Florida 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.

Florida Investors

Florida > Fort Lauderdale

I am 39 yrs old, married with four wonderful children. I am the chief pilot and Instructor of an airline charter company in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I have a strong professional background and extensive experience in all facets of the aviation industry and I am looking to apply funds and expertise to help grow businesses connected to the industry. I am open to investing in other sectors but my preference is for businesses that have a focus on services rather than manufacturing.

$50,000 to $230,000

Florida > Jacksonville

40 years franchise executive and franchise owner. Individual investor as a silent partner. Married with 3 "children" and 9 grandchildren. Franchise owner with McDonalds through out the north east.

$100,000 to $200,000

Florida > Cape Coral

I work as an independent broker in Cape Coral, Florida. We provide funding for all types of businesses and various circumstances.

$250,000 to $50,000,000

Florida > New Smyrna Beach

Looking for business that need cash in return for a secure return on investment.

$1 to $100,000

Florida > Boynton Beach

Many years of experience in the investment and financial industry. I look for opportunities that make sense and invest in people.

$100,000 to $10,000,000

Florida > Hollywood

Married 37 years. 2 daughters, 2 grand kids. College degree: two years BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, Mexico. Business experience: Owner, Vice president: Plastic container manufacturing company, Mexico, city. Move to EUA August 1984. Owner, President: Imports company. Toys, Gifts from Far East into EUA, Wholesale, Retail, Distribution. Owner, President: Three stores retail operation. Luggage and travel accessories. Miami, Fl. Family investment in: Automobile Dealerships. Mexico city. Owner, president: Small distribution sunglasses and reading glasses. Passion for family. Passion for automobiles in every form. Specially Formula One racing. Trying to come back from semi-retirement

$5,000,000 to $20,000,000

Florida > Altamonte Springs

Eager investor looking to provide capital to start-ups. Technology and application projects preferred but open to all.

$500 to $100,000

Florida > Casselberry

MBA, BA in Finance. Have invested in 3 privately held firms, 1 real estate related, 2 were financial services.

$10,000 to $250,000