New York 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 > New York

The firm I represent is looking for asset heavy opportunities through which a mix of asset backed financing and some equity could be provided. We're flexible and typically stay out of management's way allowing them to run the business without interference. We prefer investments in the U.S. and Western Europe but will consider other geographic areas. I personally have 10 years of investment banking and financial advisory experience with a primary focus on middle market activities.

$10,000,000 to $150,000,000

United States > Florida

20 plus yrs Construction Management Property Development. Group of private investors.

$1,000 to $1,000,000

United States > Florida

For more than 25 years, our Investment Association has provided the highest quality of investment advice and practical financial equity solutions to the emerging firm. Our interests lie in not only investments in high-tech firms but low-tech developing firms as well. To be an attractive investment vehicle to our Association the investment targets must be able to promise and deliver a rate of return that is more attractive than those available in markets for publicly traded stocks and other securities.

$50,000 to $2,500,000

United States > New York

Looking to make investment with reasonably active involvement in the management of the company - with exists in 2-5 years. Debt or Equity financing options exist. I have and am starting to invest in few different technology business with varying degrees of management involvement. Have started, built and successfuly sold technology and services business as well as heading and growing large global technology services and product development organizations for multi-national company. Have executed several acquisitions and managed mergers of organizations and companies. Am a private investor in the process of establishing a small group which will provide us more capital and deeper management talent.

$25,000 to $1,000,000

United States > New York

I'm in the trucking business. Looking for the right business and person to mentor and invest in.

$0 to $200,000

United States > Florida

MBA with over thirty years of professional business and technical experience. Project funding specialist. Have funding sources for debt and equity. Active in Assisted Living Facilities, Skilled Nursing Facilities, apartments, hotels, real estate developments and waste to energy plants.

$10,000,000 to $100,000,000

United States > New York

A Successful Entrepreneur seeking to diversify and expand my Investment. Am a graduate of Harvard Business School and also holds a Doctorate degree in Psychology.

$25,000 to $100,000,000

United States > Georgia

looking for real deals that make sense for me and my investors. deals that can make money on great returns.

$1,000,000 to $8,000,000,000