To some degree, it depends on the stage of your business. One constant I`ve found is that the potential reward needs to be commensurate with the perceived risk.
You didn`t indicate the stage of your business, so since I work with early stage companies, and have more history with that group; I`ll give you my observations accordingly.
1. A perfect business plan will not get you investors - but a poor one will most certainly loose them for you.
2. Capital is attracted to things that are organized, concise and clearly communicated - repelled by those opposites.
3. In virtually every client case where capital is acquired the following two conditions existed:
a. The investor resonated with the "problem" being solved by the product/service.
b. The investor feel a "connection" with the entrepreneur.
4. Finally, while the "idea" (concept, etc) may excite them, it is your ability to execute that moves them to invest. Thus the "team" is crucial.
Hope this helps.
A few different sources to consider:
1) Friends and family
2) Friends of Friends and family
3) College alumni
4) Current employers (Weird but true)
5) Local Business chamber of commerce or similar
6) our site (http://www.AdvisorGarage.com)
plus the usual angels, VCs etc...
After a few years of wondering the same thing that you are - I finally realized something. I realized that...I am an investor! So I started asking myself questions like "Would I invest in me - if I didn`t know myself or my business?" or "If a friend came to me and presented the same investment oportunity - presented exactly the same way - would I support them?"
After I started asking myself those questions - I started working on making myself become the kind of person/business that people would want to invest their time/money in. Ever since I started working on myself - it has been much easier to convince others. Because now I have something to show them that they can latch onto. Of course...now...I have to prove myself - that my idea was worth their time and money.
My 2 cents
Dramagenics is right on.
If the idea is good enough that you are putting your own money, or life saving into it, it is probably a good idea and some other investors will be interested in.
And guess what, if you really invested your own money and time, even 100K can get a lot of things in order (patents, suppliers, very accurate financial planning etc). Investors like that.