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.

Registered Investors

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 have been in the investment business for 30 years. My focus is on social impact companies from early stage to late stage. Areas of expertise are in technology, consumer, food, agriculture, water. I seek companies led by passionate and visionary founders seeking to use business as a platform for positive impact in our lives and for our planet which have a strong economic foundation for profit. Seeking disruptive ideas which others say can not be done, which are being developed by leaders who say, it can be done, it has to be done and we will accomplish it! The mantra is YCWJD. You Can't, We Just Did!!!!

$100,000 to $1,000,000

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 > Illinois

We help businesses and their owners with the day-to-day challenges of making sure the business has adequate funds for operations or expansion. We work with all kinds of financing scenarios such as private equity, venture capital, angel investors, bank loans, lines of credit, working capital, equipment financing, SBA loans, purchase order financing, real estate financing, mezzanine financing, private equity and other combinations of debt or equity financing.

$1,000,000 to $50,000,000

United States > California

Our firm works directly with multiple funding sources as consultants and qualified referral agents bringing capital to developers worldwide at 4% interest. We work in close association with multiple funding sources, private Investors to review business projects seeking funding from $3 M USD to 10 Billion USD and liaison between project principals and funders. Which is offered at 100% financing for your project needs at 4% interest. Plus we offer a Business Loan to Businesses at 4% interest.

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

United States > California

I have purchased one greentech company and looking to expand into other areas of the industry. I bring 15+ years experience in greentech, energy, and start-up companies. Experience as a group investor.

$25,000 to $100,000

United States > California

Corporate Attorney with 7 years experience in IP and M&A matters.

$25,000 to $1,000,000

United States > California

Organic entrepreneur with 25+ years of practical knowledge weaving through business growth. Consultative mindset to help spell out a vision for an audience. Experienced in building teams from Idea's to Launch. Managing teams to profit. Enjoys complicated challenges that have meaningful exits. Presently, participating in investor's due diligence, capital strategies, start up and middle market development and best practice business development strategies. Enjoying equity positions in a portfolio of 150 companies.

$25,000 to $500,000