeholders in addition to the document. Get the templates below to snag these PowerPoint executive summary presentation templates.

Executive Summary PPT Template

One-page executive summary template  

A one-page executive summary is a short document with a big impact. You’ll present it as a mini version of a project plan during a meeting with decision-makers or as a business plan when pitching investors.

A few details to include in a one-page executive summary:

Executive Summary Template One-Pager

Startup executive summary

Your startup executive summary could be the difference between getting a pitch meeting or not. Venture capitalists and investors and overwhelmed with pitches from startups looking for a partnership. 

An executive summary is the fastest way for them to learn about your company and evaluate its potential. It’s usually a one-page document that is concise, yet detailed and engaging. Before writing your startup executive summary, determine the goal and ensure it matches what potential investors want to see.

Details to include in your startup executive summary:

Executive Summary for Business or Startup

Business plan executive summary template

The business plan executive summary shouldn’t exceed two pages. Make sure you’ve tailored it to your audience to show why the opportunity is special. Your executive summary should contain the following details:

Project executive summary template

The goal of a project executive summary is to show what life will look like after you’ve executed the project. Your executive summary should tell a story that helps the reader visualize the solution and inspire them to choose you.

The executive summary should be written as the final step of your project proposal template. This way, you save time revising the content.

Details to include in a project executive summary:

Marketing plan executive summary template

An executive summary for a marketing plan offers an overview of how you’ll reach your intended audience and drive conversions.

Details to include in a marketing plan executive summary template:

Healthcare executive summary template

A healthcare executive summary template is used in formal communications for hospitals, government health agencies, and nonprofits. The template accommodates longer-research proposal plans targeted at a wider audience of the general public, external investors, and management.

Details to include in healthcare summary template:

Report executive summary template

An executive summary for a research or analyst report offers an overview of key points from the research.

Details to include in a report executive summary template:

Here's an example: 

Report Executive Summary Example

How to write an executive summary

1. write a problem-based introduction.

Use the opening paragraph to explain why your project matters. Outline the problem with supporting research or customer feedback to strengthen your claim. The reader should understand why it’s important to solve the problem now and the relevance to your customer base. 

A powerful way to grab attention is to open with a customer quote or thought-provoking statistic that forces the reader to sit up and listen.

For example:

“I wish this camera had a longer battery life span so I could record an entire football game on 4K without switching to full HD when the battery is low .” - Customer review
In a recent survey, 70% of our customers expressed a desire for a camera with a longer battery life that could last up to six hours while recording in 4k. 80% said they wouldn’t mind paying more for the convenience of not having to log extra battery packs when going out. To serve our existing clientele and improve our market share, we need to create a camcorder that performs at optimal levels while using fewer resources on battery life.

2. Tell your story

Use storytelling to explain the mission statement of your organization. Explain how you’ll use your skill and experience to solve the problem you’ve highlighted in the introduction. Storytelling sets the tone and gets the reader excited about reading the project plan.

3. Make sure you’ve done the research 

While an executive summary is short, it’s loaded with research. Research shows that you know your competitors, understand your target audience, and have a plan for capturing a significant market share.

Think of your executive summary like an elevator pitch. If an investor only read your executive summary without making it to the project proposal or business plan, what would you want them to know?

4. Outline the solution

After telling the reader the pain points and explaining your business credentials, use a bullet list to outline the solution. Your goal is to convince the reader that your solution is the best fit. Save deliverables and milestones for the project proposal. Instead, describe what will happen during the project so the user can picture the outcome working for them.

5. Show the value of the solution 

This is where you get into more details about the impact of the solution. Explain how the results provide relief and improve ROI for the company. include potential risks that may arise and relevant financial information such as income projections.

6. Formal or informal tone?

While an executive summary usually has a formal tone, your decisions should be based on your audience. 

Presenting to your C-level executives in your company? What language do they respond to? Don’t be afraid to break the mold if it gets the desired results. However, avoid clichés as they rub readers the wrong way.

If you’re presenting to investors, use language that resonates with your audience. Use personal pronouns like “I”, “you” and “we” over impersonal pronouns like “they” or “the company.

