When it comes to venture capital and business investment of any kind, the quality of your business plan really can make the difference between success and failure. Investors have limited time to search through dozens of prospective opportunities, so your plan has to stand out from the crowd. You’ve got to articulate clearly and succinctly why people should invest in you from the first page and it’s a hard thing to get right. You can’t take too long to get to the points investors care about, and you must cover each area correctly. No matter how good your business is a badly written business plan can turn investors off.

Over the years, we’ve learned a few lessons on just what makes business plans and information memorandums work. If you’re in the process of writing your business plan, here are 9 tips for getting it right.

1. Show you understand your market opportunity
2. Be realistic about the size of your market and learn how to estimate it sensibly
3. Recognise that competition can be good to prove that your market opportunity is real
4. Use proof points that confirm and validate your market opportunity
5. Use defensible growth and fiscal projections
6. Remember People invest in People so your ability to execute is key to any investment decision
7. Keep it simple – a well-written plan keeps to the point
8. Make your executive summary detachable
9. Make time to write a good plan – it takes longer than you think


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