Texas 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.

Texas Investors

Texas > Houston

General Manager with much experience. Made a few investments at young age that has now become strong assets. Looking to find a young and hungry entrepreneur as myself with self motivation and desire to succeed in making his dreams and investments come through.

$50 to $12,000

Texas > Fort Worth

10+ IT experience. Lived overseas for 8 years. Individual investor. Made majority of my money in aviation, technology and mining. Bachelors in Networking and security. 5 years in the Marines.

$100 to $5,000

Texas > Katy

I am an entrepreneur based in Houston Texas that founded an oil and gas consulting firm 11 years ago. Over the last 3 years I have made several silent investments and now I want to take an active role in investing as well as helping grow companies. I not only have personal money to invest but a network of 100s of millions if the right deal is there.

$10,000 to $500,000

Texas > Plano

I have purchased directly more than 20 companies and invested as an investor in 3 companies. As a private investor my investments have exceeded more than 1 million but prefer under a million dollars. Telecommunications background with emphaisis in financial and transitional operations.

$100,000 to $1,000,000

Texas > Dallas

I am a real estate developer, serial entrepreneur and angel investor. I left a corporate career track to invest in real estate full time in 1996. As a real estate investor I began buying and selling single family homes and parlayed his capital into larger developments and then small startups of my own and as an angel investor. I was a member of the Rockies Venture club in Denver Colorado and the Central Texas Angel Network in Austin. Nothing I invested in went “big”, but I've seen several hundred deal pitches, run diligence on a couple of dozen investments and gotten to know the process from the Angel side as well as the IPO experience when I was in Corporate. In Dallas I have my business startups and real estate developments.

$10,000 to $100,000

Texas > Katy

I have run my own businesses for over 30 years with great success. I would like to help others succeed and help them grow.

$1,000 to $100,000

Texas > Midland

30 years old, married with two beautiful girls, from Midland, TX. I currently own and operate my own very successful business. Have 12 years experience in the construction industry (new construction residential, large commercial projects) and also in trucking and tech. I have a BBA in Finance and minored in Economics. I have invested in a tech startup and numerous real estate deals. I am very well networked in the Permian Basin in real estate. I have always been a leader in everything I do, therefore would be the same in any investment. I would mentor where needed, but allow the investment to prosper. I love learning new things and being in the forefront of trending ideas. Currently, I am an individual investor, but have access to additional capital if needed.

$2,500,000 to $30,000,000

Texas > Katy

Married 39 years old live in Katy, Houston. A professional in warehousing and supply chain management Studied Business. I would like to be involved in decision making and input, but primarly silent. Individual investor.

$1,000 to $50,000