7. Make sure the summary can stand alone 

If you follow the clearly defined structure we’ve listed above, your executive summary can stand on its own merit. Keep revising the document until you’ve achieved this goal. The introduction, problem, solution, and conclusion should be detailed, yet concise. 

After writing, take a second look and read from the viewpoint of the decision-maker. Is there any section where more context is needed to clear confusion and help the reader understand the summary? Consider linking to a relevant section in the project proposal or explaining briefly in the summary.

8. Be concise

Every word in your executive summary must have an impact. The executive summary is not the place to brainstorm new ideas as it could jeopardize the project plan. 

Avoid using jargon words. Readers without prior knowledge of your company or niche should understand key findings by reading the executive summary alone.

 When you find yourself going deep into details, pull back and ask yourself if this belongs in the project proposal or executive summary. The goal is to keep the executive summary engaging and actionable.

9. Proofread for errors 

Before sending it off to executives or potential investors, read through the document three times in order to catch errors. It also helps to send it to a colleague to review with a fresh pair of eyes in case you missed a typo here and there.

10. Write the executive summary last

It takes longer to write an executive summary when you haven’t yet written the project proposal or business plan. Instead, wait to create a summary until you’ve written the full document, then pull details. This ensures that your executive summary captures the information you’ve detailed in the project plan.

Manage your executive summary templates with Guru

An executive summary is a quick and easy way to bring stakeholders up to speed on your project proposal. In a few paragraphs, you can communicate the problem, why it matters now and the key information they need to make a decision.

Rather than creating a new executive summary from scratch, these templates will add impact to your report and speed up the process. Use Guru’s knowledge management software to store your templates, collaborate remotely, and work efficiently on projects.

FAQ for executive summary template

Where does an executive summary go in a report.

Place the executive summary before the table of contents and after the title page. Include a page break before and after the executive summary.

How long should an executive summary be?

Most executive summaries are 5-10% of the length of the project proposal. Ideally, aim for one page for a 20-page project proposal.

Who is the audience of an executive summary?

The audience of an executive summary can include:

What is included in an executive summary?

Elements to include in an executive summary are:

executive summary of case study sample

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How to Write a Powerful Executive Summary [+4 Top Examples]

Caroline Forsey

Published: September 15, 2022

Whether you're an entrepreneur looking for investors for your small business or the CEO of a large corporation, an executive summary can help you succeed and is a critical component for long-term growth.

business owner writing an executive summary

A short, attention-grabbing executive summary is an essential part of your business plan . Done correctly, it will ensure your company becomes or remains a key player in your industry. In this post, you’ll learn what an executive summary is and how to write one that engages investors, customers, and general audiences.

Executive Summary

An executive summary is a brief overview of your company that is located at the beginning of your business plan and on the ‘About us’ page of your website. It's a section that grabs readers’ attention and summarizes critical information regarding your company and your upcoming short-term and long-term goals.

Essentially, an executive summary is the front cover of your business plan, convincing readers that it's worth their time to read the whole thing.

A business plan includes a company overview, your company's short-term and long-term goals, information on your product or service, sales targets, expense budgets, your marketing plan, and a list including each member of your management team. However, a CEO or investor might not have the interest or time to read your full business plan without first getting the general gist of your company or goals through an executive summary.

Ultimately, the executive summary is meant to inform readers of the most important information in your business plan, so they don't have to read it all and can get caught up quickly.

To write an impressive executive summary that effectively embodies all the important elements of your business plan, we've cultivated a list of necessary components for an executive summary, as well as an example to get you started.

Follow Along With HubSpot's Executive Summary Template

Executive summary template from HubSPOT

Click to Download

How to write an executive summary.

A good executive summary tells your company’s story, contains in-depth research, conveys information with an appropriate tone, is void of clichés, and follows your business plan’s structure. These elements will ensure your executive summary is effective, informative, and impactful.

1. Tell your story.

When investors or CEO's read your executive summary, they should understand what your business is about. This is one of the first elements of your business plan, so it should set the tone.

In your executive summary, be sure to tell your story. What does your company do and why do you do it? Who's involved in your company? Answering these questions will help readers get excited about your company and eager to read the rest of the business plan.

