If you expect the business investor to come up with the money, you need to buy his confidence. If you have an organized mind with well-defined plans and ideas about your business, all you have to do is to turn them into winning business plans.
Let us come back at the beginning: in previous articles we saw what a business plan is, and how to write one. The skill here is to customize it. It must offer a solid perspective which appeals to investors.
On one hand we have all the data we need to build a business plan: the description of the company, the characteristics of the product or service on offer, the market analysis, the plans for implementing your strategies, the data on your team of managers and all the relevant financial data. The necessary strategic qualities will beconciseness, organization and emphasis.
Conciseness and Detail
Concentrate a great deal of information in a concise text, shunning plans which extend over hundreds of pages. The plan should start from the premise that the reader knows nothing about your business. No busy investor will have the time to read a massive volume. He or she will simply not be prepared to plough through the technicalities of the writing.
Structure the information well. Balance the text, the figures and the graphics. Good formatting will capture attention. Start with a well-written executive summary, concentrating all the essential data in an optimistic, compelling form.
Stress the parts of maximum interest for an investor — the profit perspectives and the low rate of risk.
Company Strategy on Marketing and Sales
Within the existing market environment — the perspective of the company and product. The business plan should describe the market and the competitors, placing your own business in the context and revealing your competitive edge. It must specify market share and market trends. Present the sales, marketing and pricing strategies so as to show how these will influence the growth potential of your product or service.
The means to implement the strategies. The description of the team should express competence and commitment.
The financial resources of the company, profit perspectives and potential return on investment. The data should support the details of the business plan to be credible. It should reveal the true potential of the plan.
Clearly state the risks and uncertainties in your business to avoid unnecessary litigation. An exit strategy reassures an investor and acts as the final pro-investment argument.
The Business Investor
Let us try and get to know him or her in order to train our “selling” abilities. If we cannot make his or her personal acquaintance, let us at least imagine what we should expect. There are two main categories of business investors: the “angel investors” and the “venture capitalists”.
They are also called “Bank of Mom and Dad”. People or entities who are willing to invest in a startup business for a percentage of the equity. Angels tend to invest in businesses they understand or participate in. An “angel” is usually directly interested and wants to take part in the business activity.
They wish to have their money back.
If you happen to know the investor personally, your business plan may not have to be perfect. If the investor is not a personal acquaintance, the business plan should focus on his interests, which specify how the investor will safely recuperate his money.
Venture Capital Investors
People or entities willing to invest in a highly profitable venture already in operation, with realistic possibilities of fast growth within around five years.
A high rate of return, minimum risk for his investment.
To capture the attention of a venture capitalist, your business plan should aim for perfection, as this kind of approach is made daily by dozens of other entrepreneurs looking for investment.
The Business Investor