How To Write A Winning Business Plan That Attracts Investors

As a professional business plan writer & business consultant, I know a thing or two about how to write a winning business plan that attracts investors.  First off....

You are selling yourself.  Of course you are trying to sell your business idea or your business, but at the end of the day, you are selling yourself. This is what everyone writing a business plan needs to understand. Before they buy your business plan, before they make an investment, they believe you and believe that you have the capabilities of executing what you have presented in the business plan or business proposal.

So how do you write a business plan that will attract and retain investors? This starts with understanding what the reader wants. Each investor is different. Some investors want details on financials, while others are more interested in the marketing plan. Some investors will only invest in Ecommerce operations and other investors stick to real estate. Understanding what the reader is interested in, is important. Similarly, whom you present the business plan to matters. This means you should consider not presenting a business plan to someone who only invest in real estate if your company is seeking funding to launch a brand new software company.  I've written more about this in a blog post titled understanding the audience of your business plan.

Do you know what they say about assumptions? Well, regardless, your business plan will be based on assumptions. These assumptions need to be rooted in facts. In the Market Research and Industry Analysis section of a business plan, the facts need to be stated clearly and need to enhance your arguments. These facts should be taken from credible sources such as Government Census, Public Company Annual Reports and unbiased marketing reports. The assumptions throughout your business plan will be rooted in this data. If you do not have viable and credible sources for your Market Research and Industry Analysis, it will be hard to sell your assumptions to anyone.  Never mind selling the financial projections in your business plan that are based on those assumptions.

Presentation is everything. The first thing they see is the cover page.  I've seen plenty of well-written and thoughtfully crafted business plans that looked like pure garbage. It is the small things that matter when presenting a business plan. If you have taken the time to research and carefully craft a business plan, take the time to finish it correctly. This means a nice cover page, squarely finished pages, subject titles and pictures and infographics to explain your business proposition. The formatting and presentation of the business plan is commonly overlooked but it's quite important. You don't want to ask for a million-dollar investment on the back of a napkin, unless you're asking from a friendly investor like your uncle. But if you are heading off to venture capital offices or want to be taken seriously, make sure your business plan is presentable.

Make sure the business plan is complete. After you have finished the first version of your business plan, ask yourself, "Am I missing anything". Present the business plan to friendly individuals and internal team members and have them ask questions. If the questions asked are not answered in the business plan, revise the business plan and make sure those questions are answered. A business plan is a working document so it will constantly be revised.   After seeing so many business plans, I developed a questionnaire on questions to ask before you begin a business plan, they are the questions I ask my clients before writing their business plan.   

Make sure you are solving a big problem. The best businesses solve a big problem for people everywhere or somewhere. Ask yourself if your business solves a problem or a pain point that people or other businesses are having. Clearly state what the problem currently is and how your business will provide a solution for that problem.  For example, if you are writing a restaurant business plan, then the problem could be that there are no restaurants nearby. 

All of these things in conjunction will help you write an award-winning business plan that attracts investors. Attracting investors does not just happen automatically, you have to go out and find the investors that would most likely invest in your business plan. Once you have targeted the right investors, send them a version of your business plan and follow up. One-on-one meetings in person are recommended when trying to get an investment from an investor. If you need help developing a business plan to attract financing for your business or start up, contact me today. Text or call 203-685-0346. If I do not pickup, please leave a message.  You can also email me at