How to Use Your Business Plan to Get Investors Excited About Your Startup

If you want to get prospective investors excited about your company, here are some business plan basics you should try, and what you should avoid.
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Certain business plans stand out more than others for investors. You want yours to be one they get excited about. That excitement can quickly translate into the funding you need to launch your startup.

Consider these strategies for enhancing your to ramp up excitement among target investors.

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Real-world use cases

Every investor is looking for some tangible evidence of a return should they make an investment. You can create hypothetical use cases that illustrate how your product or service can solve a specific issue. And, investors might be interested or they could still be unsure. 

A real-world example of that same product or service being used by specific audience members to alleviate that pain point noted in your business plan will have a far greater impact. As part of this real-world use case, it also helps to have direct quotes from these users that explain how your product or service has addressed their problems. 

The business plan package

Although investors want specific proof that your is relevant, compelling and sustainable, you can also build excitement through your template and format. It’s having a vivid visual presentation that can make it easier for investors to connect the idea of a credible return with your product or service. 

Some visual business plan package ideas include creating a video business presentation that features a product demo, customer testimonials and footage of the product or service in use. Another useful visual business plan template is an infographic that lets you present quantitative evidence in an easy-to-read format. 

Related: Make Sure to Ask Yourself These 3 Business Questions for 2021

Business plan turnoffs 

However, there are also some common mistakes with business plan development that should be avoided. Here are some of the worst ones.

1. Inflating your idea

Don’t make your business idea into something it isn’t just in hopes of drawing in investors. As experienced business leaders, these investors usually know what works and what doesn’t. 

Trying to inflate what your product or service can deliver will only turn them off and potentially create a bad name for you in what’s often a tight investment community. 

Do this instead: Use practical, real-world numbers to hook investors when you describe the market opportunity you’re tackling.

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2. Keeping it vague

Although it might be difficult to gauge quantitative results around timing, customer engagement, , break-even point and profitability, no investor wants to invest in a business with vague goals, timing or financials. 

Business plan generalizations might also show investors you haven’t done your homework in terms of in-depth market research. Therefore, there could be unforeseen challenges or untapped opportunities that investors know about but you don’t. This can make them feel wary about your business idea, your ability to lead and grow a company, and, therefore, on the return possible. 

Do this instead: Clearly draw timelines laying out specific financial and customer acquisition goals somewhere in the presentation.

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3. Having too many priorities and tactics

It’s commendable to be enthusiastic about what you want to accomplish. But you also need to be realistic. Again, if you’re turning to investors who have more experience than you, they will probably be able to gauge your priority list’s feasibility fairly quickly. 

Do this instead: Before investors look at a business plan filled with 10+ priorities or 20 tactics you plan to pursue, trim the list. Have a few key items aligned with your overall business idea’s ability to solve a specific problem.  

4. Writing in a vacuum

Even if you do all the research possible and revise your business plan after thoughtful reflection, it still only reflects your opinion and vision. In not placing your business plan before a second set of eyes, you can miss some significant information that should be in your business plan. 

Do this instead: Go beyond your own tunnel vision and get feedback and outside advice from a mentor, colleagues or business advisor. They often see what you cannot because you are too close to the business idea and plan to spot it. Also, conduct a survey of your target audience to learn more about them, their problems and the market. 

Related: How to Know When That Business Idea Is Good Enough to Pursue

5. Boring the investor into disinterest

In your attempt to cover everything you think is vital to touting your business idea, your business plan might start to rival War and Peace in length. The result: anyone reading it could quickly grow bored from information overload. 

Do this instead: Undertake a substantial edit to remove superfluous content. 

Avoiding business plan mistakes

Through tangible business use examples and carefully crafted business plan formatting, you can avoid the aforementioned business plan mistakes. You’ll also generate greater enthusiasm in your target investor audience. They will be better able to visualize and engage with your business idea and its potential. 

Seeing the possibility of a significant return for themselves and an array of ongoing benefits for backing your business idea will keep them excited for potential future investments, too. 

Related: How to Build Your 2021 Business Strategy in the Face of Uncertainty

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