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 > Austin

I am ex-hotel manager from Las Vegas with an eye for detail and unparalleled service and sales tactics. With a Bachelors in Information Systems, I now work as an account manager for a large software company. I am a young (30) but experienced professional with lots of energy. Willing to take a look at risks. Anticipated involvement: Advisory is preferred, negotiable to hands-on or silent for the right opportunity

$500 to $20,000

Texas > Austin

Private Equity Firm All real estate types Debt & Equity

$50,000 to $500,000

Texas > The Woodlands

Looking for opportunities in the LED lighting or Energy Service Company (ESCO) areas. We are currently expanding in the US and Mexico.

$0 to $5,000,000

Texas > Irving

I am aged 56, IT professional with more than 35 years experience. Have Bachelor degree in Electronic and Communication Engineering and Masters in Computer Science. Has been investing in Stocks, Mutual funds, Precious metals, Real estate since last 35 years.

$10,000 to $100,000

Texas > Cypress

I live in Houston Tx., I am professional person. I have experience with family investment. I am an individual investor.

$1,000 to $30,000

Texas > Dallas

Private equity investment banker. Broad skill-set. Current liquid assets. Well connected.

$10,000 to $100,000

Texas > Louise

25 plus years managing a highly successful financial business. Excellent financial and managerial background. Have served on many Boards, both private and public.

$10,000 to $200,000

Texas > Houston, Tx

Extensive business background in management, accounting, finance, banking, investments, sales, and small business startups, etc. Degreed in finance and banking from major U.S. university. I will only consider working with those who are SERIOUS and LEGITIMATE entrepreneurs and will walk away from anyone wasting my valuable time. There are so many seeking funds and financing direction, but so relatively few who have done their homework, in the sense of having ready answers to investors' questions. I am not so impressed with a sheaf of paperwork (though the business plan MUST be reduced to writing, obviously!), but I am more impressed with something completely well thought out, where YOU the entrepreneur have ALREADY played devil's advocate in researching solutions to problems and answers to questions and you know those like the back of your hand.

$10,000 to $500,000