Michigan 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.

Michigan Investors

United States > Michigan

Family man. Work in Robot tech. Masters degree. Some/little investment experience. Somewhat hands on, like to learn new processes, or silent. Individual investor.

$1,000 to $100,000

United States > Michigan

I am 51 years old and have invested in small companies starting at $600,000 in valuation and turning them into companies worth $17 million. I have owned insurance companies which also have grown from small entities to groups just under $20 million. I've sat on board of directors to small businesses helping them with behind the scenes help on the business side and the insurance side along with marketing. I am willing not only to help with dollars, but a willingness to help your business on the front lines!

$10,000 to $100,000

United States > Michigan

Mortgage industry professional. Bachelors from MSU. Advisory/silent. Individual Investor.

$1,000 to $50,000

United States > Michigan

Work in automotive industry. Looking to be an investor and partner.

$100,000 to $250,000

United States > Michigan

I am looking for active and passive investments, as well as opportunities for hands-on involvement in a business. Having served in various capacities in the healthcare industry for years, including most recently as an executive, I have a broad range of experience. I have my JD and MBA, and am admitted to practice law in the State of Michigan. I am quite open to the subject matter of the business to be involved with, but will look for something that I find attractive, holds sensible promise, and has honest, hardworking, and bright people involved.

$10,000 to $4,000,000

United States > Michigan

Seasoned Marketing and Business Development Expert

$50,000 to $100,000

United States > Michigan

With a background in healthcare field and working as a dentist in US Army I want to explore the investment opportunities as I gradually transition my life from the 'Army World' to 'Civilian World'. I would like to be a silent investor. I am from Michigan so I would prefer to invest in Michigan. My job does require me to move every couple of years so I am open to out of state opportunities as well.

$50,000 to $100,000

United States > Michigan

Looking for high yield investment opportunities.

$1,000 to $200,000