Illinois 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.

Illinois Investors

United States > Illinois

we provides financing and management assistance primarily to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through factoring in california and internationally. The company offers various factoring services, including international factoring, recourse factoring, non-recourse factoring, maturity factoring, indirect factoring, and full factoring, as well as financing for SMEs. It also involves in various leasing activities comprising nautical leasing, property leasing, equipment leasing, and vehicle leasing. In addition, the company provides Rendimax, an online savings account. It also serves large enterprises, business people, and private individuals.

$200,000 to $5,000,000

United States > Illinois

I am an CFO of technology start up that has raised over $40M. My background is accounting and M&A consulting, I hold CPA and CFA. My specialties are financial advising, financial and operating models and I currently oversee digital marketing strategy at my Company. I am looking to invest as a silent partner or for the right opportunity become more involved or get some of my many contacts involved in a new opportunity.

$5,000 to $400,000

United States > Illinois

Investment firm based just outside Chicago, IL. We are a specialized investment group focused on identifying investment opportunities in consumer products and services primarily in the household, outdoor, pet and personal care segments. We believe these segments have been overlooked and disenfranchised by traditional venture capital firms. Because these segments have been largely ignored by most capital providing sources, there are hungry yet qualified company founders who can greatly benefit from financial & managerial support thus presenting attractive investment opportunities. We look for startup companies that will become major industry participants that are built around innovative products, unique services and strategies coupled with dynamic, passionate founders that create new markets or reshape existing ones.

$25,000 to $50,000

United States > Illinois

I'm managing a private debt fund called the Good Jobs Fund - a $20M fund sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. We're focused on supporting small businesses that produce quality jobs in Kaiser's core markets: CA, GA, OR, WA, HI, CO, MD, VA, DC. We offer senior debt with more flexible terms and creative structures than traditional commercial banks can accommodate. We're targeting cash-flow positive companies with at least $5-10M in sales. Avg. loan size: $1-3M.

$500,000 to $4,000,000

United States > Illinois

We are a group of Investors with 30 years experience in structured project finance. We are all entrepreneurs and business owners as well. We have funded projects from $1M up to $1B+. We are always looking for new projects with a strong resume and make sense.

$1,000,000 to $10,000,000

United States > Illinois

I’m a Corporate Banker by trade and looking to invest in the right team with my personal capital. I am highly analytical and understand numbers quite well . I am a trainee accountant and have worked at big 4 accounting firms before making a switch to banking . In my current role I am a Vice President specializing in Securitization.

$5,000 to $100,000

United States > Illinois

I and my wife have a lots of experience in the Thai, Chinese, and Japanese Restaurant business. My wife is a head chef at a Thai Japanese restaurant for the last 10 years. I work in the area of logistics & electronics and am a graduate of the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University.

$100,000 to $500,000

United States > Illinois

We are an US domestic and global hotel development, advisory, and property management company based in Chicago, Il. We have contact sources with many other industry companies and individual investors who are interested in the hospitality industry and look to invest in these types of ventures. We can assist you in not only finding a potential financier or partner but also assist in the overall success of the entire project and on-going operations.

$0 to $1,000,000,000