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

I represent a Venture Capital firm in Southern CA. We have access to many avenues of capital and our strategies are flexible. We look for companies with great growth potential, consider every company's individual situation, and adjust our approach accordingly.

$500,000 to $15,000,000

United States > Michigan

I have over 25 years of experience in investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, capital formation, venture capital and emerging company development. I began my investment- banking career in New York with the firm of Hornblower and Weeks. In 1974, I moved to Bache Stuart Halsey Inc. as vice-president of mergers and acquisitions. In 1979, I joined Asset Management Investments, a private venture capital firm, with $22 million under management. Since 1985, I have been involved with start-up companies, developing coherent and innovative financing strategies. He is an author and a frequent speaker for entrepreneurship forums and venture capital seminars. His experience as an entrepreneur/business owner, investment banker, and venture capitalist provides a unique and comprehensive perspective for VIP’s Portfolio investments and Investing Partners.

$500,000 to $5,000,000

United States > Michigan

Currently working in healthcare and real estate. Looking to be either active or silent.

$1,000 to $50,000

United States > Michigan

Individual investor looking for advisory/silent opportunities in the Midwest region. I am a Doctor of Pharmacy with my own consulting practice specializing in Medication Management services for which I have a Masters degree. We have been in operation for about two years now and I have been a practicing Doctor of Pharmacy for 9 years now. I am a proud father to two young boys and blessed husband to my wife of 5 years, we reside in Metro Detroit and I am interested in making an investment back into the local community to help bring this once great city back. I have experience and education in the health sciences and have contacts with a proven executive in the Energy sector.

$10,000 to $250,000

United States > Michigan

Former CFO of Real Estate Development company, entered into Private Equity and VC 3 years ago. Searching for high upside potential investments with room for growth.

$25,000 to $500,000

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

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

Honest and Straightforward Investor. Areas of interest are Oil and Gas, Commercial Real Estate, Construction, Bridge Loans, Business Loans, Equipment Loans, Merger and Acquisition Financing, Land Development, Energy Company Loans, Debt Loans, Equity Loans, Hotel Loans, International Loans, and Manufacturing.

$2,000,000 to $99,000,000