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

Fund I and Fund II invests in early stage broad based technologies and medical device companies utilizing its earned value milestone-based investment approach. As a lead or co-lead investor we aim to build strong financial discipline and operational execution to achieve sound business fundamentals through its earned value milestone investments to quantify enhanced valuations. In May 2012, the firm launched Fund II to make new investments in early stage companies with keen focus on Healthcare Technology, Medical Device, Wireless, Mobile, and Cloud Computing SaaS (Software as a Service) companies.

$1,000,000 to $5,000,000

United States > Washington D.C.

Hello, I am a senior associate with a venture firm founded in 2001 and ~$1B in committed capital. We are headquartered in DC with an office in NY and are currently deploying our third fund, roughly 2/3 of which is focused on IT. I am focused on seed and early stage investments in disruptive enterprise software (as opposed to HW and services) start-ups with a product that is piloting with customers or on the market. Our initial investments in software start-ups can range from $500K to $10M. Our key thesis areas are around cyber security, cloud technology, mobile, information management, and data analytics. We typically lead financing rounds in our investments and hold a board seat. We also like to invest as part of a syndicate (2-3 value add investors is ideal). Prior to Paladin, I worked at IBM as a project manager on various strategy consulting engagements as well as in business development/ sales strategy for IBM's cloud solutions.

$500,000 to $10,000,000

United States > New York

My academic background: BA Architecture, BA Building Construction.Series 7 Education. Gas and Oil Background Experience. Securites

$100,000,000 to $1,000,000,000

United States > Virginia

Seeking profitable investment opportunities with proven documents and financial documentation.

$50,000 to $100,000

United States > California

I have investments in multiple diverse Businesses I have been in the Financial industry for 10 years I work with my own funds and Family Trusts

$5,000 to $200,000

United States > New York

Looking to invest in a nice business and make money

$500 to $30,000

Turkey > Izmir

Having investments in Turkey as a family company, investing into automotive, energy, construction, estate, real estate sectors. Looking for investments abroad..

$1,000,000 to $99,000,000

United States > New Jersey

27 years experience in real estate management and acquisition.

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