How do you start your business plan?
What do you include in it?
Hiring someone to write it for you is expensive as hell. And don’t even get me started on accounting.
Thankfully, the numerous business plan software solutions out there can turn this difficult task into a stepping stone to financial independence.
But you need the right tools to create an outstanding business plan without drowning in an ocean of useless programs and copy-paste reviews.
That’s why I tested each of the programs first-hand, evaluated their features, usability, pricing, and other factors, and made this list.
Let’s explore the best business plan software to get funding, track your progress, and create a roadmap to success.
LivePlan Review (9.5/10)
LivePlan Pros and Cons
Easy to use
Integrates with Xero and QuickBooks
Can’t import data from other accounting software or Excel
No industry-specific templates
Forecasting is difficult to use
LivePlan Free Trial
LivePlan doesn’t offer a free trial or a demo. Still, the company offers a 60 day, no questions asked, money-back guarantee.
With LivePlan, you don’t have to be a professional business planner to write an investor-ready plan. Palo Alto Software created this cloud-based solution, and unlike their older “Business Plan Pro,” LivePlan is a business plan software available for Mac, PC, and Linux.
You can do a pitch with this app within minutes, and writing a standard business plan is a breeze. The software provides examples for each section, and there are videos that take you through the main features.
And although even new business owners will find it easy to use, LivePlan isn’t only a small business planning software. It’s also suitable for mid-sized companies and enterprises.
LivePlan offers all the necessary features for such software and then some. You can write your plan, control and forecast your budget, track your objectives, etc.
In a nutshell – it’s one of the best business plan software for 2019. And now you’ll see why.
Ease of use
Using LivePlan is a piece of cake. The software’s intuitive interface is easy on the eye, and you won’t spend much time coming to grips with it.
In addition to each chapter’s overview and explanation, there are also samples of what your text should look like.
Additionally, you can drag and drop various topics and remove the ones you don’t need.
Okay, let’s start with the pitch.
With LivePlan, you can create a one-page business plan that will wow investors and provide the funding you need. When finished, you can export your pitch as a PowerPoint presentation or upload it to a secret web page that is only visible to people who have the link.
You can easily do a beautiful pitch in less than half an hour.
Now we can dive into more details and see how to create a business plan like a pro.
Although LivePlan doesn’t offer any industry-specific templates, you can customize all the sections in your plan to fit your company’s needs. The drag and drop interface is ridiculously easy to use, and you can add whatever you need – from idea validation to SWOT analysis and ROI. When finished, you can download your plan as a PDF or a Word file.
If you need any help with your business plan, LivePlan’s website offers a mind-blowing library of over 500 business plan samples that cover almost every industry.
But here’s the kicker.
LivePlan allows you to compare your company’s metrics to different industry benchmarks. That way, you know precisely how your business is doing and what improvements you should make.
Additionally, the business plan software has a dashboard that shows an overview of your business, so you can view all of your key metrics in one place. Moreover, you can create a milestone schedule to keep track of your objectives.
With LivePlan, you can easily add your financial data, like balance sheet and cash flow. Additionally, you can present it with different charts.
Also, if you are using QuickBooks or Xero, you can sync your financial data with LivePlan. Otherwise, you’ll have to input it manually, which, as we all know, is a tedious and time-consuming task.
Once that’s done, LivePlan’s forecast algorithm can create financial projections for the next five years. Also, you can create different “what if” scenarios, which automatically show how any changes can impact your company’s financials.
What’s more, you can include various metrics in your dashboard and download a report of your choice. You can compare different periods, or you can compare last month’s sales to the forecast, for example.
And last but not least – you can add custom chapters, sections, and topics to your business plan if there are more financial details you want to include.
As mentioned earlier, LivePlan doesn’t have any industry-specific templates. Still, you can customize your plan by adding or removing sections. Also, you can create custom chapters, and if you aren’t sure how to structure your document, you can always consult the samples library.
