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 > Eden

I am 31-years-old and interested in getting into the investment arena. I have been a gov't intelligence analyst for the past 9 years, but have recently quit my job, so I could move back home to spend some time with my father before he passes away. Needless to say, my life style has changed from what I am used to and am looking for a way to supplement my new lower income.

$20,000 to $40,000

Texas > Austin

Strong business background, including an MBA from a top business school, with diverse experience and skills. I have experience growing businesses and establishing efficient processes/operations.

$1 to $100,000

Texas > Houston

I have 20+ years experience in finance and investments. I'm always creating new ventures and seeking new ventures or partnerships and or associations. My ventures are typically in investments within a range of funds, internet and any opportunity of a lifetime that can generate sensational returns on investment and makes sense. I have operations in Texas, Bangkok, Singapore and Offshore locations.

$1 to $1,000,000

Texas > Grand Prairie

We are interested in growth-stage companies with a clear focus and capabale management. The ability to communicate your financial needs and the related impact on market performance is critical to our evaluation process and final decision.

$1 to $5,000,000

Texas > Houston

I am a 46 year old, married, co-founder and co-owner of an established Specialty Chemical manufacturing company in Houston. We started the business in 1996 with just us - husband and wife team. Today, we employ 26 employees, 8 contractors with a 30,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant. I have been accountable to increasing revenues from less than $1million to $60 million in less than 3 years. I have significant contacts in the Oil & Gas and Chemical Industry. Based on the Investment opportunity, I will decide how I can add value in terms of my involvement. I will be an Individual investor.

$100,000 to $1,000,000

Texas > Longview

I am a private investor looking to invest in start ups. I am 47 and single. I have many years experience in the oil business. I have a B.S. in Cellular Biology, Environmental Chemistry and 2 year degree in Instrumentation. I have invested in both private and public companies. I am looking to be a individual silent investor.

$1,000 to $100,000

Texas > Mckinney

I am married and have two small boys. I work in the aviation industry. I live in north of Dallas and am looking to invest in the right business to help each other out. Would prefer to invest in local entrepreneurs dreams, but may consider out of state investing for the right business.

$1,000 to $30,000

Texas > Grand Saline

I own a company that works and consults in the Oil & Gas industry.

$1,000 to $50,000