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 > Dallas

I am a real estate and oil and gas investor. Looking for opportunistic situations. Want competent deals/partners; no concepts/true start ups, pretenders or idiots. Time is as valuable as money to me. The quality of information presented will dictate turn around time. Can kill a deal in minutes; could take days to determine a level of interest if it passes the sniff test.

$200,000 to $10,000,000

Texas > Houston

Ever since I can remember, I have had a passion, a drive, an ambition to achieve big goals. Throughout the years I have increased my skills, expanded my knowledge and diligently worked hard alongside individuals who are leaders. I have learned that accurate thinking, self discipline, persistence and decisiveness lead to success. These core values have made me the natural born entrepreneur I am today. My fortes are in leadership and systematic problem solving that can be scaled to produce high-quality deliverables. My skills and my focus on delivery and results have led my teams to success. Strategizing and aiming for growth beyond the horizon have always excited me. But it takes more than faith in an idea to achieve big goals. It takes an incredible group of people that not only believe in the idea but also have the talent to execute it. I realize that no matter how good I am, I need a powerful 'board of directors' to accomplish my ensuing goals.

$0 to $200,000

Texas > Houston

37 y/o, married, extensive oil and gas experience.

$10,000 to $1,000,000

Texas > Spring

I have been in the restaurant business for over 15 years, executive chef for the last 6 years. In my current position I am responsible for all new store openings, 15 to date, with training and purchases that follow. This is an opportunity to move back to CT from TX and expose a market that has been under developed with the restaurant scene.

$200,000 to $450,000

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 > Houston

just starting to invest and want to learn more

$500 to $1,000

Texas > Austin

I'm living with my wife and kids in Austin, Texas working full time as an application developer with a reputed computer manufacturer. My whole experience in the software industry, but passionate about business and entrepreneurship. I'm hoping that I would be able to support anyway I can so that together we can achieve our goals.

$100 to $25,000

Texas > Houston

32 M Houston TX Married. Physician MD. Silent involvement. Individual Investor.

$1,000 to $50,000