Education and guidance
LivePlan’s business plan app offers a mind-blowing amount of resources to help you write the perfect business plan.
First of all, there are explanations and examples for each step of the way. Additionally, several videos explain LivePlan’s key features.
The LivePlan website also has help and FAQ sections. And if you need inspiration, you can check any of the 500+ sample business plans.
Additionally, there are lots of free resources that can help you with your company’s management.
LivePlan offers live chat, email, and phone support. The reps are friendly and helpful. Overall, I’m happy with their customer service.
LivePlan offers three payment options:
- Month-to-month – $19.95. You can pay $14.95 for the first three months.
- 6-Months – $15.96 per month, billed once bi-annually.
- Annual – $11.66 per month, billed once a year.
Overall, LivePlan offers everything you could need from a business plan software and then some. The ease of writing a plan, all the available customizations, the dashboard, and the excellent support make this software our top pick.
Upmetrics Review (9.3/10)
Upmetrics Pros and Cons
Many templates to choose from
You can create a fully customizable business plan
Easy to use
No video tutorials
Can’t import financial data
Upmetrics free trial
Upmetrics gives you access to a demo workspace for seven days. There are some limitations (like a data reset every 48 hours), but overall you can get to know the software.
Upmetrics is a SaaS business plan software created in India. It allows you to write investor-ready business plans with outstanding design in a few hours.
The software can do it all – from a pitch presentation to a complete standard business plan. The latter includes financial projections, customized charts, SWOT and competitive analyses, and much, much more.
It’s one of the best business planning software, and now you’ll find out why.
Ease of use
This business plan creator software is one of the easiest to use on this list. It offers a drag and drop interface, and all you have to do is to add the sections you need or remove the ones you don’t.
First of all, Upmetrics allows you to create a fully customizable business plan. You can even add images to different sections to make your document stand out. Although this doesn’t matter that much to investors, it’s a nice touch that makes the text easier to digest.
In addition to the standard features, like creating your executive summary, mission statement, and product/service summary, you can add many more details. For instance, you can create a SWOT and a competitor analysis in a few minutes.
Furthermore, you can create a timeline to show different phases, product roadmap, and track your company’s achievements.
Also, you can set up custom charts for better visualization of any numeric data, like financials, market share, etc. Unlike other business plan writing software, Upmetrics doesn’t limit your charts only to financial data. You can create a pie, table, and different charts for anything with numbers.
On top of that, the software offers a detailed financial plan to accompany all of the above features.
Upmetrics allows you to create clear and accurate financial summaries and present them as tables or charts. The software can display your details and projections for a year, a month, or a quarter.
Additionally, you get several forecasting features, including product revenue, variable and fixed expenses, funding, capital expenditures, and owner’s distribution.
Moreover, you can create detailed or summary reports for each department.
Upmetrics features all the necessary financial reports – like cash flow, balance sheet, and income statement.
Thanks to the software’s drag and drop interface, you can easily add or remove any financial data, depending on your plan’s needs.
Education and guidance
Probably because of its intuitive and easy to use UI, Upmetrics doesn’t have any video tutorials. Still, you get helpful tips for each section.
Furthermore, there are several built-in examples to show you what your text should look like. This distinguishes Upmetrics from other business planning software since you get to view an already written section. This simplifies the process even further and allows you to get ideas whenever you aren’t sure what you should write (like with LivePlan).
Additionally, there’s a knowledge page where you can find detailed explanations of each feature.
Upmetrics will blow your mind with its fantastic 50+ templates. They cover all the major industries, and they can turn Upmetrics into an easy-to-use restaurant business plan software, for example. Or anything else for that matter– from real-estate and pharmacy, all the way to construction and farming.
Upmetrics offers email and live chat support. Their customer service is relatively fast, although their answers were one-liners without any additional information or guidance.