2. Do your research.

An executive summary, while short, should include plenty of research. For example, your summary will include financial considerations and a competitor analysis .

While your business plan will flesh out the details, it's important to include your key findings in your executive summary. Think of this like an elevator pitch . If someone stopped reading and you only had the executive summary to explain your company, what information would you include?

3. Pay attention to your tone.

The tone of your writing tells a story itself. When you're writing anything, but especially a business document, make sure that the tone tells the story of who you are. Are you formal or more informal?

Ultimately, your tone should not only represent who you are as a company, but your target audience as well. What style of writing will represent your audience?

As you write an executive summary, don't forget to consider what your tone and writing says about you and your audience.

4. Avoid cliché language.

With any style of writing, it's best to avoid clichés. Clichés can convey the wrong message or be misunderstood, which is something you want to avoid when someone reads your executive summary.

Additionally, clichés tend to overpromise and under-deliver. For example, including something like "The Best Restaurant in Town" isn't true because you're untested as a business. Your executive summary should reflect the truth and who you are as a company.

5. Write it after completing your business plan.

An executive summary is a summary of your business plan. However, it's hard to write a summary when you haven't written your business plan yet. That's why you should write your executive summary last, so you know what you want to include.

If you don’t have a business plan yet, don’t worry; we have a comprehensive business plan template to help you create one quickly and effectively.

Featured Resource: Business Plan Template

how to write executive summary: use business plan template from hubspot

Download Your Free Template Here

Now that you know how to write an executive summary, let's dive into the details of what to include.

What to Include in Your Executive Summary

Your business plan should convey your company's mission, your product, a plan for how you'll stand out from competitors, your financial projections, your company's short and long-term goals, your buyer persona, and your market fit.

An executive summary, then, should be a short, maximum two-page synopsis of the information provided in your business plan.

Ultimately, an executive summary should provide a preview for investors or CEO's, so they know what to expect from the rest of your report. Your executive summary should include:

Feeling at a loss? Download a free template below that will take you through the executive summary creation process.

Executive Summary Template

executive summary template from hubspot

Download Your Free Executive Summary Template Here

In this free executive summary template, you’ll be able to outline several pieces of information, including:

Ready? Download your free executive summary template .

To understand more tactically how an executive summary should look, let’s review a few examples.

Executive Summary Examples

1. connected.

executive summary example: connected

Try It Yourself

Use the heading of your page to immediately describe what you do, as opposed to using “About Us” or “Executive Summary” as the title. Give readers the opportunity to get what they need above the fold and the option to read more. Note that this would not apply in an executive summary in a business plan.

2. Events Industry Council

Events Industry Council’s executive summary is short and sweet, yet provides plenty of information for readers to understand what the organization does and which products it offers. Note the brevity in the mission, vision, and values sections — that demonstrates that there’s no need to go on at length if it doesn’t suit you. The “Who we are” section has the most emphasis here, which is a powerful technique to draw readers’ attention.

Spend more time in the section that you feel your audience will care most about. If you’re pitching to investors, you might spend more time on the Market Analysis and Financials sections. If you’re writing for a general audience, you might focus on your company background.

3. Company Shop Group

One of the first things you see when visiting Company Shop Group’s About Us page is its subheading: “Company Shop Group is the UK’s leading redistributor of surplus food and household products.” Like Connected, Company Shop Group includes what it does above the fold, so that readers have the option to either keep reading or walk away knowing what the company is about. The organization also includes multimedia to engage visitors and explain its business model in a more digestible format.

Include what you do above the fold and add multimedia elements to provide an alternative way for readers to learn more about you. Videos, images, and headings can make it much easier to scan your executive summary, but be careful to only use this method for the right audience and through the right medium. (You might not include images inside a formal business plan, for instance.)

4. FirstEnergy

FirstEnergy’s executive summary is great inspiration if you’re a more corporate, formal brand. The company’s executive summary covers its mission, subsidiaries, operations, products and services, corporate responsibility values, and strategic plan goals. This is useful information for potential investors, as the company is publicly traded.

While it’s comprehensive, the executive summary remains short, using bullet points and images to break up the information and giving readers the opportunity to explore more with a sidebar menu.

