‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ This might probably the best idiom to explain the importance of a business plan for a business. If you don’t have any business plan software then definitely your business is not going to run a long race. You need to plan your long-term goals and work accordingly on small goals to achieve those long-term goals over time.
A business plan takes your business off the ground and helps your business achieve new heights. You might have a great business plan in your head but not being able to convey it to people or put it on paper is a general issue. A business plan is an easier said than done thing.
A written business plan would work until you have lots of time to develop your business. A business plan needs to be checked to obtain key insights on your business and it also needs to be updated over time if you don’t get the desired results. This becomes tedious if you constantly have to do it on paper as it would be time-consuming. This is when a business plan software can be of good use for you.
A business plan software helps you to plan your business digitally, maintain your business data and generate key insights from it. There are lots of options available out there to start with a business plan software. Don’t worry, after research and review, we have managed to limit the list to fewer best options for you to start with.
What is the Best Business Plan Software?
Here is my list of the best business plan software to utilize for your small business.
LivePlan is best to plan, fund, and grow your business. You can build an interactive business plan, get insights from it and even secure your fundings through it. It simplifies the process of planning the future of your business. LivePlan is best for small to medium-sized businesses and start-ups. Plus, it’s easy to understand for anyone. There are lots of templates available to start with if you don’t have any specific idea in mind.
You can set business goals, compare performances, set a budget, and see all the insights on the dashboard that is super easy to use. With the help of one such business plan, you can know what exactly is going on in your business. Basically, you can improve your business performance and set benchmarks for your business by having a business plan.
- Export: You can export your business plan into word or PDF documents.
- Free templates: It provides you with 500+ intuitive free templates to start with your business plan in case you don’t have any ideas to start with a business plan.
- Data Integration: You can integrate your data from Xero and QuickBooks Online into the LivePlan platform.
- Dashboards: You can create performance dashboards for tracking, budget, and sales goals.
- Unlimited business plan: They give you the liberty to create unlimited business plans on one account.
- Professional: It helps you create a very professional-looking business plan without putting in much effort.
- Money-back guarantee: There is no trial available but it offers a 60-day money-back guarantee if you don’t wish to continue with the platform within 60 days of your use. Furthermore, there are no long-term contracts or cancellation fees.
- Limited data integration: This only allows import from Xero and Quick Books. There is no other option to import data from a spreadsheet or a CSV file. You’ll have to manually enter the data.
- Cannot undo data: Once you have synced the data there is no option to delete it all at once. You’ll have to delete each record one by one.
Live plan provides two different pricing structures namely standard and premium. The standard plan is priced at $20/month with all the basic features including 500 free templates and a full financial forecast. The premium plan is priced at $40/month including advanced features like a performance dashboard and sync with Xero and Quickbooks. Moreover, you can save 25% by subscribing to the annual plan.
PlanGuru has sophisticated methods to budget and forecast for up to 10 years without any formula creation. Plus, other features like cash flow projections, debt modeling tools, profit/loss statements, and others help you to evaluate and improve your business performance. They also provide webinars, documentation, and tutorials on how to use it.
You don’t need to be an expert at maintaining balance sheets or other company data, PlanGuru does it for you. It helps you to forecast revenue and know-how your company is growing along with its profit and loss. It is one of the best financial forecasting platforms for any kind of business/non-profits.
- Unlimited analysis: you can build any number of analyses per company to analyze any section of your company the way you want.
- Time flexibility: you can import up to 5 years of your company data and budget/forecast up to 10 years.
- “What If” Scenarios: t provides “What If” Scenarios where you can generate some scenarios which would speculate how various situations might be handled in the future.
- Profit/Loss Statement: It generates profit/loss statements for your business that can provide you insights on the status of your profit/loss.
- Imports: Apart from QuickBooks and Xero, you can even import from excel spreadsheets as well.
- Analytics dashboard: This is one of the most robust features of PlanGuru. It provides a financial dashboard for easy financial forecasting and better insights into your finances.