Upmetrics offers three plans. You can pay month-to-month, or you can save 50% by paying annually. You’ll find the yearly prices below:
- Solo – $54 a year. You get one workspace and five canvas1One-page visual plans displaying key business metrics. . Best for startups and small businesses.
- Team – $84 a year. This plan offers five workspaces and eight canvas. Suitable for mid-sized companies.
- Premium – $349 per year. You get unlimited workspaces and canvas. This plan is best for bigger businesses.
Except for the limitations mentioned above, each plan includes all the software’s features.
In a nutshell, Upmetrics is one of the best business plan software out there. It’s suitable for businesses of all sizes and incredibly easy to use. Plus, you can choose from many templates, and the price is more than affordable.
BizPlanBuilder Review (8.9/10)
BizPlanBuilder Pros and Cons
Easy to use
Video guidance for each section
Limited customization options
Doesn’t offer various currencies
The financial section can be optimized
BizPlanBuilder free trial
You can try out BizPlanBuilder for free for 14 days. No credit card required.
If you know what a business plan is, undoubtedly you’ve heard of this software. It’s been on the market for 30 years.
Formerly known as JIAN, Business Power Tools offers a Swiss army knife of tools for your business. The company has a step-by-step business plan wizard, templates, financial projections, pitch presentation, fundraising management, and much more.
It’s great for professional business planning, whether you need to create a growth strategy plan or a standard, fundraising one.
Ease of use
The software is easy to use even if it’s your first time developing a business plan – and it comes with predefined templates. Then you can edit the text and data as you see fit.
Although I’ve already explained how to write a business plan, you won’t need that guide with BizPlanBuilder. It provides you with the plan’s structure, and you can delete the sections you don’t need.
You can easily upload images, insert charts, and export your plan in PDF or Word.
The software provides you with all the necessities, no matter your industry. For example, if you are a manufacturer, you have a built-in manufacturer section. As I mentioned earlier, you can delete it if you don’t need it.
There will be a dashboard “coming soon.” It will allow you to see key performance metrics.
By purchasing the business plan tier, you also gain access to the legal panel, which allows you to use different corporate document templates that come in handy.
Additionally, you get the management and R&D panels, which provide some useful features.
It’s available as a SaaS software, and you can access it from anywhere on any device. Still, you’ll need some add-ins if you are using a Mac.
Overall, BizPlanBuilder provides you with all the features you’ll need to create a successful business plan.
First of all, this business plan software allows you to create a 5-year and a 10-year financial model.
You can include all the financial data you need – HR costs, assets, sales, and sources of funding.
Additionally, you get product, service, professional, general, and sales analysis.
You can also use the software’s Excel-based calculators, funding resources, and stock options builder.
With BizPlanBuilder, you get to choose between dozens of templates suitable for all sorts of businesses.
They cover 19 industries and their subcategories. And finally, you can select your specific business. That way, you can create an industry-specific retailer business plan, for example.
This simplifies the process even further since the app removes or adds the required sections.
Additionally, you can create a pitch deck, which is what investors usually want to see first.
Education and guidance
For every chapter of your business plan, the software has an explanation tab and a video describing the idea of the section.
Additionally, the site has a Business Plan Workshop where you can see what investors are looking for in a business plan. There are also several business books you can download as well as a blog and a help section.
Although you can find help when writing a business plan in the videos, you can also contact support if you have any questions.
The company offers email and phone support. No live chat, though.
I got satisfactory answers to all my questions within a day – and from company owner Burke Franklin no less! What’s more, he helped me out with a few issues and threw in additional information I was curious about.
Overall, support is reliable, and you will get help when you need it.
Business Power Tools offers many business-related tools, like marketing, sales, PR, employee policies, and strategic planning and funding.
You can purchase everything for $97 a month for one user. You can add an extra user for just $1.
If you want to purchase the company’s business plan builder with the accompanying management and financial tools, it will cost you $27 a month.
