California Investment Network

Business Plan Tips

What Investors Are Looking For In A Plan

Investors, whether angels or VC's, are looking for the same things when reading a business plan. They want to know how big the opportunity is, whether this is the right team to exploit the opportunity, who the competition is, what the risks are, and why they can expect this team to implement successfully. Your job in writing the business plan is to address these questions convincingly and clearly.

Emphasize Your Real Strengths

Highlight what your team brings to the table. If your business hinges on a particular competency (for example, understanding the procurement process), your plan will be more persuasive if one of your team members knows something about it and that is brought out in your plan. Rather than including generic resumes of team members, tailor the resumes to draw out the experience each member has that will make him or her a valuable contributor.

Get To The Point And Make It Clear And Comprehensive

Investors see many business plans. A 20-page plan which clearly lays out your business is far more likely to be read than a 100 page plan. Today, some entrepreneurs are using a 15 slide Powerpoint presentation. If your text is short and punchy, you won't need to repeat yourself, because the reader won't be bogged down keeping ten chapters in their head. Reading the same thing over and over, even if it's in different words, can get really tiring. The more you use brevity and give each concept a single home in your document, the more people will want to read it.

Write In Plain English

If you can't explain your idea in English, either you don't understand what you're talking about (What is a transaction enabled atomic journaling database server, anyway?) or you haven't simplified the idea enough. Think, revise, and try again.

Get Rid Of The Hype

Yes, we know you will be the "premier insert product category here of the Internet, achieving 99% market penetration with 60% customer retention in 3 months". Your product will reach "new heights in customer experience through the use of personalization and one-to-one profiling and customization". It will be "user friendly" because you will be creating a truly "ecstatic customer experience". It is a "quantum leap forward" in the marketplace for product category here. Um, yeah. Believe me, we've read it before. About a dozen times today, in fact. (And by the way, the phrase "quantum leap" really doesn't mean anything.) Stick to a tight, simple explanation of your idea. Convince your reader you'll be the best because your idea is the best, not because you can string a dozen buzzwords together.

Use Quantifiable Information

In each section, back up your assertions with solid facts. Even if you are a new venture and cannot give specific figures on the performance of your business, quote figures for the industry or your competitors. These real figures carry more weight than your assumed projections and give more reality to your plan.

Choose A Huge Market

Especially in the internet world, investors are looking more at the market than at the detailed specifics of your financials. Choose a market that is big enough to be an obvious good opportunity. A business which targets teenage girls who listen to music and has a reasonable chance of capturing 90% of the girls that are online is a huge opportunity. A business which targets net-savvy SAAB mechanics who need prosthetic limbs is not.

Local Investors

United States > Arizona

Participated in several start up ventures primarily in the media and educational sectors. Currently based in Southern California, with business office in Arizona. My occupational background is in the financial sector. I am a private investor.

$1,000 to $50,000

United States > California

I am based in California. I am an economics major with an MBA and several years of business management experience. I work in the Financial insurance industry with a reputed private company. I am open to different sort of investments in various sectors. I am mostly an individual investor. My main investments are in commercial real estate and construction.

$70,450 to $3,500,500

United States > Pennsylvania

I have access to multiple funds for investors who are interested in film and television projects. I deal with all types of investors on each project.

$0 to $20,000,000

Canada > Airdrie

I currently hold an MBA designation and have been in the Corporate Finance arena for the last 18 years. I have raised millions of dollars for both private and public companies throughout North America. I am a Past President and Director of the Innisfail Chamber of Commerce, past Vice President and Director for the Innisfail Kinsmen Club and past President of Mountain View Academy Society (Alberta Private School). I have also been involved with the following organizations; Association for Corporate Growth, Petroleum Society of Canada, Petroleum Joint Venture Association, Vancouver Board of Trade, American Finance Association, Canadian Venture Capital Association, Canadian Association of Farm Advisors, Canadian Farm Business Management Council, Project Warmth Society of Alberta

$100,000 to $10,000,000

United States > Maryland

5mil to 50 mil range. Looking for biodiesel, waste to energy and aquaculture project.

$500,000 to $5,000,000

United States > California

I am a current senior executive of a multi-million dollar company with over 25 years of sales, marketing, manufacturing and operations experience. I am interested in investing in upcoming brands with dynamic potential. I am flexible in contribution with respect to an active or advisory role. I look forward to reviewing your creative vision!

$5,000 to $250,000

India > Hyderabad

I am the chairman of a large infrastructure company in India I have 28 years of business experience and i am an Engineer .I am a private investor and am willing to invest about 100000 and am willing to be on the board of the company .

$50,000 to $100,000

United States > California

I am a CFO for a company that may be looking for investors in our business as well as opportunities for the company to invest.

$10,000 to $100,000