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’m an investor that works in cybersecurity sales and have had multiple investments over the last couple of years ranging from real estate property flips to retail businesses to automotive sales. Most recently, I worked 500+ hours on my real estate flip, doing framing, flooring, plumbing, and etc. myself resulting in over $50k net profit I can be a hands-on investor and assist either physically or on the backend. My spouse is an attorney and a CPA whereas myself, I’m in sales and a hands-on guy. I have my wife’s buy in to assist with legal and tax matters as well. I can be a silent partner or an involved partner.

$1,000 to $25,000

United States > Illinois

I am a real estate investor that that practices in the areas of commercial and residential real estate law.

$0 to $1,000,000

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

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

Operated a business for many years, know HVAC market really well.

$0 to $150,000

United States > Illinois

Director level manufacturing professional with 25 years of experience looking for an opportunity where I can leverage my experience to drive growth and cut costs. Currently residing in Illinois but planning to relocate to the Texas Hill Country mid 2020.

$100,000 to $3,000,000

United States > Illinois

We are Management Consultants in a consulting firm which assists clients in locating funding for their projects. We work with hundreds of investors from across the country, including Europe and the Pacific Rim. We have been doing this for 12 years. For a copy of the "General Criteria For Funding" feel free to contact us through this network

$5,000,000 to $50,000,000

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