Whether you are just starting your cleaning business or you have been operating for years, it is essential to have a well-thought-out business plan. The most important part of your business plan is the executive summary, in which you summarize the entire document to save your reader time and give them a preview of what is coming next.
To write an effective executive summary for your cleaning business, you must include:
- Business opportunity
- Strategy to capitalize on the opportunity
- Business model
- Target market
- Financial plan
- Owners & key staff
- Implementation plan
What is an Executive Summary?
Before we dive into what to include and how to write your executive summary, it is important to understand what an executive summary is and the purpose it serves.
The executive summary is a clear and concise summary of what the entirety of the business plan will lay out for the reader. To put it plainly, it is a summary of:
- What your business is
- What your plan is
- How you’re going to accomplish that plan
For your cleaning business, it is especially important to focus on what market you will be going after, what the local competition is like, and what makes your company unique.
Including key components like this will entice your reader to continue with the rest of the document. This is critically important for start-up cleaning companies looking for financial support. You need to paint a clear picture of why your cleaning business is worthy of their money and give them confidence that you will succeed.
What to include in your Executive Summary?
Your executive summary will be different depending on what stage your business is in. If you are a start-up cleaning business, your executive summary (and business plan) will likely be used to apply for financial assistance or bring on investors.
If you have an established cleaning business, your executive summary is going to show the reader your past accomplishments, current state, and goals for the future.
Start-up cleaning business Executive Summary
As a start-up cleaning business, you don’t have much tangible evidence of why or how your business is going to succeed. This makes your executive summary all the more important. Choose your words carefully and follow this template to gain your reader’s confidence and make them a believer in your vision.
Your introduction should be a brief 1 or 2 sentence explanation of who you are and what you do.
Cathy’s Premium Cleaning is a residential home cleaning service in the San Francisco, CA metro area.
The business opportunity should explain what your business will bring to the market that is different from the current competition and how your business will be profitable.
Cathy’s Premium Cleaning offers premium cleaning solutions for San Francisco’s abundance of high-income workers who don’t have time to clean their homes.
How you will capitalize on the opportunity?
Outlining an opportunity is one thing, showing a potential investor how you will exploit the opportunity to be profitable is another.
To satisfy the unique needs of these customers, Cathy’s Premium Cleaning will offer top-of-the-line service with premium options that our competition currently does not provide. We will charge much higher rates than the competition to compensate for the premium service, as well as to differentiate ourselves and give the business a high-quality appearance.
Your business model gives the reader a more detailed look at the services your cleaning business will provide.
Our premium services will go above and beyond what our competition is offering and what our customer is expecting to give them an exciting and satisfying cleaning experience.
Detailing your target market gives your reader an understanding of who you are going to be servicing and how your business model aligns with their wants and needs.
Our target market is working individuals between 35-55 that have an annual income of over $200,000. This market has limited time to spend cleaning because of their demanding jobs and is willing to pay a premium price for exceptional service and peace of mind.
This section outlines how you will reach your target audience and how that message will persuade them to purchase your cleaning services.
Cathy’s Premium Cleaning will be positioned as the best high-end cleaning service in the San Francisco area. We will go above and beyond to ensure our clients feel they are getting the most professional cleaning services available on the market.
Analyzing the local competition gives your reader a clear understanding of what else is available on the market and how you differentiate yourself from them.
After extensive market research we found that most of our competition focuses on saving customers money, rather than offering premium services. This allows us to go after wealthy households who want a cleaning service they can trust and hold accountable.
Your financial plan lays out what your current financial state is. If you are asking for funding, you should detail how much you need and a plan to pay it back.
We are asking for a $15,000 initial investment to purchase specialized equipment to offer our premium services. We project $80,000 in sales the first year at a 50% margin. We then expect sales to increase 100% in year 2, and 25-50% each year until year 5. Given these projections we would plan to pay $5,000 back year 1 and $10,000 back year 2, with interest.