And if you aren’t happy with Business Power Tools, there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee.
In a nutshell, BizPlanBuilder is one of the best business plan software out there. You get to choose from a variety of templates with predefined text for each section.
It can save you a lot of time and is incredibly easy to use. So, if you don’t like writing that much or happen to be a novice business plan writer, this solution can be a good fit for you.
StratPad Review (8.5/10)
StratPad Pros and Cons
Easy to use
Connections with lenders, investors, and experts
Not a robust solution
You’ll have to write each section on your own
You can’t import your financial data from other accounting software
StratPad free trial
This business plan software doesn’t offer a free trial. Instead, you get a free account. Forever. For one plan, that is.
StratPad is a cloud-based business plan software suitable for business owners and advisors who need a simple tool to create their plans.
In addition to the business plan creation, the software offers a simple yet decent project management tool. You can set up different projects and various agendas – like meetings schedule, for example.
Also, once you finish your plan, you can easily connect to local lenders and investors to seek funding.
Ease of use
The software is easy to use if you don’t mind entering all the text and data manually. However, it’s more time-consuming than other software for business planning.
In addition to developing a business plan, StratPad allows you to add tables of your project plan, key metrics, and finances.
The project plan feature is a nice touch. You can add different projects (phases) for various periods, and StratPad automatically creates a project plan with all the data. That way, you don’t only ask for funding from investors or lenders – you can show them what you will do with the money.
Furthermore, you can add objectives and milestones to your business plan to track your progress. You can also break them down into specific activities – like faster job completion and quicker turnaround, among others.
StratPad can generate operational and financial reports you can use to track your progress.
And although you can’t import your financial data from Excel, if you are a Quickbooks user, you’d be happy to know you can link a QB accounting file.
You can also save your business plan as a .docx file. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me, and the user reviews I read suggest it’s a frequent problem.
Now, this is where StratPad lags behind some of the other software on this list. Unless you are using Quickbooks, you’ll have to input your financial data manually. Furthermore, you can’t go into detailed projections (like holiday sales), which makes the software unsuitable for some businesses. Still, you can add and edit your data once you’ve saved your business plan as a Word file. If you can export it, that is.
Anyways, StratPad covers all the basics. Once you’ve added your data, the software automatically creates income and cash flow statements, balance sheets, and detailed projections.
Naturally, there are sections where you can add your loans, assets, and equity investments. There’s also a worksheet report, and you can create a projection for the next several years.
StratPad doesn’t offer various business plan templates. Still, since you have to start from scratch and input all your data manually, you can add whatever information you like. And later on, you can add other sections in Word.
Education and guidance
Although StratPad’s business plan app is easy to use, there’s an in-built “help drawer” in every section. It contains information about the chapter, and short videos explain each part.
Additionally, there’s the StratPad College, which includes a blog, videos, and a workshop. Furthermore, there’s a StratPad Coach program where you can learn the ins and outs of the software and business planning as a whole.
In addition to the videos, blog, and FAQ section, you can contact StratPad’s support via email. I sent several questions, but none of them received an answer so far.
It could be that the contact form doesn’t work at all since the website is somewhat buggy. That’s why I emailed support directly, but I haven’t heard anything back. I will update this paragraph if they reply. And since one of the benefits of their paid plans is “unlimited email support,” I guess the trial gets the limited service. And by limited I mean non-existent.
In addition to the free plan, StratPad offers two more solutions:
- Business – $19.99 a month, billed annually (otherwise, it’s $29.99 for one month). This pricing tier includes up to five plans, unlimited email support, and you can share your projects in real-time. It’s best suited for business owners.
- Unlimited – $39.99 a month ($49.99 for monthly payments). This plan includes the features of the “business” one and offers unlimited plans. It’s best suited for business advisors.
Overall, StratPad is one of the best business plan software for students, startups, and small companies. Its simple design and step-by-step interface make it a perfect solution for beginners.