- Cloud-based: The cloud-based web app is almost the same as the desktop view and is helpful if you don’t have windows as the desktop version is only available for windows.
- Support: The support team is humble and always ready to help. They got you covered with all the obstacles you face while using PlanGuru.
- System constraints: The desktop version available only for windows. If you are using any system other than windows then you’ll have to use their cloud-based app.
- Price: With a monthly plan at $99, it’s a bit pricey as compare to the other business plan software.
Plan guru also provides a cloud app apart from the desktop version at the same price. The monthly plan guru costs $99 per month with additional users at $29 per month. Apart from this, there is an annual plan that costs $899 per year with additional users at $299 per year. They also offer a 14-day free trial in case you want to try the software out before actually buying it.
BizPlan is a modern business planning software that provides education and tools to help the founders through their start-up process. This not only includes a business plan but also includes mentorship, education, customer acquisition, funding, and staffing.
Moreover, they provide drag-and-drop modules, automatic financial projections, guided business plan creators, and many more functionalities. They help you through each part of business planning.
BizPlan believes that business planning need not be a lengthy document heavy on data and numbers. They break down everything into components and highlights the areas you need to work on. There are articles available from start-up founders on aspects of starting a company.
Therefore, BizPlan is ideal for small businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs looking forward to developing business plans.
- Guided Business Plan Creator: This feature would help you to spend less time writing and focus more on building your business. You just need to answer few important questions to communicate your idea and you’ll be ready with a plan in no time.
- Financial Tools: They provide an amazing set of financial tools that covers setting salaries, projecting revenues, tracking costs, etc. All of this is presented in a graphical format that makes it easy for you to understand.
- Share: You can directly share your plan online from BizPlan itself. You can even share it on Fundable which is an online fundraising tool from BizPlan itself.
- Drag-and-drop: The drag-and-drop This might be one of the most wanted features in any business plan software.
- Access to Fundable: As a part of your BizPlan subscription you get free access to Fundable.com which is an online fundraising platform by BizPlan. Fundable would help you to connect directly to investors directly.
- Education: It provides tutorials, master classes, guides, and even expert answers to learn on various business planning sections.
- Scalability: One of the major downfalls of this platform is that it is not scalable. There is no trial period to check if the product is right for you not.
- No templates: There are no templates available to create a business plan. You will have to start from scratch or with their guided business plan creator.
The BizPlan pricing plans are way budget-friendly and provide a lot of exciting features along with. The Monthly plan is rated $29 and the annual plan is rated $20.75 per month. Plus, they also provide a lifetime access plan at $349 that includes everything they provide throughout life without any restrictions.
Enloop is probably the best business planning software for any company or individual who is concerned with the finances of the business. It provides a strong financial forecasting base for your business with its 16 critical financial ratios. These ratios help you to analyze your company’s performances or compare them with your peers.
Enloop is a simple, straightforward platform that is only dedicated to business planning having features like auto write and forecasting models. Plus, they provide a free 7-day trial that doesn’t require any card details.
- AutoWrite: Enloop provides an auto-write feature that can be very useful while designing your business plan. You won’t have to struggle to come up with test content for your plan. It automatically generates some basic text for your business plan. You can definitely replace these auto-generated content and use your own content.
- Forecast Models: it offers 2 different financial forecast models: annual or 36-month. The 36-month forecast is more specific and detailed as compared to the annual forecast.
- Business Plan Score: This is a unique feature of Enloop that scores your business plan. Basically, it gives you an idea of how successful your business can be based on the data you have provided. The score updates as you edit your business plan.
- Free Trial: You can take a 7 day free trial of the performance plan before buying any of the plans. The free trial gives you full access to the entire software without the requirement of a credit card for sign up. Therefore, you can take the trial without any concerns.
- Business Plan Score: This is a nice detail as it gives a picture of how your business is working. Furthermore, over time you can know how your business plan has affected your business from the increase or decrease in this score.
