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

Current and past owner of companies or varying scope and sizes. Open to involvement and status of all types.

$1 to $1,000,000

United States > Michigan

I am the founder and Chairman of a venture group. I am a former professional hockey player, venture capitalist and renowned entrepreneur. An early entrant to the cleantech market, our efforts have garnered global recognition his companies awards include Time Magazine's "Best Inventions 2005," and was awarded the Wall Street Journal's "Technology Innovator" and the World Economic Forum's "Technology Pioneer" awards that same year. In early 2007, he was named a "Young Global Leader" by the Forum. Repeated successes has been acknowledged by the global business community. His insight has been sought by such publications as the New York Times, Time Magazine, Inc., Red Herring and the Wall Street Journal. In addition, he is a regular attendee of the World Economic Forum. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from Brandon University, in Brandon, Manitoba.

$50,000 to $10,000,000

United States > Michigan

We are investors located in Michigan. We have developed more than 100MM in real estate and have the skillset and experience to find properties, evaluate, engineer, develop and build. We are looking to buy, partner or JV. We are also looking at existing businesses that need the capital or partner to invest for expansion or just looking to sell their company.

$100,000 to $250,000

United States > Michigan

We are Two Married CPA's.

$1 to $200,000

United States > Michigan

Working as an independent contractor for investment banks.

$10,000 to $50,000,000

United States > Michigan

I'm a college educated insurance professional looking for alternative investment opportunities to the stock market. I'd like my involvement to be strictly silent. I work with a lot of business owners so I have firm grasp on start up costs, ROI, etc.

$10,000 to $200,000

United States > Michigan

Let’s take your idea to the next level! I make non-control investments in high-growth companies/concepts/projects. I work with companies that have reached an inflection point in their lifecycle, where an infusion of capital and the right partner can make a meaningful difference in helping them achieve their growth plans. I understand the unique challenges entrepreneurs face in scaling their businesses and have an appreciation for nimble and innovative founders that blaze their own trail. I have developed a track record in partnering with driven entrepreneurs to provide the capital, relationships, business development support, best practices, and strategic advice that a large multi-billion institution can provide. I am seeking to build substantial relationships with management teams over time, placing high value in proper fit rather than rushing into a deal. I am flexible in how we structure our capital and mindful of what makes the most sense for the business.

$1 to $100,000

United States > Michigan

Salutations, I am an individual investor who is also a part of an investment group. My experience involves consulting, investment in the markets (stock, option, commodities, and currencies). Trained in Import/Export trading, global/macro economics, business consulting, quantitative analysis of the stock market, and community/urban development/planning analysis. 80:20 ratio of silent to hands-on/advisory.

$250 to $15,000