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

Investment, many deals see AngelList, Mainly founder and CEO

$1,000 to $25,000

United States > Michigan

I represent a Venture Capital firm in Southern CA. We have access to many avenues of capital and our strategies are flexible. We look for companies with great growth potential, consider every company's individual situation, and adjust our approach accordingly.

$500,000 to $15,000,000

United States > California

Just starting to invest. Am a member of an investor networking group in my area. Have been in government for many years. I am a private investor and lender that also belongs to a group.

$100 to $75,000

United States > California

I am a private investor and very interested in investing my money in a very secure investment within the Entertainment Industry. I am a business owner myself who wishes this opportunity was around when I was looking for investors. My goal is to seek a good opportunity to invest in a company or product that has true potential and can meet other satisfactory goals that I have put in place for my children.

$10,000 to $1,000,000

United States > California

I am a successful entrepreneur and have recently sold my last technology start-up business. I am looking for good opportunities to place my money at this time.

$100,000 to $2,000,000

United States > Washington

I am a Consultant for Private Capital Consulting. I help provide funding for Commercial Real Estate, Intellectual Property Projects, Transportation, Entertainment, Biotech, Medical, Franchises, Land Development, Technology, Energy, Alternative Energy, Green Earth Projects,Business Growth Projects, and most other projects not listed. We fund projects directly or use other direct funding sources available to us. We have provided funding for hundreds of projects for companies around the world. Since 2000 we have facilitated over 40 Billion USD. Very few companies have the domestic and foreign resources that are available to us. I can connect you to private money sources that want to invest in solvent projects with solid principals. Our funding sources have closed billions in transactions and range from private individuals to large corporations. We service these sources and facilitate for them.

$500,000 to $10,000,000

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 > California

Real estate investor for 29 years, invention funding, start ups, green projects , biofuels, alternate energy, private investor and have many friends like myself.

$100,000 to $10,000,000