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

Military Veteran and Professional Aviator.

$1,000 to $20,000

United States > Ohio

* 31-year-old male currently residing in Columbus, OH * Individual investor looking to invest in both start-ups and small businesses seeking growth capital (open to most industries) * Willing to leverage 10-years of Business Development / Corporate Strategy / M&A experience to entrepreneur via advisory-level involvement (open to silent involvement as well) * M.B.A Graduate of The Ohio State Fisher College of Business with concentrations in Finance and Strategy

$10,000 to $250,000

United States > Ohio

Extensive experience in waste industry, vending, and manufacturing.

$50,000 to $500,000

United States > Ohio

33yo single father based in Dublin, OH. BS in Finance; MS in Accounting Diverse background in retail operations/project management Most experience in securities with 35% return. Looking to expand and support locally (preferably). Ultimately looking to transition to managing investments full time within the next 5 years. Join me! Not only is investing a passion of mine, but so is elevating others. With that being said, my involvement can be based upon what you/the business demands.

$1,000 to $20,000

United States > Ohio

Technology professional with extensive experience in mergers & acquisitions, as well as in evaluating the value and potential benefit of business investment. I'm looking for a select few businesses in which to invest, and to assist the owners of these businesses to grow profitably.

$100 to $20,000

United States > Ohio

I am interested in finding smart investment opportunities. Looking for mainly advisory or silent. I am an individual investor.

$10,000 to $50,000

United States > Ohio

I am a 29 yr old male who resides in Ohio, NYC, and Florida. I have been self employed since 19. I have owned my own business in the insurance industry(usa) since 2005 and an energy reduction business (international) since 2010. I am an individual investor actively looking for additional business opportunity's in several fields, but do want to limit that the ownership group of the current business be based in the USA. There are currently several types of investments I am looking for. If you are a start up with any new technology I do demand that all needed patent's have been obtained. Another alternative I am actively seeking is any small company/start-up that may have energy saving's technology that would 1) help me to present with my current fortune 500 clients for greater achieved savings goals, but 2) to help allow me to channel your products into the right business owner hands to maximize your/our potential future success.

$1 to $600,000

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