As I discussed in the article The Power of Using OPM…Other People’s Money, most entrepreneurs get lost in the maze of figuring out what makes an investor bite and thus fund one business plan versus another. The people with the money have a set of rules and invest in things that the poor and middle class are not even aware of. To successfully raise money, you must understand the rules that the rich use to make their investment decisions.
If you wanted to find the formula or rules that the rich use, the best way to approach this problem is for you to write the following down on a piece of paper: “I have $10,000,000 to invest and I MUST invest it.” Now, suppose I bring you a deal and I want you to invest in my new company. What questions will you ask me? What specific issues will you want addressed? What are you looking for? What would be important for you to learn from me that will give you confidence that I have a shot at making this deal work?
The answer to these questions should be addressed in a well thought out, comprehensive business plan. Your business plan is a great sales tool and is your road map to your new venture. A well thought-out business plan should answer/address fifteen key points:
It is not at all uncommon to spend six months researching and preparing a business plan. Remember, your goal in raising capital is to get funded. You will not even receive a return telephone call, much less get a face to face meeting, if you haven’t done your homework. The key to raising money is to prepare a first class well thought out succinct business plan. As American Express would tell you… “Don’t leave home without it.”
Keith J. Cunningham