by Burke Franklin, Founder and CEO, Business Power Tools
For a moment, put yourself in an investor’s position (actually, do this throughout the plan writing process). What would YOU want to know about a business before you invested in it? Think about investing money in a friend’s business to get the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual experience of GIVING AWAY YOUR CASH. Now, more than ever, you must be convincing to the bone. Expect that competent people with money will want to feel comfortable with you and the answers you give. You will find that, no matter who you are and what you are doing, you will need answers to these basic questions…
- Who are you?
- Why are you in business?
- What is the opportunity here?
- How big is the market?
- What will you sell?
- How will your business be structured?
- How will you make money?
- Who are your competitors and what makes you better than them?
- Who are your most important customers and how will you reach them?
- Do you have any strategic partners?
- Who are the people running your business and what experience do you/they have?
- Who are your advisors?
- What have you accomplished so far?
- What still needs to be accomplished and how will you accomplish this?
- How much money do you need to start/grow?
- What will you do with my money?
- How much money will investors make?
- When and how will investors make their money back?
Your Executive Summary will either inspire an investor emotionally or not (that’s how most people make decisions). This will only open the door to further discussion and exploration. The rest of your plan must give people the whole story complete with proof, logic and an introduction to the principles who will build and run the business.
When you approach investors with a complete plan A) you will have the above answers firmly in your head, B) you will be able to speak with certainty, C) your plan will have written documentation that adds credibility, D) having done the math, you will feel great about your prospects for personal wealth as well as a huge payoff for your investor(s).
Hopefully, at some point down the road, you will be in a position to become an investor for another person’s million dollar idea. Who will you be in that place? What would they have to show you to get you to invest in their dreams?