- Easy setup: Another nice thing about this software is that it has a very easy setup. To create your plan you just need to answer some questions based on different sections of your business.
- Multiple Plans: You can work on up to 3 plans at once which is great if you want a plan for your current business and another for your upcoming business.
- Hard to contact the support team: If you want any help or need to contact the company then an online form is the only way out. They are not available on the phone or in chat. Therefore, it would be problematic to reach them if you want an immediate solution.
- No Templates: Enloop does not provide any predesigned business templates. Hence, it would be cumbersome for someone who has never created a business plan before.
Enloop offers two service plans that vary in price and features. The first is the detailed plan at a rate of $19.95 per month with an allowance of 2 shared users and an analysis of 3 financial ratios. The second plan is the performance plan at a rate of $39.95 per month with the allowance of 5 shared users and an analysis of 16 financial ratios. If you subscribe to these annual plans then you can get the detailed plan at $11 and the performance plan at $24.
5. Business Sorter
Business Sorter is not like the other business plan software. It is designed with a card theme that is easy to understand and gets things done quickly. You might think that designing a business plan with a business plan software is also time-consuming with the effort to understand the platform and getting used to it.
Business Sorter eliminates this as it has a very simple design that is easy to understand and is efficient. You can choose the main objectives that you want to focus on and then sit back and wait. The business sorter will generate a customized business plan template for you where you only need to fill in the relevant details. Moreover, it also provides features like notes through which you can add notes to your business plans so that you don’t lose track of your ideas.
- Guidance: Business Sorter provides tips and advice for every key step to help you put your business strategy into action.
- Assign Tasks: You can assign tasks to the people in your plan with their due dates.
- Share: You can invite other people to your business plan who can edit/view your plan or view the tasks they are assigned. This way people only see what you want them to see.
- The plan notes: This allows you to jot down all the information related to your plans. You can add ideas to things to do in such notes so that you don’t forget them later.
- Unique card system: It has a unique card layout and system that simplifies your business plan and makes it easy for your team to work over it.
- Free trial: It provides a 14-day free trial with all the features included that too without any need for card details.
- Web-based: You can view your business plan on any device including a smartphone as it is a web-based application.
- Multiple plans: you are allowed to generate as many plans as you want.
- No learning resources: They don’t provide any video educational learning resources through which you can learn and use the software in a better way to plan your business.
Business Sorter has a very sorted pricing structure. They provide 4 types of plans as below:
- Small team: $10 USD/month with 3 users
- Medium Team: $30 USD/month with 10 users
- Large Team: $80 USD/month with 30 users
- Enterprise: custom pricing with unlimited users
You can save up to 33% by subscribing annually to these plans.
GoSmallBiz has everything that a small business or a start-up needs from idea to growth. They provide incorporation, sales, marketing, legal, tax, HR, and others. It has wizards that can help you go through each portion to build your business plan.
GoSmallBiz also provides a website builder, unlimited business consultation, a digital marketing dashboard, and others that would be valuable for any business. This software will ensure that you have everything documented to analyze and grow your venture as you go. If you are someone who doesn’t like to use different software for different purposes then GoSmallBiz is the right thing for you. You will get each and every service you need for your business here.
- Templates: It has a wide range of industry-specific business plan templates that can work as an excellent starting point for you. Therefore, you would find something suitable for your business to start with without wasting time.
- Financial Statements: It will generate financial statements and projections for you so that you can view your business’ profit/loss, budget, and other expenses all in one place.
- Website builder: As said earlier GoSmallBiz is an all-in-one tool, it provides a website builder and hosting service depending on the subscription plan you choose.
- Digital Marketing Dashboard: They provide a digital marketing dashboard that integrates with social media and Google Analytics. Therefore, you can manage your company’s digital image from GoSmallBiz itself.