Owners & Key Staff
This section just gives an idea of how large the company is and any plans for expansion.
Cathy Douglas is the sole proprietor of Cathy’s Cleaning Services. She will be the only employee for year 1, with plans to hire on 1-2 employees year 2 and year 3.
Your implementation plan is a schedule for how long it will be before you are ready to open and how long it will take to achieve certain milestones.
After receiving funding the business will be ready to open in 1-2 months. After year 1 we will have turned a small but livable profit, while paying back some of our debt. After year 2 we will have multiple employees, turn a larger profit, and be debt-free.
Established Cleaning Business Executive Summary
If you are an established cleaning business, your executive summary is a little less about persuading your reader. You should discuss your past accomplishments, the current state of your business, and your goals for the future.
Your mission statement is 1 or 2 sentences that explain exactly what you do and your motivation behind it.
Cathy’s Premium Cleaning is the #1 cleaning business in the San Francisco area for high-income clients. We offer top of the line service so that our customers have peace-of-mind knowing their house is being cleaned in a reliable, professional, and responsible manner.
This section gives a little background of your business and where you are now.
Cathy Douglas started the business in 2013 as a sole proprietor in San Francisco, CA. She quickly grew the business over the next few years and now has 8 fully staffed employees.
Unique business advantages
Here is where you can brag a little bit about what makes your business unique and what sets you apart from the competition.
We offer over a dozen unique cleaning services that none of our competition is able to offer. This gives us a serious competitive advantage for wealthy customers who have unique wants & needs.
This lays out your current financial state.
We have had an average increase in gross profit of 35% over the past 5 years, while keeping our margins at a consistent 40%.
Your goals show your reader what your plans are to expand or create sustainability for your company.
As a company we plan to continue to expand at a consistent, sustainable rate. Our main focus is to maintain our elite level of quality and service for our customers.
Tips for creating your perfect Executive Summary
Keep it concise.
Remember that your executive summary isn’t the time to go into detail. Hit on the important points, and only the important points. It can be challenging to cut out parts that you think are essential.
A useful tool is to ask yourself, “Does this make the reader want to read the rest of the document?” If the answer is no, throw it out. The aim of the executive summary is to entice the reader to look at the rest of the business plan. Once this is accomplished they can obtain the rest of the information in the body of your business plan.
Try to keep it to 1-page or less.
Use professional, confident language.
This is especially important if you are a start-up looking for funding. Convince your reader that you are confident and believe in your vision, and express why the should be too.
Write it to your audience.
Tailor your message to the specific audience that you are writing to. If you are writing to a government agency for a grant, your message will be much different than if you were writing as an established business.
Revise, refine, review.
Since your executive summary is the most important part of your business plan, it is important that you go over it many times to produce a polished result.
Recruit the help of others to help edit and make suggestions. It will get tiresome going over the same couple of paragraphs over and over, but it will be well worth the effort to help your business take off.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should my executive summary include potential future plans even if I am unsure about them?
No, your executive summary only needs to include the essential parts of your business. If you have unknown future plans, you can explain them in the body of your business plan.
To come up with accurate financial projections, you should break everything down as much as you can.
Include things such as:
- Rates you will charge
- Multiple simulated scenarios (Great, average, and poor)
Once you break these down into smaller, more manageable bits of information, you will be able to come up with a more accurate financial forecast.
Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.
About the author. Entrepreneur and Cleaning Business Fan.
Hi! I am Shawn and I am a happy individual who happens to be an entrepreneur. I have owned several types of businesses in my life from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now I create online cleaning business resources for those interested in starting new ventures. It’s demanding work but I love it. I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. That’s why when I meet a cleaning business owner, I see myself. I know how hard the struggle is to retain clients, find good employees and keep the business growing all while trying to stay competitive.
That’s why I created Cleaning Business Boss: I want to help cleaning business owners like you build a thriving business that brings you endless joy and supports your ideal lifestyle.