Still, I wouldn’t recommend it for enterprises since they need more detailed financial information than StratPad can offer.
Enloop Review (8.5/10)
Enloop Pros and Cons
Easy to use
Buggy and slow at times
Lack of proper guidance for some sections
Enloop free trial
You can test Enloop for seven days. No credit card required.
Enloop is extremely easy to use cloud-based business plan software. With it, you can create bank and investor-ready plans in a few hours. It has almost 300,000 users, which is a testament to its worth.
It’s perfect for business owners who haven’t written a business plan before. The AutoWrite and text synchronization features make it ideal for people who prefer to let the numbers speak.
Ease of use
This business plan maker is incredibly easy to use. The UI is intuitive, and all you have to do is fill in the blanks. The software automatically creates the required text thanks to the AutoWrite feature.
Undoubtedly, AutoWrite is Enloop’s best feature. The software automatically generates the text for your business plan. All you have to do is input your company’s data.
Furthermore, it’s incredibly easy to preview your plan and edit different chapters or data. Each change you make automatically updates your report. That means you don’t have to rewrite everything manually if you change anything.
Enloop’s business planning software provides a real-time performance score, which increases as you build your plan. It is similar to credit scoring, and it improves with every additional data you input.
And finally, you get a pass or fail report, which shows all your plan’s weaknesses. That way, you can make the necessary changes to improve your chances of success.
Moreover, you can invite your team and let them add details or edit sections of the plan.
With Enloop, you get 3 or 16 financial ratios, which the software analyzes against your industry’s averages.
Additionally, this business plan builder automatically generates bank-ready forecast reports.
Enloop creates simple-looking financial charts. They won’t wow the bank or investor with their beauty, but at the end of the day, no one really cares about that.
One of Enloop’s other notable features is that you can choose between 100 currencies.
If you need to add more financial (or any other) data, you can do so by inserting additional topics.
Enloop doesn’t offer any pre-packaged templates, but it lets you customize the plan to suit your needs. Additionally, you can easily add different sections. For example, if you are a manufacturer who needs to include such a chapter in your document, you can do so with a few clicks.
Education and guidance
Enloop doesn’t offer any video lessons and guidance. The website has a help section, which is more of a FAQ page. Typically, you could search for topics. Unfortunately, the search engine didn’t work for me.
Still, the software is a straightforward solution, so you shouldn’t wonder how to put together a business plan for too long.
Additionally, there are helpful hints and footnotes on each topic, so you can create it easily. Still, for some sections, these hints aren’t detailed enough, and you may need further guidance.
Enloop offers only email support – no live chat or phone options. Still, the support replies within one business day and a friendly rep answered all my questions.
Enloop’s business plan creator has two pricing tiers – “Detailed” and “Performance.”
- Detailed – $11 per month, paid annually. It offers three business plans and three analyzed ratios.
- Performance – $24 a month, paid annually. This plan covers the features of the ”Detailed” one and offers 16 analyzed financial ratios. The latter is the only difference between the two pricing options.
If you need more than three business plans, each additional one will cost you $9.95 per month.
If you need to create a quick business plan, Enloop is one of your best bets. Its price, ease of use, and automated text entry will help you write one in a few hours.
PlanGuru Review (7.9/10)
PlanGuru Pros and Cons
Great tutorial library
Integrates with QuickBooks and Excel
Flexible, detailed, and robust financial reports and forecasting
Lack of business plan templates
Hard to use for beginners
PlanGuru free trial
You can download and use PlanGuru for 30 days. No credit card required.
PlanGuru differs from other business plan software on this list because its focus is on the most crucial part of your plan – financials. While it’s more of a budgeting solution for smaller companies, it can do miracles with your financial data. And after all, this section of your plan is what matters the most if you need funding.
PlanGuru could be an essential tool for your business plans since it provides detailed financial analysis and forecasts.
It has only an on-premise version only that requires an internet connection.