- CRM: It provides amazing CRM tools that also integrate with MailChimp and helps you with email marketing. Basically, they got you covered with online marketing also.
- Unlimited business consultation: You no longer need to be concerned about business-related issues. GoSmallBiz provides unlimited business consultation to clear all your doubts.
- Multiple tools in one place: This is the main reason why we love GoSmallBiz. It is an all-in-one platform that includes all the tools required for any business or start-up in one place.
- Website builder: It provides a website builder and a website hosting service which is a rare feature for a business plan software.
- Multiple subscription plans: They provides various subscription plan. Therefore, you can choose a plan suitable for your business.
- Export: You can only export your business plan into limited formats like Word.
- Demo version: The demo version is restricted to some features only. You cannot get access to all of its features.
GoSmallBiz provides a lot of services and has special subscription plans to suit everyone’s needs starting at $199/year. You can even opt for business plan software only at $15/month without any contracts. There are various other plans for other services which can be found on their website.
So now let’s cover the basics.
What is Business Plan Software?
It’s a mammoth task to create a plan out of your ideas to start your business. Furthermore, after the business foundation, you might even need funding and ideas to generate revenue. A business plan software is of great help in such cases.
It helps you integrate all of your ideas and generate plans especially when you are not jumbled up with various thoughts. A business plan will cover up everything from the first business idea to your product/service description including the pricing model to start with.
Each business plan software available in the market out there has its own unique set of features and services available for you. Since you have already gone through the list of my suggested business plans, here are some more tips on how to choose the best suitable business plan. Keeping these points in mind while choosing a business plan would help you get the best business plan for yourself.
What Features Should You Look For in Business Plan Software?
Creating a business plan which is specific and fulfills your product requirements is what you need otherwise it would not make much impact to use a business plan software. Therefore, the below features should be kept in mind to choose the right business plan software for your business or start-up.
1. Financial Forecasting
Financial Forecasting is a key aspect of business plans. A business planning software must have this feature. With the financial forecasting feature in your business plan, you won’t have to experts with spreadsheets and other transactions.
You just need to put your financial data and some information regarding your business and you would get a plate full of insights and forecasts for your business. This way you can also map your business know where would it stand in the future.
2. Bank Integrations
You need to convey bank that why should they lend you money and support your business. This can be the best way to do it. With the bank integrations feature, you can connect your account with your business plan and also generate statements from it. This way you can show the bank how are your past sales and what’s your future planning in terms of finances.
3. Drag-and-Drop Features
Now, this one is not an important feature but it is very helpful on the go. This makes your business planning easy and less cumbersome. You just drag and keep the things you want in your business plans and try out multiple structures quickly until you are satisfied with one.
4. Stakeholder Collaboration
This is a great feature in terms of communication with your stakeholders. This feature lets you collaborate with your stakeholders so they can work jointly and maintain fluid communication. This makes it easy to understand them and keep their needs in mind while moving towards the company goal.
5. Reporting and Business Analytics
Now, this is a must-have feature if you are concerned about your business from the performance point of you. It keeps track of how your business is performing over time and updates you with the area you need to work on more. Through this, you can easily analyze if you are lagging in any part of your business.
6. Educational Materials
This makes it extremely easy to design a business plan when you are doing it for the first time. The educational materials are designed to cover every topic of the business plan they provide including all the features and troubleshooting. It makes sure that you can use their tool easily without any hindrance.
Best Business Plan Software – Final Summary
Properly crafting your business plan is a crucial part of your business as it would lead to future growth and development. Therefore, you need to choose a plan that best fits your business. To choose the best business plan software for your business, look into your business requirements and then keep the above feature in mind and then curate from the business plan software available out there.
These were some of the best business plan software according to me. You need to know what you are purchasing before actually getting it. Therefore, this article can be of great help to you.
Once you settle on few options, you can then go for the trial versions to know the best business plan software for your business.
Let me know which business plan software you’re planning to use and if I missed any on this list. Let me know in the comments below.