Be conscious of the status of your company when writing your executive summary. If it’s publicly traded, you’ll want to include more information, such as your strategic plan and expansion opportunities. If you’re publishing your executive summary on your website, use a sidebar to allow readers to jump from page to page without leaving their place.

Start Your Executive Summary

An executive summary should be short and concise, but it should still convey who you are as a company. If you're starting a company, remember to tell your story, while also including important background and financial information. A strong executive summary will pave the way for more investors to invest in your business and more customers to trust in your brand.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in December 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How to Write an Executive Summary in 10 Steps

How to Write an Executive Summary in 10 Steps

Written by: Unenabasi Ekeruke

executive summary of case study sample

Whether you're starting a new business or growing an existing one, creating business or project plans puts you in the driving seat for success. According to a study, creating a detailed plan and sticking to it gives you a 30% greater chance of growing and doubling your business.

But how do you craft a plan that captures the attention of investors or stakeholders? Well, it all starts with a compelling executive summary that captures the major points of your plan at a glance.

An executive summary is the most important element of your proposal or project plan. It's the first thing your audience will read and could be the ticket to getting that all-important meeting and funding for your project.

Not sure how to write an effective executive summary for your next business document? We've got you covered.

This article will dig deeper into what executive summaries are, why you need them and how to write one for your business or project.

Before we jump right in, here's a short selection of 8 easy-to-edit executive summary templates you can edit, share and download with Visme. View more templates below:

executive summary of case study sample

Table of Contents

What is an executive summary, why you need an executive summary, when to use an executive summary, how long does an executive summary need to be, how to write an executive summary (+ examples).

An executive summary is a brief overview of a larger document. It's usually the first thing readers see before they dive into the other part of your reports, proposals and other business documents.

Essentially, an executive summary is a critical document or section that precedes documents like:

For example, suppose a company performs market research to decide whether to move in a different strategic direction. In that case, they can write a business plan to articulate findings and suggest the next steps.

The business plan would begin with an executive summary like the one in the template below.

executive summary of case study sample

When seeking new partners, business loans or funding round for a startup, your executive summary will precede your business plan. It sums up the opportunity, business and execution plan in a brief document.

This is your key to getting initial funding or subsequent investments. And only an effective executive summary will unlock that door or get investors to listen to you.

Executive summaries are also an important component of project proposals or project status reports. They provide a general overview of the project activities, progress, setbacks and next steps.

After your table of contents comes your executive summary. It should briefly:

The scope and length of your executive summary will depend on what you're summarizing. But generally, it could be one to three pages long.

Regardless of the type or purpose of your document, the executive summary should include the most important information. That's because it could be the only part of your report investors, managers or prospects may read.

Writing a compelling executive summary will enable your readers to digest the entire content without reading it all.

For example, CEOs, managers and supervisors engage in a ton of business activities. Hence, they're pressed for time. So, reading lengthy reports may become tricky, especially when they need the information to make quick decisions.

While writing your executive summary, include everything your readers need to make decisions. Best of all, it should grab attention and convince readers that it's worth their time to read the entire document.

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executive summary of case study sample

Your executive summary is the most important element of your project report. And how you write it can make or break your business or project plan.

The primary goal of your executive summary is to get your audience sold on your business proposal. But you need a clear and concise one to capture readers' attention and get them excited about your plan.

On the flip side, many things could go wrong with poorly written executive summaries. It can easily turn off stakeholders and hamper your chances of winning them over.

Let's look at other reasons you should dedicate time to make your executive summary appealing.

Grab Readers’ Attention and Drive Interest

Project plans, business plans and market research reports can get granular and dense. Hence, most readers rely on the executive summary to get the hang of what the document entails.

Think of your executive summary as the hook to the rest of your content. It's a golden opportunity to show who you are, share your company's vision and connect with potential investors.

With an excellent executive summary, you can get the attention you need to clearly describe your business goals. It will also help you figure out how to improve and streamline your business or project plan.

For example, let's say you're having trouble highlighting compelling figures or summarizing your business plan in a few pages. That could indicate that your business plan lacks substance or is missing key details.

Similarly, suppose your executive summary lacks the basic details. In that case, it could mean your project report has loopholes you'd have to address.

