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 > Texas

I am a proven , successful entrepreneur with a preference of invest

$50,000 to $500,000

United States > California

Private investor, former engineer for 20 years. Currently partnered silently in 4 companies. I was an original partner in a pretty well known start up mobile app company. I have an decent investment history that can be discussed after I review the investment opportunity.

$5,000 to $20,000,000

Russian Federation > Izhevsk

Izhevskiy Radiozavod OAO is an engineering & production enterprise with over than 50-year history in space industry, equipment for fuel and energy sector and communication industry. Our company invests in young companies and new technologies in the field of electronics and telecommunications.

$20,000 to $1,200,000

United States > Louisiana

I'm a long time entrepreneur with extensive experience in brand development and building new businesses. I am excited to invest and partner with new companies, new products, and newly formed inventive ideas.

$1 to $300,000

United States > California

Investment banking based in United States with plenty of connections in China.

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

Mexico > Mexico

Currently I invest in the stock market, mainly in the Mexican and USA stock exchange markets. Before that I had worked in international transaction verification in a project for the Mexican customs office, in a transport company and as a buyer in a chain of retail stores. I was also involved in a couple of family enterpraises.

$10,000 to $50,000

United States > California

Serial Entrepenuer Entrepenuer in Residence UCSD Connect San Diego Last company was sold to VC funded competitor several current investments in private companies including my current company for occupational history please see my linked in profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimcomeaux private investor & member of a small private group of investors

$25,000 to $100,000

United States > California

I am a private investor with little investment history. I am an entertainer who wants to branch out and seek new opportunities.

$30,000 to $100,000