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 > Kansas

I am a Chemical Engineer by degree. I have worked as a Process Engineer and recently moved into a Commissioning/Start-up roll Currently employed by an EPC contractor. Would like to help startup businesses by providing the initial capital.

$0 to $20,000

United States > California

Personal investments in public companies and land. Extensive experience professionally in performing due diligence on all types of private offerings.

$25,000 to $250,000

Canada > Thornhill

Represent a business development firm, willing to help new clients in the media and technology space. Contact me for additional detail.

$500,000 to $10,000,000

Canada > Langley

We invest in commercial (warehouse, office, retail) income producing properties only. We are an investment group that looks for a purchase price of no less than 1M and no maximum. Extensive experience in the industry.

$1,000,000 to $10,000,000

United States > Michigan

Our firm has successfull invested in small to medium cap manufacturing firms since 1982 and an International Trading Company for 15 years. We now operate two Private Equity Funds with $500 AUM. We also have a new Fund with US OPIC backing supporting investment in Sub- Sahara Africa and are interested in products or services applicable to that region that is economically sustanable and provides social improvements to the local population.

$2,500,000 to $250,000,000

United States > Florida

Seasoned investor and investor representative. We invest in startups and mid growth companies across all industries. Looking for strong ideas with good growth potential.

$5,000 to $100,000

Canada > Toronto

We can assist our clients to go public in a structure that provides them with the means to dramatically increase the owners value, raise capital and aid in the growth of the business. We also represent public companies seeking acquisition candidates and work with private companies looking to go public through merger with an existing public shell. We can assist clients to raise capital and selectively may invest capital in our own transactions as principals or by investment through an investment fund. We can assist corporate clients with several ways of raising new capital to expand operations, facilitate or complete new product lines, expand geographic coverage and make acquisitions and/or implement other corporate strategies that will increase and maximize the company’s and thus the owner’s value.

$500,000 to $2,000,000

United States > California

Has owned and worked with a wide variety of companies on both the public and private sides through businesses including family offices, investment banking, investor and public relations, and marketing and advertising firms. He has successfully and simultaneously served as advisor, owner, interim officer, and director for multiple companies. Seasoned with diverse business acumen, he has been involved in M&As, public and private financing, turnaround management, public offerings, and reverse mergers. He brings a strong combination of finance, operational, marketing, and strategic experience to businesses as well as managing, structuring, and executing corporate finance transactions for clients across all industry groups.

$2,000,000 to $10,000,000