If you want to start your business or you want to grow your business, you are going to need to rely on a source of capital. This capital doesn’t usually come out of thin air – you usually need to rely on an investor. However, it isn’t as easy as knocking on an investor’s door and asking for a sum of money – or else there would be businesses popping up left and right. An investor wants to know that they will not only get their money back if they give you a loan, but also that they will make a strong return. In order to do this, you need to have a detailed and organized business plan. Here are 5 tips for creating an investor-ready business plan.
- Be straightforward in your message. It might be hard to ask someone for money, but it is important to not use too many flowery words to pad your request for however much you need. An investor wants to get down to brass tacks – they don’t want to swim in a bunch of niceties to get to the bottom of what you are trying to say or what your business is all about. So, stick to the facts and numbers – and skip the poetry.
- Be conservative in your estimates. An investor wants to know that you are focused on the bottom line and how to raise profits. This means that you have to cut out a lot of costs that might hinder how wide your profit margins are. This is especially important for an investor who wants a percentage of the profits. Not only do you have to show projections of how to keep your business growing, but also how to fit in a potential investor.
- Be sure to use lots of graphs, charts and photographs. Words are great to describe your business, but there is no better way to show your projections than with visuals. With a pie graph you can show different market segmentations and with graphs you can show profit growth and fluctuations in the economy. Photographs are important if you want to show a potential investor what your product or service will look like. If you only have a few pages to drive your point home, a photograph alone is indeed worth a thousand words.
- Be sure to make your business plan attractive. You can visit www.business-plans.co.uk for great business startup plan templates. It might be wise to amend the template slightly to make your business plan stand out from the best. Investors like to see something different once in a while. Even having a nice, readable font can set your business apart. While you don’t want to get too creative, a little creativity can go a long way.
- Be sure not to make any promises you can’t keep. You want to be as honest as possible in your business plan. You might feel inclined to exaggerate on a few points, especially if you want to make your plan more attractive to an investor, but you don’t want to go overboard. There is no better way to put a wrench in the works than by making a false claim in your business plan that later you will have to prove, especially if you can’t prove it.