Business Plan Appeal - Five Rules For Writing Attention Grabbing Headlines

Michael Elia

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The success of a business plan stands or falls on its ability to get potential investors to take a moment to read it. Nothing works better for doing this than well-written headlines designed to interrupt and engage investors. Here are five fundamental rules for writing and incorporating headlines into your business plan.

  1. More important than anything else, try to get investors’ self-interests into every headline you write. Make your headlines suggest to investors that there is something about your business plan or venture they want. This rule seems so obvious. Yet, absent omitting headlines entirely, it is the rule most often violated. Replace overused one word headings like “Company", “Products", “Market", Financials" with headlines that appeal to investors’ self-interests like making money, protecting their investment, or building trust.
  2. Be sure to get news worthy information like new products, new uses for old products, or technological breakthroughs into your headlines whenever possible.
  3. Avoid “curiosity” headlines. Marketing and advertising professionals have proven through testing and experience that the effectiveness of the average curiosity headline is, at best, doubtful. For every curiosity headline that succeeds in getting an investor to read further, a dozen will fail. Instead, combine curiosity with news or self-interest to create a single, more compelling headline capable of drawing investors into your plan.
  4. Take a positive angle with your headlines. Avoid headlines that paint gloomy or negative pictures of your business venture or markets. For example, if you are targeting a market with millions of suffers, emphasize in your headlines how the business venture can benefit them.
  5. Demonstrate through your headlines that here is a business plan that will generate results and is backed by evidence. Let your headlines educate investors about the opportunity, risks, and the available options.

Of course it goes without saying that in using any of these rules be sure to make your headline believable. In most cases, “too good to be true” headlines will not draw experienced investors into your plan.

Mike Elia is a chief financial officer and an advisor to venture capitalists and leverage buyout specialists. His business plan ebook "Business Plan Secrets Revealed" shows how to make your business the most appealing investment choice to venture capitalist, bankers, and other business investors. For his free business plan guide visit


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