Ease of use
If you’ve ever used accounting software, you will find PlanGuru exceptionally intuitive. If you haven’t, though, you should prepare for a steep learning curve.
Apart from the QuickBooks and Excel integrations, PlanGuru offers many financially-oriented features.
You can also export your reports to PDF, Word, and Excel. Additionally, you’ll receive a custom report editor for Excel, which comes in handy.
One of the notable PlanGuru features is the business valuation tool. It uses commonly accepted cash flow valuation methods to estimate your company’s worth. And the best part is you can see this information with just a few clicks.
*Twitter*Forecasting is where PlanGuru outshines the other top business planning software on this list.
You can forecast your financials for up to 10 years. Not many software (even complete ERP systems) offer such periods.
Additionally, you get more than 20 forecasting methods. Moreover, PlanGuru allows you to create your custom methods.
One of the other cool forecasting features of PlanGuru is that you can predict your sales and prices using a non-financial calculation method.
PlanGuru is one of the best business plan software in terms of financial tools, calculations, and forecasts. Not many software can provide you with such a wide array of financial instruments at this price.
First of all, you can build an unlimited number of analyses per company. The software also comes with automated cash flow statements, payroll, and line of credit tools.
PlanGuru offers a fantastic variety of tools to delve into details about your cash flow, budget analysis, and balance sheets.
Overall, you can use PlanGuru for every finance-related information you’ll need to create the best business plan.
As mentioned earlier, PlanGuru focuses only on the financial aspect of your business plan. There aren’t any business plan templates.
Still, the software’s financial data can be of invaluable help when writing a business plan.
Education and guidance
Although PlanGuru isn’t the easiest software to use, the company has clearly thought about it. There’s an in-built video tutorial in each section.
Additionally, there’s an impressive help center that offers detailed how-to explanations.
Furthermore, you can sign up for a live demo where a PlanGuru expert will show you the ins and outs of the software.
And if that’s not enough, the company has a PlanGuru University that offers courses and classes to turn your employees into PlanGuru masters.
In addition to the enormous library of help materials, PlanGuru also offers live chat, phone, and email support.
Their representatives are friendly and provide detailed explanations. Overall, I’m happy with PlanGuru’s customer service.
PlanGuru costs $99 a month, and each additional user costs $29 per month.
You could save 25% by purchasing the yearly plan for $899 with $299 per additional user per year.
The price includes PlanGuru and PlanGuru Analytics. The latter is a cloud-based reporting and analytics tool, which syncs with the on-premise software.
For professional business planning, you’ll need a detailed overview of your company’s finances. That’s where PlanGuru comes into play. It could help you create a 5-year business plan or even a 10-year one.
It’s not a complete business plan writing solution, but you can use PlanGuru’s financial tools to help you create a successful business plan for investors or banks.
goSmallBiz Review (7.8/10)
goSmallBiz Pros and Cons
Not suitable for businesses outside the US
goSmallBiz free trial
GoSmallBiz doesn’t offer a free trial. You can sign up for a demo account, which is incredibly limited and allows you only to see their products without actually testing them.
This review will be different from the others on this list.
Well, there’s another review of the same business plan software above.
See, the thing is that goSmallBiz and Business Power Tools both offer the same software.
Several years ago, they had a cross-licensing deal. Since then, Business Power Tools licensed the back-end platform and updated the modules and supporting documentation.
Business Power Tools (formerly known as Jian) is run by Burke Franklin – the same friendly guy you’ll see in goSmallBiz.com’s video tutorials and whom I mentioned earlier.
With goSmallBiz, you get the same business plan generator with industry-specific templates and forecasting algorithm.
So why did I include goSmallBiz on this list?
Well, first off – the price. The company offers the same software at nearly half the price (more on that in a bit).
And the second reason is that goSmallBiz.com offers additional features that can help small business owners.
Here’s a quick overview.
