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 > Miami

43 years, married, Brazilian. Industrial director, MBA Degree (Business Administration), Electrical Engineer.

$5,000 to $100,000

Florida > Palm Harbor

Husband and Father of 5 children. 29 years in the Information Technology sector holding C-Level to board level positions with small to international fortune 1,000 companies.

$150,000 to $1,500,000

Florida > Naples

Our firm is a capital provider, boutique investment firm and our core business in providing equity and debt. We are funded by an institution so capital is not an issue if the deal is right. We're active in the smaller tier but we can swing upward doing club deals with other institutions. We provide bridge loans, preferred equity, mezzanine loans and equity financing for value added distressed and opportunistic transactions. We have more than 50 years of collective experience.

$2,000,000 to $25,000,000

Florida > St Petersburg

PhD with more than 20 years entrepreneur experience in scientific related business located in the Tampa Bay area. Interested in investing in innovative products and / or services. Can be advisory only or hands-on partner.

$1,000 to $500,000

Florida > Bradenton

I am a 50 something, married entrepreneur from the UK. As our children are keen athletes, we have spent the past 4 years in Bradenton during the academic year. I am educated to MBA level, and recently sold my nursery school after 20 years of successful operation. I also previously owned an apprenticeship training company. I started both companies from scratch, therefore I am familiar with taking a company from the initial stages all the way through the growing cycle. As I am now spending more time in the US, I am looking for a company to invest, either as a silent or working partner and I would be looking to own at least 50% of the company.

$100,000 to $125,000

Florida > Bradenton

Experienced business owner and manager. Married, semi-retired; 67 years young. Splits his time between, MI, FL and TX. Degreed manufacturing engineer with a degree in Marketing. Willing to be hands-on, or silent partner, depending on situation. Large amount of contacts in the manufacturing arena and various business segments. Experience: trade shows; business representative development; product advertisement; trade publications; product pricing; quality control; product packaging.

$1,000 to $50,000

Florida > St Augustine

I am an individual investor who recently sold my previous business and am looking to reinvest a portion of the proceeds. Any involvement considered.

$1 to $100,000

Florida > Lakeland

Retired professor of business, with MBA and Ph.D. and experience in business start-ups in the U.S. and in Latin America. Bilingual in Spanish. Desire to help businesses to develop. Individual investor.

$1,000 to $50,000