How do you market a business plan to potential investors?
There are three things to keep in mind when marketing your business plan: 1. Know your audience. You are targeting investors, not donors. They want to know how much money they can make by investing in your idea, and how soon they'll start seeing it. 2. Sell your business, not your concept. Prove you know what you're talking about. Emphasize cash flows (to prove survivability), profit margins, and generally anything related to return on investment (ROI). 3. Keep it short. Investors do not want to read a seventy-page business plan. In fact, most of them receive a lot of proposals, so they just won't have the time. Thus, your plan should have two parts: the executive summary, which should be no longer than one page and boils down the important stuff (ROI!), and the rest of your plan, which 99.44% of investors won't read until they decide to invest. In summary: Your executive summary is how you market your plan. Keep it short and succinct. Make it interesting, and, above all, emphasize your ROI to show investors that you have THEIR best interest in mind. Can you accomplish the goals that you have described in your business plan? You can? Terrific! That means you have a boatload of experience and are highly qualified, because you have operated this type of business before. Maybe, maybe not... Well, is your management team qualified or does someone on the team fill in those 'gaps'? They better. While I agree with all the points made above by PencilSharp (who is indeed very sharp!), there is one area that was not touched upon and that is management. In essence, you are marketing or selling yourself to investors. Sure, they are interested in your concept and they are even more interested in ROI (the what's in it for me syndrome), but neither of those are important if they don't think that you can deliver. Make sure you know what you are doing before meeting with potential investors and certainly make sure that you are qualified or that you have people on board who are. It's highly unlikely that Mr. Venture Smith-Capital will toss a million bucks your way because he likes your tie, unless of course you are an up-and-coming fasion designer who specializes in high-end neckwear. Be ready to explain why you are the right person for this business. And good luck!