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 > California

I am a private investor and very interested in investing my money in a very secure investment within the Entertainment Industry. I am a business owner myself who wishes this opportunity was around when I was looking for investors. My goal is to seek a good opportunity to invest in a company or product that has true potential and can meet other satisfactory goals that I have put in place for my children.

$10,000 to $1,000,000

United States > Oregon

I am employed by a capable International Funding Group offering excellent lending terms for Project Owner Loans on projects valued from $25 Million and up to $5B. No up front fees. Client should have equity in the project, and discretionary capital on hand. We prefer the profitable stage but will consider pre-Revenue stage and start-ups on a project by project basis. Please provide your Executive Summary or Power Point and Business Plan with all substantive documentations. We do not shop your private information or business plan, we are direct to our investors/funding source. Experienced, capable and honest people to work with. Feel free to contact me for further information and our Loan Application. The Lender pays my commission. Brokers should ask their Client for their commission to be charged as part of the loan expenses.

$25,000,000 to $5,000,000,000

United States > California

I am based in California. I am an economics major with an MBA and several years of business management experience. I work in the Financial insurance industry with a reputed private company. I am open to different sort of investments in various sectors. I am mostly an individual investor. My main investments are in commercial real estate and construction.

$70,450 to $3,500,500

United States > California

Real Estate Developer and Entrepreneur for 10 years (35years old). Started a property tax appeal/consulting company in California that consults on properties valued over $10Billion to reduce property tax liability. Developed and own 90,000 square feet of self-storage in Brentwood, CA and currently entitling/developing solar RV/Boat storage and self-storage project in Northern California. Looking for long-term stable cash-flow and I believe that self-storage and RV/Boat storage are the answer.

$10,000 to $1,000,000

United States > California

No investment history, 15+ years in the software industry - network security, Masters in engineering with concentration in Mechanical engineering design

$50,000 to $150,000

United States > Hawaii

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

$0 to $200,000

United States > Georgia

A trust with assets in excess of $5 million, income exceeding $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or joint income with a spouse exceeding $300,000 for those years. Looking for investment opportunities.

$50,000 to $100,000

United States > California

Working in the software industry for more than 13 years. Worked with start- ups and large internet equipment manufactures like Cisco Systems, etc. Have extensive experience in Business Modeling, Software Development and SDLC.

$100 to $25,000