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 > North Carolina

Looking to invest in exciting and innovative Tech StartUps. Completed MS. in Mechanical Engineering Private Investor

$0 to $300,000

United States > New York

My background is in the broadcasting and marketing business. I'm looking for investment opportunities that provide cash flow or viable start-up ventures.

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

United States > Missouri

Private investor with extensive background in TV and Film production. Looking to find new, sensible and lucrative opportunities to invest in. Outside the box thinking and a pioneering attitude have allowed me to be in a position to back others success.

$100,000 to $300,000

United States > New York

I'm a private investor who recently moved to New York city from London. I'm a consultant working for a professional services firm and I'm looking for interesting and profitable business opportunities in which to invest my savings and perhaps provide guidance or input if required.

$500 to $5,000

United States > New York

Young, professional and motivated real estate investor looking for investment opportunities. At the moment, I currently acquire properties (off-market, foreclosure, short sale negotiations, auctions, etc.) renovate and resell. I work with a group of investors who are eager and ready to generate passive cash flow through outside ventures. Looking for ventures where we can either be silent partners or have some involvement in the business as we have experience in various industries (architecture, law, private lending, contracting, etc.).

$0 to $1,000,000

United States > Florida

A financial advisory firm that provides companies with time sensitive financing needs access to senior debt, mezzanine and private equity capital for the purposes of refinancing, acquisition, restructuring and growth initiatives. Our experience spans a broad range of industries including energy, financial services, media/broadcasting, real estate, healthcare, telecom manufacturing, distribution and emerging technology to name a few. With access to over $5 billion of capital through our financing resources, Prestige has the ability to help clients quickly structure meaningful equity, senior debt and mezzanine capital. We will also make direct investment from time to time.

$2,000,000 to $50,000,000

United States > New York

Entrepreneur, author, investor. Have started several well respected marketing agencies. They have been sold to NYSE and other public companies. In addition I have served on the board and invested in several other companies in the United States and Europe. I invest alone and as part of a group of semi-retired marketing and management consultants.

$25,000 to $750,000

United States > New York

Partner at large international law firm. 20 years of experience as a tax, funds, real estate and private equity lawyer. Investment banker in SF during dot com boom. Accounting background. Extensive work in real estate and real estate finance.

$10,000 to $1,000,000