First off, goSmallBiz focuses its services on the American market. You can’t even access their website from outside the US. If you bypass this limitation by using a VPN, you won’t be able to purchase the software because of a credit card validation.
With that said, if you’re not based in the US, this is not the software for you.
If you sign up for goSmallBiz’s services, you get unlimited business consultations from their experts.
Additionally, you can use a website builder to create a responsive website. The platform also provides free web hosting. Combine it with our website launch checklist, and your business will have an up-and-running site in no time.
Furthermore, goSmallBiz offers a CRM platform to streamline your sales, marketing, and communications. It also integrates with MailChimp for email marketing.
The home screen also includes a customizable dashboard where you can track your business’s online performance. You can integrate it with social networks and Google Analytics.
With goSmallBiz.com, you get risk assessment, a corporate minutes writer, an HR document builder, a transaction tracker, and naturally, the business plan creator software.
You get all of these features in an affordable plan, thus the reason for adding goSmallBiz to my list.
You can reach out to customer service via phone, email, or live chat. The emails I received were one-line responses, and they lacked details. Additionally, they ignored some of my questions, which is a big no-no in my customer service evaluation.
I’m a guy who believes in second chances, so I talked to another rep via the site’s live chat. I will summarize the whole communication in one word – incompetence.
Still, their customer support gains bonus points for speed. If you run into a minor issue or you need help with something simple, you’ll get a fast response.
If you need only a business plan software, you can get it for $14.95 a month. This price includes only the planning module.
Still, if you want all the features explained above, it will cost you only $39 per month.
If you are wondering which one you should buy, consider this – goSmallBiz.com offers many features at a reasonable price. Still, if you are operating a business outside the US, then go for Business Power Tools.
And if you decide to go with the latter, keep in mind that you’ll get support from the guy who created the software. Check both their websites and make your pick.
After all, this is one of the best business plan software out there, so choose the vendor that will suit your needs best.
And goSmallBiz completes my top seven list. Now let’s see how I compiled it.
It took quite a long time to come up with this list, but it was worth it. I’ve presented you with the seven best business plan software you could find on the Web.
Here’s the step-by-step process I followed to assist you in your search:
- I explored the Web to find all the worthy-of-your-time business plan software.
- I compiled a list with more than 20 programs that can get the job done.
- Once I finished, I started reading user reviews to find out if any of these apps have some significant drawbacks.
- That diminished the list to 11 business plan builders.
- Then I removed the ones that focus mostly on specific aspects of the plan – like financials, for example. I left only PlanGuru since I believe it’s a great piece of software that can help with detailed financial planning in addition to another business plan generator.
- That left me with eight programs and nine vendors (Business Power Tools and goSmallBiz offer the same software).
- Then I registered for a trial for those that offered it and purchased the ones that didn’t. This removed another app from my list since their website showed an error every time I tried to buy it, and their support didn’t reply in more than a week.
- After that, I had seven business plan apps to review.
- For several weeks, I exhaustively tested each of the apps, talked with customer reps, and wrote the reviews you saw in the previous chapter.
- When I completed all of the steps above, there were two outcomes from the many sleepless nights:
- My coffee machine started making funny noises, probably due to overuse during this period.
- I found the best business plan software and listed their detailed reviews here.
- Once I wrote the review for each app, I rated the software based on:
- Ease of use
- Financial planning
- Education and guidance
- Other users’ reviews
And that’s how I compiled the list of the most helpful business plan software. Still, all of that work wouldn’t mean a thing if not for the benefits of using such software.
Why Do You Need Business Plan Software?
Coming up are the benefits of using a software solution instead of hiring a consultant or a firm to write your plan.
The business plan software is cost-efficient.
If you decide to hire someone to write your business plan, you have several options, and all of them are way more expensive than the priciest software on our list.
