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 invest in early stage information technology companies, including enterprise software and services, Internet infrastructure software, wireless applications, and digital media.

$1,000,000 to $99,000,000

United States > Illinois

An international investment banking firm dedicated to the highest standards of integrity and professionalism –provides corporate financial advisory services, mergers and acquisitions expertise, valuation services, and financial opinions to publicly and privately held businesses through our offices in North America, Asia, and Africa. Our professionals draw on specialized expertise in partnering with middle-market firms in all industry verticals and niche markets to achieve an optimal outcome through a variety of transactions. We precisely analyze each client’s needs to determine the best match between buyers and sellers, arrange cost-effective financing, and produce capitalization structures that maximize each clients’ potential. We remains a trusted partner and industry-leading provider of financial advisory services, M&A assistance, and business valuations.

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

United States > Illinois

I am an individual investor open to many opportunities.

$1,000 to $250,000

United States > Illinois

Several years in the Real Estate business as a investor and land lord I deal with a lot of Section 8 tenants, Ive done new constructions, buy & hold and flips. I know a good deal when I see it. Its all about the numbers and exit strategy!!

$100,000 to $1,000,000

United States > Illinois

I have been involved in the lending arena for 14 years. I have done everything from residential to commercial deals. I represent private funding source's that will FUND up to 100 %, and fund any type of project based asset. Project must make sense!!! Funding takes approximatley 70 banking days to fund once project and all necessary paperwork has been submitted to investor.From 10 million and up!!! NO UP FRONT FEES!!!

$1,000,000 to $900,000,000

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

I am a Vice-President with HY Financial Group. We help businesses and their owners with the day-to-day challenges of making sure the business has adequate funds for operations and expansion. We work with all kinds of financing scenarios such as bank loans, lines of credit, working capital, real estate financing equipment financing, SBA loans, purchase order financing, mezzanine financing, and other combinations of debt financing.

$500,000 to $20,000,000

United States > Illinois

We have over 30 years of Commercial financial experience, we are very interested in helping others.

$10,000,000 to $100,000,000