By Venture Planning Associates. Used by permission

How do you build a bridge between your project and the financing you need? Simple: Write a killer business plan.

Entrepreneurs would receive more serious consideration from VCs, angel investors, and other potential funding sources if they realized that they are selling a financial package to the financial marketplace, rather than their product or service to a consumer. Your business plan is your financial package.

What Every Investor Wants to Know

The goal of every business plan should be to address upside potential, downside risk, management, potential dilution, and liquidity issues. Investors are constantly comparing one investment against another and ranking them in numerous categories. At a recent Venture Capital Conference we attended 150 business plans were reviewed. Of these, only 25 asked for specific funding; only 12 had specific uses of funds; and only 5 had exit strategies for investors!

To Evaluate Your Own Project, put yourself in the place of the investor who wants to know the answers to these seven questions:

  1. How Much Can I Make? (ROI expected.)

  2. How Much Can I Lose? (Loan guarantees or other contingent liabilities.)

  3. Who Says This Thing Will Work? (Third party verification of assumptions and markets.)

  4. Who Else Is In The Deal? (The management/investment team and their qualifications.)

  5. How Big is the Market? (Is it growing? Is it hot?)

  6. How Will the Company Reach Its Clients? (Verification of marketability.)

  7. How Do I Get My Money Out and When? (Exit strategy for IPO, Acquisition or Merger.)


Venture Financing

Preparing Your Venture Proposal

Venture Capital Basics: Recommendations to Entrepreneurs

Investment Opportunity Selection by Investors

Investment Evaluation Criteria

How Investors Read a Business Plan

Investor's Questions To Be Answered by the Business Plan

Business Plan DOs and DON'Ts

Venture Planning

Venture Map To Financing

Venture Planning Checklist

Customer Assessment

Venture Model

Financial Assessment

Overall Venture Evaluation and Reality Check

Would-Be Entrepreneur

Reality Check

Be a Negative Optimist

SWOT Analysis for a Start-Up Venture

Top 10 List of “Easiest Businesses To Start”


Venturepreneur: 8x8 Winning Habits

Startup Firm

12 Reasons Why Companies Fail

5 Key Risks Critical to the Survival of New Companies

5 Critical Success Factors for New Ventures

11 Keys To a Good First Venture

Milestone Chart

Indiaco Milestone Program

The Start-Up Capital Formation Process

5 Tips for Internet Startups

Venture Management

5 Critical Success Factor for New Ventures

4 Entrepreneurial Strategies

What Changes as Company Grows

Business Architect

Business Model

Selecting the Right Business Model for Your Startup Venture

New Business Models