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 > Pennsylvania

I am a financial consultant for several small firms and throughout the years, I've assisted these firms in securing additional capital funding for various needs (i.e. expansion, refinance, equity draw, etc.) This experience lead me to become a consultant for my current firm and I specialize in real estate financing. Through our corps group of lenders, we can structure a financing program that can satisfy your funding needs. Depending on the type of project, amount of loan requested, and entrepreneurs credit worthiness, some loans can close within 1 - 2 months. We have the ability to fund projects in Commercial Real Estate, Mining, Oil & Gas, Alternative Energy, Housing, etc.

$250,000 to $500,000,000

United States > Florida

We are a privately held funding group that specializes in providing many forms of debt and equity financing for projects. With a direct connection to some of the most wealthiest private investors we are able to structure deals that quickly get your business up and running. We provide funding from 1 to 100 million in the United States and Internationally. We partner with our clients to provide the necessary equity needed to succeed. We pride ourselves in knowing what our clients need and finding ways to make deals work for everyone. With over 30 years on experience in real estate investing, construction, development, business management and project financing our services are unmatched. We have the ability to quickly evaluate projects and present our clients with multiple funding options for a mutually beneficial investment. Because we are a private money source and not a conventional bank this gives greater flexibility to structure a financial deal

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

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

HR executive working and living currently in Mexico City, doing business in San Diego, CA. Planning to relocate permanently to San Diego, CA and investing there as active or silent partner. Private investor, entrepreneur, currently investing in different areas such as Internet, TV production, Imports, Packaging, etc. in Mexico, Germany and Spain.

$1,000 to $50,000

United States > California

Wharton graduate. Previous Wall St. experience and financial valuations background. Entrepreneur seeking digital media startups for investment, both personally and for family trust.

$100,000 to $250,000

United States > California

12 years in corporate finance, have started 3 ventures myself and funded three others. As a Private Investor, I love entrepreneeurship and want to help others starting ventures.

$100,000 to $1,000,000

United States > California

I have invested for over 15 years in the stock market. I have invested in electric cars prototypes. I am a mechanical engineer, started-up and sold an environmental engineering company. Also, started a brake pads wholesale company and a web development company. I am a private investor.

$5,000 to $100,000

United States > Georgia

Partner with Global capital funding firm. We have access to several funds...looking for mid to mature companies , with ebitda of 500,000, who are seeking funding.

$1,000,000 to $100,000,000