In either case, you may need to go back to the drawing board to make it clear, engaging and unique enough. The end goal is to entice top management, potential investors and key stakeholders to read on.

Attract Investment Opportunities

Think about this for a moment. Venture capitalists and angel investors receive tens to hundreds of business plans, each having ten pages or more.

Considering their time, schedule and lineup of activities, reading these documents from cover to cover may be a tall order.

Not only that, they've got lots of lots of potential investment opportunities knocking on their door. Hence they'll make up their mind in a few minutes whether your business proposal interests them or not.

So, what will make an investor choose a business plan over the other? Yes, you guessed right! The executive summary.

Most venture capitalists and inventors prefer to receive brief executive summaries. It's their best bet since they probably have a stack of business plans waiting for their attention.

Reading a concise executive summary will help them figure out if it is worth reading the whole business plan. It will provide enough information and a good understanding of your idea, team, business and financial projections.

In a nutshell, they want to know what's so special about your idea. So why should they read further? What's in it for them and why should they splash the cash on your business venture?

An excellent executive summary will position your business idea as a juicy investment opportunity. More so, it will pique the investor's interest and earn you that all-important first meeting.

Use the template below to highlight critical details and showcase a digestible version of your business plan.

executive summary of case study sample

Boost Stakeholders’ Confidence in Your Project

So, you've probably written your project plan for a proposed project or a status report for an ongoing one. Now you're wondering if you need to write an executive summary. Well, the big answer is yes.

Why does an executive summary matter? First, they highlight everything key stakeholders need to know before digging deeper into the finer details.

At a glance, your readers should get a bird's eye view of project goals and deliverables, status, milestones, risk and financial details and why they're important. In addition, it should highlight how the project impacts the entire organization.

Writing an articulate executive summary can help streamline communication across stakeholders and boost their confidence in the project. Essentially, it shows you have every aspect of the project under control.

The thing is, key project stakeholders like investors, clients and top-level management may not have the time to dive into the full project details. You can use the Visme template below to summarize your project proposal or keep your team in sync with its overall health.

executive summary of case study sample

If you want to summarize a large business document, making it readable and foolproof, you need an executive summary. This is because it's concise, and as such, the chances are that many people will read it.

Not only that, it's incredibly easy to get your main points across effectively in an executive summary.

That being said, let's look at some of the different use cases for executive summaries.

Business Plans

An executive summary is a staple for writing a winning business plan . It's the most widely-used application in the business world.

Your executive summary is typically the last section you write in your business plan. And it should embody key elements like:

This may seem like a lot and tough to fit on one or two pages. But your executive summary should be capable of being a standalone document.

Think about it this way. If your audience can make sense of your executive summary on its own, then it has served its purpose.

Project Plans

Executive summaries condense your lengthy project plans into a page or two. They provide a high-level overview of critical information like:

In a nutshell, the executive summary summarizes the project, risk, timeline and more to ensure key stakeholders are on the same page without diving into the full document.

Use the template below to create a project plan that helps streamline operations and keep your project on track.

executive summary of case study sample

Project Status Reports

Project status reports describe your project's progress within a specific period and compare it against the project plan. Here, the executive summary covers all the significant attributes of the project status reports in a concise manner.

By reading executive summaries, the project team and key stakeholders can quickly:

Communicate your project activities and progress with key stakeholders using the project status report template below.

executive summary of case study sample

Case studies are in-depth studies of a subject, person, event or organization. They focus on real-world problems and situations and require a deep understanding of the subject. Whether you're writing case studies for academics, projects or business, at a glance, your executive summary should:

The case study template below can help you showcase your product capabilities, inspire client trust and build credibility.

executive summary of case study sample

You can edit it to include key details like problem statement, solution analysis, project description, cost-benefit analysis, results and recommendations, and more.

Academic Studies and Research

For academic research reports, the intended audience is different from business settings. However, the executive summary serves similar purposes.

Academic studies are typically in-depth with complex methodologies and calculations. As a result, they can be difficult to grasp, especially if you aren't an expert in the field.

The job of an executive summary is to provide a brief yet clear understanding of the methodologies, results, statistics, conclusions and recommendations.

