How will you get funding if you can’t get into consideration?

I am always looking for good venture presentation ideas. The other day an email from Harvard Business Review caught my eye. It was for a book titled How to Write a Great Business Plan, which looks like a pretty reasonable book. What really got me thinking, though, were the wise words in the blurb:

Judging by all the hoopla surrounding business plans, you’d think the only things standing between would-be entrepreneurs and spectacular success are glossy five-color charts, bundles of meticulous-looking spreadsheets, and decades of month-by-month financial projections. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, often the more elaborately crafted a business plan, the more likely the venture is to flop. Why? Most plans waste too much ink on numbers and devote too little to information that really matters to investors. The result? Investors discount them.

If you read nothing else about business plans, read the above paragraph again. It is loaded with truth – particularly the last three words.

Business Plan Don’ts

  • Don’t make your business plan look like a magazine or a promotional brochure for a resort. Too many graphics and pretty pictures detract from the desired image of serious business savvy and conservative financial management. Include graphs that illustrate important facts and, if you include pictures, they should be of your invention, facilities, equipment or founders.
  • Don’t put your business plan on a PowerPoint. A business plan should be a Word doc or Mac equivalent that can be opened on a PC. Convert it to a .pdf file so it looks good and doesn’t get corrupted through email. Many investors won’t open a huge PPT file and others just don’t want to look at a PPT or are concerned about what tracking devices it might contain. A PowerPoint is a presentation tool that is used to highlight important points of a verbal presentation a la the theory that people better retain information that they both see and hear. It is not a business plan tool.
  • Don’t attempt to entertain your target audience. They don’t want to be entertained. They want to make profits from investing in businesses.
  • Don’t show financial projections into the billion$ or hundreds of million$ during your first three years – even if your figures delude you into thinking it is possible to reach those kinds of revenues. Nobody will believe you even if your figures are correct, and you will come off looking sadly naive.
  • Don’t omit a detailed description of your production sequence, launch plans, marketing plans, and build-out plans. This is what investors want to see and many of the business plans that come across my desk are lacking in these details.



4 thoughts on “How will you get funding if you can’t get into consideration?

  1. Hello outstanding website! Does running a blog such as this take
    a lot of work? I have no knowledge of computer programming however I was
    hoping to start my own blog in the near future.
    Anyways, if you have any suggestions or techniques
    for new blog owners please share. I know this is off topic nevertheless I just had to ask.

    • Blogging is time consuming and, as I am experiencing now, the technology is not always reliable. Some of that has to do with changes at the sites where you want your blog to appear and some of it has to do with changes in your own computer. When that happens, blogging becomes more time consuming. I am getting ready to add some more articles soon, but this is a labor of love. Don’t expect great financial benefits. In fact, don’t expect any financial benefits from the blog itself unless you intend to work full-time on your blog and present the types of articles that appeal to advertisers. For me, Bold Ventures is a way of getting advice out to my potential clients. On occasion, someone will contact me but I have a thousand articles out on the Internet in various publications such as Zack’s, Motley Fool, Houston Chronicle and others and only one person has contacted me as a result of those articles. People follow my blog and rave about some of the articles, but if you are considering blogging as a way to make a living, hire out as a professional blog writer and charge for each blog article. Otherwise, consider it a service — a way of giving back to your industry.

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