Pennsylvania 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.

Pennsylvania Investors

United States > Pennsylvania

Interested in real estate opportunities.

$0 to $150,000

United States > Pennsylvania

I represent an angel investor who is interested in expanding his investment portfolio. To date, he has funded projects throughout the United States in biotechnology, manufacturing, software development, IT, energy, health and pharmaceuticals, real estate, nd the gaming industry. He requires a solid 3-5 year exit strategy with a healthy return. His contacts in almost every industry are extensive. The process is simple: once you have my email: 1. contact me through email stating your interest and your project; 2. send me a business plan which should include financials, exit strategy and a bio

$100,000 to $5,000,000

United States > Pennsylvania

I have some knowledge of investing and am looking to find more opportunities.

$100 to $5,000

United States > Pennsylvania

I am a founding partner of a Socially Responsible Venture Fund based in Lancaster, PA. The objective of the Fund is to invest in exciting, early- stage (NOT Start-ups), high growth humanitarian, sustainable, environmental or socially responsible businesses with a focus on those that are primed for rapid expansion if they had the funding. The purpose of the Fund is to earn superior financial returns for our investors by capitalizing on leveraged private equity investing in rapid- growth companies and then managing the process to take those companies public either by a ‘reverse-merger’ on the U.S. stock market, a listing on the London Stock Exchange or other method so that our investment is liquid.

$100,000 to $1,000,000

United States > Pennsylvania

I have never invested this way and am thinking about investing at this time. I am the executive Director of a non-profit organization.

$7,500,000 to $10,000,000

United States > Pennsylvania

Investment Management/Banking experience with own company. Started a successful alternative energy company that went public and was ultimately sold to a large mid-west utility.

$25,000 to $500,000

United States > Pennsylvania

Portfolio Manager, Investment Officer, B.A. Accounting Delaware MBA Finance Delaware Chartered Financial Analyst Current Investments include diversified global equity portfolio Individual Investor Silent Partner

$0 to $10,000

United States > Pennsylvania

Stock market, property investor.

$1,500,000 to $2,500,000