Keep in mind that the executive summary is different from the abstract. While both summarize your research study, recommendations in the executive summaries are more explicit, while abstracts rarely have recommendations.

Abstracts are mostly written for the academic community. In contrast, executive summaries are often written for policymakers outside the academic community.

Market Research Reports and Survey

Marketing plans and research reports help companies evaluate the target market and feasibility of a new product or service. They contain valuable studies that help companies chart a new course and improve marketing and business results.

The executive summary, in this case, contains key elements such as:

With this summary, management teams and business leaders can gather valuable insight and make swift decisions to drive the business forward.

In addition, you can use the report template below to visualize market survey findings, analysis and results.

executive summary of case study sample

Financial Reports

Whether you're executing a project or starting a business, financial reports help you communicate financial information with investors.

Unfortunately, they often include complex numbers, calculations, ratios and statements that are challenging to interpret. That's why you need an articulate executive summary that provides an overview of your company's financial projections or health without diving into the complex details.

At its best, your financial report executive summary should include necessary details such as:

Use the template below to visualize your current and projected revenues and business growth metrics.

There's no hard and fast rule about how long your executive summary should be. However, the general rule of thumb is to keep it as brief as possible.

Here's the thing. Your audience has limited time and wants to get into the main details quickly. So try to keep your executive summary under two pages.

Depending on your project size and scope, you may need to add a page or two.

For example, project plans or status reports for large, complex or highly technical projects are often lengthy. In this case, you may need more than two pages to effectively capture the main points in your executive summary.

Additionally, make sure your executive summary has a similar structure and flow as the rest of the document.

Do your best to keep your paragraphs short and use clear and concise language appropriate for your target audience. Not only will this make your content readable, but it will get the attention it deserves.

So you've got that impressive business idea and you're buzzing to sell it to a potential investor. The question is, how do you create an engaging executive summary that unlocks readers' attention and gets you funded?

Stick with us and you'll learn the easiest way to get it done. We'll also show you practical examples and provide templates to help you create your executive summary on the go.

Step 1: Start With an Attention-Grabbing Intro

Angel investors and investment platforms use executive summaries to gauge interest in investment opportunities. And having a strong opening helps you build a solid case for your business or project plan.

Want to impress your readers and convince them your proposal is worth reading? Then you should hook them in by explaining what your proposal is about and why it matters.

Let's say you've identified a gap in the marketplace; you might start with that. If the driving force for your project is customer feedback or market research, that could be your compelling aha moment.

Utilize thought-provoking statistics or compelling figures to justify why addressing the pain points is critical. The goal is to make your audience see why your proposal is an opportunity they can't afford to miss out on.

Most people try to use inspiring quotes or anecdotes to build excitement. But, unfortunately, this strategy doesn't always work. Stakeholders want to know if your idea is a viable opportunity right off the bat. And capturing their attention begins from the opening sentence.

Here's an excellent example of how to hook your audience right from the start.

FoodPlus is an on-demand food delivery service poised to revolutionize the food industry. With over ten years of experience in the food industry, our goal is to leverage technology to help people access food, beverage and groceries at the comfort of their homes and offices.

Our user-friendly app and wide network of delivery vendors make FoodPus the go-to service and preferred choice in and around our target market. Recently ranked the most popular food delivery app, FoodPlus has 200,000 partner restaurants located in 2000 cities worldwide, about 70% of them in the US.

In less than five years, we've tripled our customer base and amassed over one million followers across our social channels.

We have recently uncovered a significant opportunity to expand our reach to the UK and Canada. FoodPlus is seeking equity investment to help us fund our expansion and achieve our business goals in the next fiscal year.

Notice how this executive summary highlights compelling facts and figures, including:

Set your business up for success with the cutting-edge business plan template below.

executive summary of case study sample

Step 2: Write for Your Audience

When writing your executive summary, you want to keep your intended audience in mind always and write it for them. First off, you need to consider your reader's current level of knowledge. Then use languages and terms appropriate for your target audience.

If you're writing for financial experts, the language you use should differ greatly from how you would write for project managers or engineers.