- Freelance business plan writer – $25-$100/hour on Upwork. And a complete business plan can cost you up to $10k on Fiverr. Usually, freelancers finish the draft in a week. I’ll leave the math to you.
- Consulting firms – the small ones will charge you about $1,000 for a 20-page plan. Depending on its complexity, the price can reach a five-digit number. That’s 10 times the annual price of the best business plan software on our list
- Private consultants – usually, their prices vary a lot, but it’s safe to say they start in the low thousands and can reach up to $50,000.
Oh, and by the way – all of the plan creators mentioned above likely use a business plan software to create your plan.
The software can save you time.
With our top business plan software picks, you can create your plan in a few hours. If you have to input the financials manually, it could take up to two days. Naturally, the research phase is more time-consuming, but it will benefit you and your business to know the ins and outs of your industry.
Additionally, your team can participate in writing the plan, which adds another layer of expertise, and it helps create a better business plan.
It’s easy to update your plan.
As circumstances change, so will the document. Using a business plan app can help you with that. It’s easy, and you can do it as many times as you like.
Additionally, your forecast changes and becomes more accurate with time. A business plan written by someone else won’t be able to reflect accurately and timely the inevitable changes.
After all, it’s a plan for YOUR business!
Although many professionals can write the document, you are the best choice for writing your business plan for your company. Most entrepreneurs invest their life savings in starting a business, and they don’t like putting the fate of their company in others’ hands.
So, if you are one of them, and you’ve invested your time, money, and bloody sweat into starting a company – write the plan yourself. Our best business plan app list can help you in choosing the most adequate assistance.
How to Choose the Best Business Plan Software?
Coming up is a quick guide on what to look for in a business plan builder.
#1 – Clarify what you need from the software
There are dozens of solutions out there, so you should be very careful about which one you pick. Consider all the features you’ll need and choose the one that offers them. Most software will help you create a business plan quickly enough, but some have different forecast features, importing options, etc.
#2 – Choose the software you’ll be comfortable with
Although UI isn’t a deal-breaker in most cases, the best business plan software should be easy to use and help you save time, so you don’t have to wander around between tabs and input data for hours.
And from an aesthetic viewpoint, a clean and beautiful interface is always a plus.
#3 – Consider your budget
Keep in mind that a high price isn’t a guarantee you’ll get everything you need. While reading user’ reviews, I noticed plenty of people pay a high price for software that offers many features but not the ones they actually need. Don’t make the same mistake.
Choose wisely and compare the software’s features to its price. That way, you won’t end up paying for something you don’t need.
And one more thing – you’ve probably noticed there isn’t any free software on our list. That’s simply because the best business plan software isn’t free. Like everything else in life, for that matter.
Choosing the best business plan software isn’t a walk in the park. There are many solutions all over the Web. Some do a great job of creating a plan, and you can see them in the above list.
Our picks are the best of the best, and hopefully, you’ll find the one that suits your needs.
Consider their features and prices and make your pick. And if you are uncertain about which one is right for you – go ahead and try them all. Each of our top business plan software makes planning so easy that you’ll feel like a professional writer in no time.
And if you need motivation, here’s a Shark Tank video to inspire you.
Good luck and happy planning.
What are the major components of а business plan?
The standard business plan should include the following chapters:
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Market analysis
- Organization and management structure
- Products and services
- Sales and marketing plan
- Financial analysis and projections
What is the best business plan software?
After days of testing and comparing features, prices, and user reviews, I’m confident these are the top seven programs that will help you write your business plan:
How do I make a business plan online?
There are several simple steps you should follow to create a business plan.
First of all, do your homework. Writing the document itself is relatively easy, but you have to know your industry inside out. That includes your competitors, your target market, the demand for your products or services, and so on.
Once you have all the data, choose a business plan software to guide you through the process of writing the document. Each of our picks will assist you in every step of the way – from the executive summary, through financials, and all the way to the appendix. And in a few hours, your plan will be ready.
That’s it. Easy, right?