Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or established business owner, creating a plan for the next three to five years is vital in order to test the viability and further the success of a startup. Without a business plan, it will be harder to catch the attention of investors or communicate your message to employees or supporters.
If you’re lost on where to start with this essential step of launching a business, there are plenty of resources like LivePlan that will help you write a successful business plan. Continue reading to learn about the benefits of using business plan software.
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Business Plan Software Benefits
1. Step-By-Step Guide
Especially for first-time entrepreneurs, starting a business feels like stepping into unknown territory. One of the key benefits of business planning software is that it breaks down an extremely complex process into a series of easy-to-follow steps.
LivePlan, for example, uses a system called “fill in the blank planning,” which generates your business plan by asking you to answer a series of prompts. Allowing this system to take the wheel totally relieves the daunting feeling of opening a blank document and not knowing where to start.
2. Customizable Templates
Most professional business planning software isn’t just a plug-and-chug resource, where you plug in your company’s information and it chugs out a standard result. You are often able to select from a library of templates to make sure your business plan looks and feels just as you imagined.
LivePlan allows you to choose from over 500 templates depending on your industry. The categories can be extremely niche, ranging from templates for transportation business to nonprofits to clothing to entertainment.
3. Educational Materials
Though you can use this software to make the process of writing a business plan as quick and painless as possible, you can also gain a lot from taking in the educational materials offered by many of these services.
On its website, LivePlan has a number of educational materials about business plans and how to make a successful one. By looking at these materials, you can learn a lot about entrepreneurship and various industries.
Another benefit of using professional business plan software like LivePlan is that it frees up your schedule from an otherwise time-eating task. Your day should be spent ideating, networking, and planning instead of hunching over an empty Word Doc.
One of LivePlan’s mottos is: “You’ll plan in half the time — with twice the impact.” Why spend hours writing a business plan that you could complete in 30 minutes?
5. Protects Your Data
Professional business planning software will probably do a better job at protecting your data than you would yourself. LivePlan, for example, has a top cybersecurity firm handling all of its customer data. Ultimately, it’s good to know that your sensitive information is safe while using an outside service — which it is.
6. Generates Financial Statements
It’s a fallacy that all entrepreneurs like math. For those who are numbers impaired, or simply don’t want to waste time with calculations, one of the best parts of using a business planning software is that it generates financial statements for your company on the spot. LivePlan takes you step-by-step through the process, making it accessible for anyone and everyone — even people without prior business experience.
7. Access to Legal Forms
Most entrepreneurs know that many of the foundational stages of starting a business require tedious, seemingly unending paperwork. Using a service like LivePlan means that you no longer have to worry about missing legal requirements. Everything is consolidated into one place, and any legal forms you’ll need in the process will be impossible to miss.
8. Expert Advice and Tips
It’s not your job to be an expert on the subject of business plans, but it is for the people working for business planning services like LivePlan. Take advantage of expert advice and tips through the many streams of communication connecting customers and the company’s experts.
In addition to a help center, LivePlan has a group of Expert Advisors who are independent accountants and small business advisors with specialized training. It’s useful to have an expert at hand if you have questions about your business plan or about entrepreneurship as a whole.
9. Easy-To-Use Dashboard to Track Information
When starting a business, it’s really hard to keep track of the tasks you have and haven’t completed. Business plan software alleviates this issue, putting all the information you need in one place in the form of an easy-to-use dashboard. This tool, designed specifically for small businesses, can help you visualize your progress and plan the next steps.
10. Infographics for Financial Distribution
Using business planning software means you no longer have to tinker with excel spreadsheets. Once they have your information, business planning software like LivePlan can immediately populate your business plan with sleek tables and graphs. These infographics help display your financial distribution in a way that is engaging for everyone — investors and friends alike.