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 motivated entrepreneur that has had success in real estate development and other various construction industries. I have recently gone into an early retirement, focusing my time and efforts in sourcing passive investment opportunities. Primarily I have focused my business ventures in Southern California, but I am looking to expand my investment portfolio from simply domestic real estate investments to international markets. I am interested in getting in touch with entrepreneurs that have found niche markets for real estate development, even in the downturn in the global economy. Ilook forward to hearing about the opportunities that are out there.

$50,000 to $250,000

United States > California

Have previously invested in Furniture, Consumer Goods, Lifestyle Products, Busniess Services and Printing. Seeking to diversify by taking smaller roles in multipe startups. 20+ years business management. Entreprenuerial and creative. Enjoy helping others create solutions. Experience negotiaing with CxO level people at Fortune 500 companies. Private investor.

$1,000 to $100,000

Netherlands > California

We are a reputable investment Dutch company based in The Netherlands. We have been involved in several private and governmental projects here in The Netherlands and outside. We have invested primarily in the oil,gas and petrochemical industry. We have already been associated with the import and export sectors respectively.

$500,000 to $5,000,000

United States > California

Run a Retail Pharmacy and private clinical practice Pharmacist/Homeopathic Doctor Private investor

$1,000 to $10,000

United States > California

I represent Capital Group Communications, a Venture Capitalist firm that accepts equity for services and cash investment.

$500,000 to $25,000,000

United States > California

Have made three angel investments previously (one in entertainment, one in technology and one in consumer products). Have also started two companies myself. I have spent 14 years in the high tech industry and am currently a senior manager at a Fortune 500 company.

$10,000 to $80,000

United States > Georgia

We provide needed capital for project principals with solid business plans and a strong team. It is our desire to work with projects that will positively impact the local economy. Projects and business ventures are given a thorough and realistic evaluation to ascertain their viability for funding. We are interested in retaining an equity position in the project/business ventures we would finance. Our focus is on commercial and residential real estate development projects (including resorts and mixed use developments), restaurants, historic building renovations (castles and such like), private aviation ventures and global village projects. We would also invest in existing businesses that are in distress and in need of capital to grow, including manufacturing, retail and the service industry sectors. Feel free to submit these types of projects for possible funding considerations.

$500,000 to $5,000,000

United States > California

We are intermediaries (rain makers) connecting people who have new ventures seeking funds with people who have funds seeking ways to leverage their investments. My background is financial services / wealth management, and as a result of doing this over the last 6 years I have amassed a substantial client and referral base. As a result of this network, everyday I get new projects crossing my desk. An example of a project that I lead to successful funding is Steven Cho - an LA based Internet Entrepreneur posted an idea for a Wireless service with distribution throughout the major hotels and airports of Australia. I contacted him through the Australian Investment Network and after a review of the opportunity I secured Ebsworth & Ebsworth (a major Australian Law Firm) on a Pro-Bono basis. I also had the company placed into the PriceWaterhouseCoopers CWEP program (Companies With Extraordinary Potential). I look forward to placing your opportunity. Sincerely

$10,000,000 to $50,000,000