Ohio 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.

Ohio Investors

United States > Ohio

I'm a serial entrepreneur that has built and sold 2 companies. I'm looking to put some of my capital to work.

$100,000 to $5,000,000

United States > Ohio

I am a 43 year old married mother of 2 teenage boys who lives in rural northwest Ohio. I have a bachelors degree in nursing. I started my career as an oncology nurse before transitioning into the home health field. I spent time in case management and quality nursing before working my way up to director of home health at our local hospital. 4 years ago, I started a home care agency from scratch. I recently sold it and am looking for opportunities as a silent investor. I consider myself well rounded, as prior to my career in nursing, I had experience in the investment, engineering, and hospitality industries. I'm not part of an investment group and would be acting as an individual investor.

$10,000 to $50,000

United States > Ohio

Experienced and successful businessman in a highly regulated industry is ready to chase passion of plant medicine. Over the past 4 years my education in the cannabis space has included national conventions, west coast working trips, and hundreds of on-line hours of learning. My partner and I are looking to invest capital and sweat into growing the right company with the right people.

$10,000 to $500,000

United States > Ohio

35 year old technology/software product manager making six figure salary in Columbus, Ohio. Previous experience in management and technology consulting and finance. MBA and a Bsc in Finance.

$10,000 to $50,000

United States > Ohio

My objective is to use my liquid funds to invest in a company that needs the help and grow with it.

$0 to $15,000

United States > Ohio

If you have a rock star idea or existing business that needs experience, know-how and capital to take it to the next level and beyond, let me know! Been there, done that several times over!

$25,000 to $2,000,000

United States > Ohio

I am looking to provide working capital and assistance with starting a new business. I am married and I reside in Columbus, Ohio and I am willing to consider opportunities throughout the United States. I have a Bachelors Degree in Economics and a Masters Degree in Data Science. I am available as a silent investor or I can assist with general licensing, accounting, web site design, marketing, etc. look forward to hearing your investment ideas.

$10,000 to $50,000

United States > Ohio

Extensive experience in waste industry, vending, and manufacturing.

$50,000 to $500,000