For example, investors and financial experts will probably be familiar with financial metrics. In contrast, engineers and project managers are more knowledgeable about the technical details.

The content and depth of explanation should align with your audience's interest and expertise.

Let's face it. People will readily read through content that's valuable to them. So if you're going to grab and hold your audience's attention, you'll have to research to understand who your audience is and what they want to know.

You may need to craft different versions of the executive summary based on the reader's expectations.

Let's say you're writing your executive summary for top-level management or investors. In that case, try answering these questions:

Remember, it's a summary and your audience wants to quickly pull out the main points. Inform them about the fantastic opportunity that awaits them and create a sense of urgency so that they are compelled to read your document further.

Whether you're writing for business or academic purposes, use formal language and guide your audiences through the information.

Showcase your idea and wow investors with the help of Visme's business plan template below.

executive summary of case study sample

Step 3: Provide an Overview of Your Project

In the first few paragraphs of your executive summary, provide your audience with an overview of your proposed project.

You should include details of your business, your products and services and years of experience in the industry (if applicable.)

Also, outline your goals and the problem your project or proposal seeks to address. You may want to answer questions like:

Finally, mention other vital research and industry insights relevant to the project or organization.

Using our earlier example, here's how to define the opportunity or problem.

The on-demand food delivery business will hit around $97 Billion by 2024. This growth is fueled by consumers' demand for convenience and access to meals in the comfort of their homes.

Currently, customers have to walk a certain distance to access meals. This limits their choices and ability to personalize their meals. With the proposed expansion of our business to other cities, we will make it easy for customers to access personalized meals quickly.

Notice how the executive summary in the template below highlights the market opportunity in the fashion industry.

executive summary of case study sample

Step 4: Describe the Solution and Expected Outcome

Next, briefly explain your proposed solution and how it will address the problem you've highlighted earlier. Here you should give your audience a mental picture of what their life or business would look like once you've solved the problem.

You want to touch on product features and benefits and how they align with your company goals. For example, product or service benefits could be in the form of:

Using our on-demand food service example, here's how to highlight your solution and expected outcome.

Having examined our target market, we recognize the need for an on-demand food delivery solution. FoodPlus offers a full-service online food ordering and delivery platform that enables users to order meals on the go. The app comes preloaded with the features like:

It also offers users different ways to make payments, including debit or credit cards, mobile wallets and more. Our promise of value to our customers include:

Entice investors by emphasizing the market opportunity and proposed solution using the Visme template below.

executive summary of case study sample

Step 5: Explain Proposed Strategy and Operation Plan

Once you've highlighted your proposed solution, the next step is to explain your business strategy.

Who are the major players in your industry? What factors will set your business apart and help you gain a competitive advantage?

Next, explain how you intend to bring the project or product to life. You should include details of your operations, including production or project execution plan.

Are you outsourcing production or building the capacity to handle it in-house? What's your expected daily production or service delivery capacity? You're going to have to explain if you're setting up a brick-and-mortar store or an online service delivery model.

If you write an executive summary for a research report, explain how you will perform experiments or collect data during field surveys. This section should also highlight key activities, milestones, start and end dates.

Define your business model, strategy and operational plan using the Visme template below.

executive summary of case study sample

Step 6: Show Off Your Strengths

This is the part where you provide evidence that you can deliver on the value you've promised.

Here you should talk about your industry knowledge, expertise and experience. Also, highlight key team members and their depth of knowledge and experience in the industry.

If you're an existing business, you should talk about how long the company has been in business.

What's more? Talk about other projects you've successfully executed, your accolades, achievements and more.

Here you can include relevant figures, charts and key performance indicators like the one below. This will further boost your reader's confidence in your ability to deliver the project on time and within budget.

executive summary of case study sample

Here's an example of how to show proof of your expertise in your executive summary.

FoodPlus has been in business since 2017. Over the past five years, we've launched our service in over 400 cities in the US. We've achieved 50% growth in revenue within the last two years. We have a team of professionals with a combined 40 years of experience in the tech, e-commerce and on-demand space.

In addition, our diverse and robust team of customer success experts is well-positioned to ensure users enjoy incredible service experiences across multiple touchpoints.

