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 > Oregon

We are consultants and loan officers providing Business Owners and Entrepreneurs access to our Commercial Funding Sources, direct private Investors and Funds offering Debt or Equity for projects from $250k and up to $5B. Client should have capital invested into project, discretionary capital on hand, prefer profitable stage, with equity in the project. Pre-Revenue stage considered on a project by project basis. Real Estate, equipment and inventory considered as collateral. Please provide your Executive Summary and Business Plan with all substantive documentations. We do not shop your private information or business plan, we are direct to our investors, funding sources. Good, experienced and honest people to work with. We now offer SBA loans, Hard Money and a wide variety of Debt scenarios.

$250,000 to $900,000,000

India > Gurgaon

I am an entrepreneur who has made his money from Green Tech investments in recent past. I would like to invest in Green Tech Project and guide it to success without getting involved in its nitty and gritty.

$1,000,000 to $5,000,000

United States > Hawaii

Private investor interested in investing in start-ups or SMEs.

$0 to $200,000

United States > California

Private investor with interest in alternative energy or energy projects also transportation, and manufacturing, where the demand exceeds the supply, must be in "stage three", means, have an active project with a prototype or service ready to market, and have buyers.

$15,000 to $130,000

United States > Oklahoma

Stocks, Real Estate Private Investor Senior Level Manager

$100 to $1,000,000

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

My experience has predominantly been in strategy consulting. I am looking to make a relatively hands-off private investment, and have not made any investments to date.

$25,000 to $100,000

Austria > Graz

15+ General Manager in small and medium size companies Development and successful exit of start ups

$10,000 to $1,000,000