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 > Palm Beach Gardens

We are an organization that facilitates interaction between individual investors and Florida entrepreneurs through Member networking and our monthly meetings and presentations. Our investors are private individuals or groups of private individuals who invest in emerging and expanding companies. The level of investment is typically in the range $50,000-$2,000,000. Local entrepreneurs are in constant demand of financial and executive resources to help start and/or grow their businesses. Our organization was established in the fall of 2005 to facilitate the interaction between local Entrepreneurs (opportunities) and Angel Investors (resources) and to help promote business growth in Florida.

$50,000 to $3,000,000

Florida > Orlando

I run my own successful rental business and am looking for other opportunities to fund my retirement. Not particular about industry, interested in anything with strong growth or expansion potential. Prefer to have minimal involvement but can help in the beginning if the investment is right.

$1,000 to $25,000

Florida > Miami

Over 6 years of international experience in finance and audit in the bank industry. Looking for great investment opportunities (cash available: $2m) Recently worked as a Vice President of Finance of a publicly traded company in the Healthcare industry based in Florida. I was responsible for all filings with the SEC, along with the coordination, analysis, and preparation of financial plans and operating forecasts. Prior to that, I was Vice President of a Merchant Bank in NYC, where I managed a team of analysts for investment opportunities, sourcing deal flows on potential targets, and was responsible for post-acquisition management and financial reporting. I was involved in three reverse merger transactions. I worked for 4 years at Ernst & Young in both Paris and London, where I became a senior auditor in the Banking Capital Market Department. Prior to that, at Natixis Bleichroeder in Paris, I had an active participation as a market-maker on the Euro Stoxx desk.

$50,000 to $2,000,000

Florida > Fort Walton Beach

I am an MBA student looking to possibly make investments. I am looking to diversify how and where I put my money. I will consider investments in any category, but will have more passion for projects in film or music.

$0 to $50,000

Florida > Lake Worth

45 years old. 20 years of investment banking experience with start up, seasoned, and mature companies as investor and operator. Special interest in investing in and then bringing companies public. Any industry with preference in technology. Investor, operator, hands on or off, advisory, etc. Strong rolodex of investor co partners as well.

$10,000 to $1,000,000

Florida > Lakeland

I am a corporate lawyer in Lakeland, FL. We are a hybrid law firm, in that we provide legal services as well as business advice. I worked as a supply-chain management consultant, financial analyst, and senior acquisition analyst prior to entering law school. In my time as an attorney, I have aided hundreds of businesses throughout the business cycle, including the successful purchase and sale of businesses totaling more than $300MM in enterprise value.

$3,000 to $200,000

Florida > Tampa

I am both a real estate investor and real estate agent in the Tampa Bay area. I have a business background, as well as non profit experience.

$100 to $100,000

Florida > Daytona Beach

I am 25 years old. I used to work for 3 years as project engineer in the biggest oil company in the world Saudi Aramco. Currently I am working with Saudi Airline as a professional in which the company has sent me to US in order to get my pilot license. I have one investment in the entertainment field located in Washington D.C. I like to be part of new investments and new ideas. I am young but I am a fast learner. Moreover, I believe that the ship with two captains sinks. I will be part of the project I will help and I will support as needed. Otherwise, I will be more than happy just to watch and read the reports.

$50,000 to $150,000