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 a private investor looking to find an opportunity where I can help people and and make a profit along the way. One of my ultimate goals in life is to invest in a high-risk company on a new frontier yet to be discovered. Looking to start out as silent partner but willing to become active member as time goes on.

$5,000 to $15,000

United States > California

As a private investor, I have been involved from a business side of my experience in all product ranges from cars, boats, computers, services, marketing and other venues. I look forward to reviewing proposals that match my interests.

$100 to $5,000,000

United States > California

Software engineer looking into investing cash with % partnership in a recent start up. I am willing to spent some time helping to manage business matters,once partnered. We can talk more about details in person.

$25,000 to $50,000

United States > California

Owned Broker Dealer Network, owned part of bank, and Savings and Loan and have been involved in real estate development and mortgage banking in many States. Have been involved in Venture Capital in multistates, in various stages of development.

$100,000 to $3,000,000

United States > California

As a pure Finance house, we know what investors want from us: to help them achieve their investment objectives by delivering performance that meets their expectations. Every investment decision we take has a direct impact on our clients. That is why we have structured ourselves with empowered decision- making at the heart of our business. Our fund managers are organised into compact, nimble teams, able to take decisions . Decisions are taken in a considered way – mindful of the risks yet alive to the opportunities.

$500,000 to $10,000,000

Colombia > Bogota

I am an individual investor looking for interesting US business opportunities to invest my money in.

$10,000 to $100,000

United States > New York

Private investors with high interests with start ups specifically Green technology and new technology advances

$1,000,000 to $10,000,000

United States > Connecticut

I am a life long entrepreneur with many ties to the Angel community via legislation etc. I have owned businesses in wholesale/retail, hospitality and real estate and new media. I have also consulted to business's in health care and energy. My strenghs lie in marketing and sales, however, I am also very good at conceptualizing business and decision making. I have some very strong ties to the SBA program over a specific lender . My passion for small business has evolved to include my involvement on a national basis with the boards of WIPP< WBENC and the US Chamber council on small business

$40,000,000 to $10,000,000