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

I have over 7 years in transportation brokerage and real estate investment

$50,000 to $150,000

United States > Illinois

I started a service business from zero and built it into a very profitable business, I willing to invest with like minded individuals or companies that have the potential for growth

$5,000 to $100,000

United States > Illinois

I invest as well as work directly with several investment groups. Looking for attractive investment opportuniites.

$500,000 to $9,000,000,000

United States > Illinois

Married, living in downtown Chicago and in my mid-30s. I have 10+ years of banking experience, with a current position of Vice President in Financial Performance Management. My wife, currently a physician, is supportive in exploring investment opportunities that make sense for all potential partners. I have a personal interest in exploring investment opportunities where I can provide my experience and money to further business development. I am also open to silent investments given strong business proposals. My passion for investing comes from my father, a former business owner, and my personal fixation on building a financial portfolio beyond my day-to-day obligations at work where I can extend my skills and personality to help build a good business. I’d describe myself as approachable, hands-on, motivated and easy to work with.

$0 to $150,000

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

United States > Illinois

Work for one of the largest privately held real estate companies in the country.

$50,000,000 to $750,000,000

United States > Illinois

Banking investment history also starting multiple companies.

$100,000 to $3,500,000

United States > Illinois

I am 56 years of age and happily married with three wonderful children and three adopted dogs. I am a native Chicagoan and I am currently residing in the suburbs of Chicago. I attended High School at Gordon Tech and I have a B.S. in Business Management from Northeastern Illinois University. I have a background in sales and customer service in the utility and wine industries. Also, owned a small landscape and snow removal business. I am an individual investor and I just started a holding company that will focus on real estate buy and hold for rental purposes. Furthermore, I am very interested in other investments that will diversify my portfolio. I am seeking ventures with passionate entrepreneurs to invest with. I enjoy networking with other professionals and good people with a positive attitude and demeanor. I am open to advisory and silent involvement with some hands-on, depending on the need and situation.

$1,000 to $50,000