Starting a new business can be exciting and hopeful, but this good feeling can quickly fade when you consider the time-consuming and tedious process of developing a business plan. It’s that necessary but dreaded step that has business owners procrastinating and wailing about how to do it correctly and professionally. Fortunately, business plan software can eliminate the guesswork and make the process much simpler. While it will not create the plan for you (though some come close! ), it will save you time and point you in the right direction, which is essential if you are submitting the plan to investors.
By the end of this business plan guide, you will have
- Determine which business planning software will fit your budget.
- Find the business plan software that fits your needs best, whether you want to get investors or just better organise your business and plan its finances for the future.
- You should be able to create a list of software tools to help you narrow down your options.
We also created a comparison chart that includes pricing and some of the most important features, so you can compare them quickly.
Let’s take a quick look at how business planning software can help you and why it might be the missing link in getting your business off to a good start. See Top 10 Matillion Alternatives For Data Integration – Techspider.
Why Use Business Plan Software?
Depending on the need, the lifecycle of a business will necessitate the development of a business plan. Here are three reasons why you should write a business plan.
- Investors will want to see a comprehensive business and financial plan, including projections and a well-thought-out strategy and goals before they hand over money.
- You’re starting a company: A business plan can assist you in forecasting future profits (or lack thereof) and providing a road map for the future. Essentially, it can serve as a safety net, indicating whether or not your business idea is viable.
- Your startup is stuck and/or requires strategic planning: A business plan can help you sort through data to put together a plan for your business that will make you more competitive and ready to grow.
The issue: Creating a business plan is a big job, and if you’re new to the business, you might not know what to include or how to craft it correctly. It takes a lot of time and there are many things to think about, some of which you may not know.
Business plan software can guide you through each section of the business plan while also providing professional templates and expert advice. With the right software, you will be able to create a professional business plan that accurately reflects your company’s current state and projects its future growth and potential to all stakeholders.
The Top 17 Business Plan Software Applications
The following are ten of the best business planning software tools available on the market. We hand-picked these tools because they meet the majority of the needs our community has when developing a business plan. Each has its own set of advantages, and your choice will be determined by your current requirements.
Enloop is a simple business plan solution ideal for the entrepreneur who wants to test the waters before investing. Enloop is one of the few tools that offer a free trial.
Enloop’s automated text writing (Autowrite) feature generates business plan text from data you’ve already entered. TextSync is another standout feature that automatically syncs your financial data into your text when you make changes to your numbers. There is no manual updating required.
BizPlanBuilder is one of the products that Business Power Tools offers. This company has been in business for 30 years and was started to help entrepreneurs start, run, and grow their businesses.
BizPlanBuilder is a comprehensive solution for creating business projections for investors and/or a future growth roadmap for serious entrepreneurs. The tool is strong and forward-looking, with financial projections for many years. It is also known for being easy to use, with step-by-step instructions, comments, advice, and video tutorials built right in.
LivePlan is an excellent solution for the aspiring entrepreneur (or entrepreneur at any stage) who requires a step-by-step guide to creating a professional business plan. LivePlan also has a comprehensive online learning centre where you can learn how to create and manage companies, make investor pitches, write business plans, and more.
We like LivePlan’s simple, intuitive interface and its one-page business plan, which prompts you to consider answers to key questions about your business strategy.
The same company that created LivePlan also created Business Plan Pro. It is a version of LivePlan’s cloud-based solution that can be used without an internet connection.
Business Plan Pro, like LivePlan, includes over 500 professional templates that you can customise for your business. It also includes the Easy Plan Wizard, which provides step-by-step guidance from business planning expert Tim Berry, the software’s creator, and the website Bplans.com.
It’s best for small businesses and nonprofits seeking a comprehensive suite of business management tools at a low cost.
In 1996, NFL Hall of Famer and entrepreneur Fran Tarkenton launched GoSmallBiz, a comprehensive suite of business tools. The product suite contains everything a small business needs to run and grow. The business plan builder is part of that suite.
Gosmallbiz, like other business plan builders, provides a step-by-step interface that guides you through each section. Also, the tool gives you different templates for financial reports to help you keep track of and manage your money.
#6. Business Sorter
This is best for small businesses that want a quick, simplified planning process without complex financial forecasting.
The Business Sorter is ideal for the busy business owner who wants to reduce the time it takes to create a professional business plan. Using its unique 273-card-sorting system, the platform claims that you can create a full business plan in one to two hours.
PlanGuru is a financial business planning software solution for small businesses that want to effectively budget, forecast, and manage their finances. PlanGuru is distinct from other business planning software tools in that it is solely dedicated to financial planning. If you’re looking for a standard business plan builder, this might not be the software for you.
Since 2002, iPlanner.NET has been providing online software and services to assist entrepreneurs, investors, and businesses with business planning and business and financial forecasting.
