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 > California

I am an ex "Big 4" CPA (7 years at firm) with heavy transaction experience including 4 years investment banking/consulting, 7+ years senior financial executive /division CFO (division was 50+% of NYSE company). Currently CFO for manufacturing company and founding partner of health care development LLC

$20,000 to $80,000

United States > California

What I'm Looking For; Startups leveraging mobile in Digital marketing Retail Healthcare Gaming Hospitality Locations: California, Michigan, Minneapolis, Nevada, Silicon Valley

$10,000 to $250,000

United States > California

We are intermediaries (rain makers) connecting people who have new ventures seeking funds with people who have funds seeking ways to leverage their investments. My background is financial services / wealth management, and as a result of doing this over the last 6 years I have amassed a substantial client and referral base. As a result of this network, everyday I get new projects crossing my desk. An example of a project that I lead to successful funding is Steven Cho - an LA based Internet Entrepreneur posted an idea for a Wireless service with distribution throughout the major hotels and airports of Australia. I contacted him through the Australian Investment Network and after a review of the opportunity I secured Ebsworth & Ebsworth (a major Australian Law Firm) on a Pro-Bono basis. I also had the company placed into the PriceWaterhouseCoopers CWEP program (Companies With Extraordinary Potential). I look forward to placing your opportunity. Sincerely

$10,000,000 to $50,000,000

United States > California

Prior major Real estate Investor and Business owner. I am looking for a growth company that is in tune with our new ecconomic times that can use the money and the experience that I bring.

$10,000 to $200,000

United States > Georgia

I have been investing for approx. 5 years now and have a high success rate. I have started and sold three business and tremendous profit in the past 15 years. I am a private investor

$500,000 to $5,000,000

United States > California

I am an investor looking at around $50,000 to start and up to $100,000. This is cash available looking for an interesting, probably upstart company with a good idea who needs money to get going. My preference would be an investment with good return that has the possibility of rolling back over into the company for future development and returns. As further background, I am looking to invest in areas other than stocks, funds, etc. My net worth is approximately 1.4 million of which most is in land in Arkansas.

$0 to $100,000

United States > California

Licensed Realtor since 1981 Worked with Angel investors to buy and hold properties Purchased 35 homes this year for investors. 30% below actual market value minimal to light repair (typical carpet and interior paint) Newer homes only 1980 to 2006 team of drivers drive and evaluate condition of homes, and contractors/ handymen for repair Avg purchase price is <$150k per property and I would like to purchase two at a time

$190,000 to $1,000,000

United States > California

I am a private investor looking for capital requirements in the $5,000 to $100,000 range. My backgrouund is in real estate financing but I'm open to look at other projects. If the deal makes sense and the risks are carefully weighed, I'm ready to get you funded. I always keep an open mind and I'm ready to review your proposal. All the best.

$5,000 to $100,000