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

Have done over 15 Angel investments. I manage a fund for startup investing in the Hudson Valley.

$25,000 to $150,000

Venezuela > CARACAS

- 40 years old, male, married based in Caracas / Venezuela. - Franchise consultant with more than 15 years in managerial experience in marketing and sales departments in mass consumption companies such as Seagram´s, The Quaker Oats Company, PepsiCo. - Master in Marketing and General Management at MGSM (Macquarie Graduate School of Management - Sydney / Australia.

$1,000 to $50,000

United States > Florida

I work with private investors, pension fund consultants, private bankers and attorneys. The investment objective is to identify opportunities for both debt and equity participation. I have been working the financial services sector for the last 12 years and have been involved in projects in need of financing from $10,000 up to $240 M USD

$150,000 to $150,000,000

United States > New York

25 years as an mortgage broker and real estate investor.

$100,000 to $500,000

United States > Texas

I am 31-years-old and interested in getting into the investment arena. I have been a gov't intelligence analyst for the past 9 years, but have recently quit my job, so I could move back home to spend some time with my father before he passes away. Needless to say, my life style has changed from what I am used to and am looking for a way to supplement my new lower income.

$20,000 to $40,000

United States > New York

Individual Private Investor interested in real estate or real estate development, house foreclosure, rehabs, Hotel investments. Storage facilities and small commercial properties.

$0 to $10,000

United States > New York

I am a physician in New York with extra investment capital available to apply towards businesses that I feel would be fun interacting with.

$1 to $5,000

United States > Texas

Own Texas oil and gas company, looking to diversify into other industries

$0 to $4,000,000