IPlanner.NET isn’t the most slick or visually appealing software, but it’s a low-cost, hard-working option for those who don’t require the bells and whistles of other tools but want the basic framework to build a business plan from pre-made templates. IPlanner.NET lets you set up a business modelling framework and make financial forecasts with the help of experts on your team and automatic calculations.
This is best for companies that want a quick, simplified planning process with financial forecasting.
MAUS Business Systems has been providing services to customers since 1990. Its tool suite assists advisors and small-to medium-sized businesses with business planning, financial planning, exit planning, quality assurance, and human resources, among other things. MAUS’ business plan creation software is known as MasterPlan Lean.
MasterPlan Lean, like Business Sorter, takes the headache out of the business plan creation process and allows users to quickly create comprehensive business plans. Business Sorter includes financial forecasting and more sophisticated financial planning, but the software is more expensive as a result.
Infinity is an online business planning software designed to meet the needs of a wide range of businesses and users. You’ll find it very easy to use and should have no trouble adapting it to your own processes.
Even the most complicated procedures are simplified so that freelancers, businesses, and individual users can make the most of them. All of the features you’ll need to write your business plan are included in one low-cost package. Also, the software can work with many different kinds of data, such as charts, reports, numbers, dates, and text.
EquityNet is fundamentally a very successful crowdfunding platform. But that’s not all this company has to offer. EquityNet also offers cloud-based software to help you create a business plan, and not just any business plan. The business plan you create with the help of EquityNet will be available to potential investors and will help them decide whether your business is worth investing in. What distinguishes EquityNet is that it can be used by both those looking for investments and those looking to invest. There are several calculators in the business planning tool, such as a profit margin calculator, a cash flow calculator, a risk calculator for a new business, and a valuation calculator.
ProofHub is a multi-award-winning business planning software tool with collaboration and project management capabilities. This simple business software will aid in the smooth operation of your business.
This software is used by thousands of businesses and teams around the world to plan projects and keep track of everything. You can also use it to assign personal or group tasks, prioritise them, create reports, and manage yourself. It is also a great way for teams to work together because it brings together teams, projects, and communications while keeping everything in one place and safe.
NTask is far more than just a business planning tool. It was designed to assist project managers, contractors, MNCs, and home users in managing daily workflow activities. This tool can help you with tasks like allocating resources, defining budgets, collaborating with your team, and tracking progress with Gantt charts. If your team has five or fewer members, you can take advantage of many of the software’s features for free.
You can better understand the planning process by using IdeaBuddy’s business guide. You can use the software to develop your ideas, make a business model, test your business idea, and make a very impressive business plan if you understand it well.
IdeaBuddy assists you every step of the way, from your initial business idea to having an investor-ready business plan.
#15. Wise Business Plans
Wise Business Plans is not like the other tools on this list. Wise Business Plans, rather than software, provides professional business plan writing services in this case. This option is somewhat pricey, but you do get a business plan written by an experienced business plan professional. These experts create your plan based on the information you provide and their own research. The price includes one free revision. You’ll have to pay more if you want to make more changes.
Asana is one of the most popular project management tools available, and it also simplifies and empowers the planning process. It is compatible with Zoom, Slack, and Outlook.
When you use Asana for business planning, it will help you set and achieve future goals. When you’re done, you’ll be able to share your business plan with partners and get feedback almost right away.
Trello can help you figure out your business goals, your key activities, the order of tasks, who is involved, and what resources you will need to reach your goals.
Many of the software’s features are free, and even if you need additional features, the cost will not break the bank. Trello can also be used to conduct competitor, industry, customer, and SWOT analysis, as well as to calculate funding needs, write revenue models, and calculate expenses. This software for business planning works with Gmail, Dropbox, Slack, and Outlook to make sure your team runs smoothly.
What Are the Three Primary Functions of a Business Plan?
Developing an effective business expansion strategy Identifying any potential future financial needsObtaining lenders and investors, such as venture capital and angel investors
What are the four different types of business plans?
Business plans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they can be broadly classified into four types.
- The mini plan: This is a quick read or download plan. It will contain the majority of the same ingredients as a longer plan but will focus on the highlights. It is usually all that is needed to start a small business, and it may give you an edge over your competitors.
- The Presentation Strategy: Many business plans are now presented using PowerPoint presentations. Using a deck to present your business plan can be extremely effective.
- The Working Plan is a tool that you use to run your business. It should be detailed but brief in presentation. It is a plan designed primarily for internal use.
- The What-If Strategy: It’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case of unforeseen circumstances. When looking for bank financing, for example, you should prepare a contingency plan.
What Is the Most Vital Aspect of a Business Plan?
The executive summary is the most important part of any business plan you create. This section’s main goal is to entice an investor to read the rest of your business plan. It may be the only part read, so make it as good as possible.