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

Vice President in a Houston Energy Company. Education in engineering, investment management and executive leadership. Private investor.

$5,000 to $500,000

Texas > Webster

I work with many investors and brokers. I find investment properties for them.

$50,000 to $1,000,000,000

Texas > Plano

Owned construction company for ~25 years. Purchased and sold ~30 homes over 10 years. Purchased and held ~10 projects over 10 years. Developed three international projects over 4 years. Technical engineering education and advanced business degrees. Love the business!

$1,000,000 to $3,500,000

Texas > Houston

28 year old looking for new investment opportunities outside of the stock markets. Successful shipping professional, with a focus on negotiationg various freight contracts daily. I need to have a keen interest in the investment opportunity and believe in and trust the people I am looking to support.

$5,000 to $20,000

Texas > Houston

50 yr old maried ex banker who just started up an investments business using personal funds. Very well connected with large rolodex and access to syndicate of other investors hungry to follow my lead. You will find me to be one of the least pretentious partners you can have, open to ideas and advise.  Expect me to be direct, fair and ethical at all times and to work diligently to complete a transaction on the terms and in the timeframe to which we have agreed. I received my undergrad and MBA from UH and followed that with a CFA. Involvement varies with investment.

$25,000 to $100,000

Texas > Cedar Park

Software engineer for last 8 years. Private investor looking for profitable opportunities.

$100 to $5,000

Texas > Dallas

I am a 28 year old entrepreneur/investor with experience in the medical and trucking industry. I am looking for investments of all shapes and sizes however I will be offering my capital as well as advice/direction. Originally from England, living in Dallas - Very easy to get on with.

$500 to $50,000

Texas > Rowlett

I am a 31 year old single professional living in Dallas, TX. My current profession is working for one of the big 4 accounting firms. In the past, I have worked for industries in oil and gas, telecommunications, supply chain, healthcare, and consumer products. I have been exposed to many successful businesses and people. This experience has largely influenced and fueled my entrepreneurial mindset. My undergrad degree was in Finance, and I have two masters - one in Accounting and the other is a MBA. I am extremely motivated to be successful and make money. Please contact me for investment opportunities that I can't say no to. Thanks!

$50,000 to $400,000