Ensure your metrics and numbers are accurate and verifiable. For example, you can use financial management software to track and retrieve key metrics like return on investment and profit margin.

Step 7: Highlight Financials and Funding Requirements

Financial projections reveal whether your business has a chance to generate revenue and profit to survive. These insights help potential investors decide if your idea or project is a worthwhile investment, making them a key part of your executive summary.

Here's the thing. Project stakeholders and investors want to know what's in it for them. Why should they invest in your idea or embark on the project?

This section should highlight key financial and business growth metrics like expenses , revenue, cash flow, profit and loss forecasts for one to three years.

Make sure to show details of your break-even point - the point where cost and revenues are equal. Also, remember to highlight when your business will make a profit.

If you're writing an executive summary for a project or research, highlight the significant cost associated with the project or research.

This section should also mention the amount of money you need for your business or project. Make sure to disclose when investors will get their return on investment or when you'll be able to complete loan repayment.

For projects and academic research, provide details of the funding you need to achieve desired project outcomes. All in all, ensure this figure aligns with your financial projections.

Here's how to highlight financial projections and funding requirements.

At FoodPlus, our financial projections show that we will have steady revenue growth, positive cash flow and profit in the first year. Our forecast is based on two streams of income -commission on sales of meals and deliveries.

The expected revenue in the first year is $5 million and a 50% increase in the second and third years of operations. We expect a net profit margin of 45%, while the return on equity will be 15.37% in the first year. We will break even in the first year of business and by the third year, we expect positive cash after debt repayments.

We are seeking an equity investment of about 10 million dollars to fund our expansion into other cities in the UK and Canada.

The business plan template below cuts across a wide range of industries and is perfect for sharing the future of your business with investors.

executive summary of case study sample

Step 8: Wrap Up and Include a Call to Action

You've now presented all the important details with investors and other stakeholders. The next important step is to include key takeaways and a call to action.

Here you should answer questions like:

Here's an example to conclude our example executive summary:

This funding will help FoodPlus break into new markets, expand our reach and increase our market share. We've achieved success over the past five years. We're confident we can enjoy tremendous growth in the new market and turn FoodPlus into a global success.

If you're ready to move forward, this proposal provides more details about our project and how we'll accomplish it. If you have any questions, I'd be pleased to take your call or read from you (insert your email or phone number).

executive summary of case study sample

Step 9: Use a Template

Now that you know what you should write in your executive summary, you're probably buzzing to get to work. We recommend using Visme's business document creator that comes with ready-to-go templates with built-in executive summary pages.

You'll find templates of business plans, project plans,   reports and more to help you get started. Visme has a rich library of images, videos, graphs and other visual aids like the one below to help you get your point across quickly.

Step 10: Write It Last

Although your executive summary is the first content your audience reads from your report, you should write it last. Writing your executive summary at the end provides clarity. It also enables you to prioritize and filter the key information for your executive summary.

Once you're satisfied with your business plan or proposal, pick out the details that matter most to your readers and write them in your executive summary.

Get to Work: Craft a Compelling Executive Summary

Your executive summary is the hottest ticket to driving investors' interest in your business or project. Hence, you can't afford to wing it or take it for granted.

Writing an executive summary requires a whole different approach than the rest of the proposal. You want to ensure it briefly captures the key elements of the documents.

Remember, the goal is to attract interest, get readers' attention and entice them to keep reading.

If you want to craft the perfect executive summary, Visme's document creator has everything you need to get excellent results. The software comes preloaded with a robust library of easy-to-use templates for creating any business documents you can think of.

Whether you're looking to write an executive summary for your business plan, project status report and research proposal, Visme has got you covered. You can leverage millions of premium images, videos, visual aids and other design elements to make your executive summary pack a punch.

Design beautiful, branded documents for your business.

executive summary of case study sample

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executive summary of case study sample

About the Author

Unenabasi is a content expert with many years of experience in digital marketing, business development, and strategy. He loves to help brands tell stories that drive engagement, growth, and competitive advantage. He’s adept at creating compelling content on lifestyle, marketing, business, e-commerce, and technology. When he’s not taking the content world by storm, Unenabasi enjoys playing or watching soccer.

executive summary of case study sample


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