Good for you, investigating the core benefits of using business plan software is definitely a step in the right direction. You’re not going to regret it once amazing technology powers your plan! First, let’s go through 5 core reasons to take this leap and then we’ll quickly introduce you to a trio of amazing providers. The benefits will speak for themselves. Enjoy!
Pretend you’re captaining a ship (your startup) from southern California across the sea (marketplace) to the French Riviera (your goals). How much more efficient will your trip be if you chart your course? You get the idea here…and the software in question is easily some of the most inexpensive within the business world.
As part of the Startup Savant team I talk with legions of entrepreneurs. In terms of business planning, there are three groups of people and you can spot them right away.
If you wanted to learn some new obscure skill, these days you’d head to a cloud-software-based platform like Udemy and take a digital course for a TINY fraction of the cost of conventional classroom education. Think of business plan software providers as the “Udemy’s” of the industry where you go through the planning process step-by-step, module-by-module, section-by-section, for a better more refined platform overall.
Studies from various ivy league colleges indicate these plans don’t actually ensure better business performance. Whether graduates in the studies had a plan or not, what did improve was their management skills and the chances they would follow through with their ambitions. Incredible managers don’t wing it, they plan, prepare, provide direction, and lead.
These days you can take the thickest business numbers and make them gorgeous graphs, charts, and eye-catching displays galore. For those heavy web users out there, think infographic-style. This translates into better clearer objectives, milestones, budgeting, financial projections, and so on.
Even the most mind-blowing business plan in the galaxy is worthless if it’s not put into action. Only then is its value determined. It doesn’t matter whether you, or your mom, or your second in command think the plan is rock solid. What matters is whether it’s helping you attract or repel the right people; convince or freak out potential investors/funding sources; optimize your marketing approaches, etc. Software helps!
Still with me? Or are you already dreaming of the possibilities I hoped to inspire? I’m going to assume you’re jazzed up and roaring to go, but could use a smidgen of direction when it comes to choosing a provider. These three are all great choices for their own reasons.
We’ll get you started with a provider that goes back over a decade, which when we’re talking about software might as well be a century. Business Plan Pro has been used by well over 1 million entrepreneurs at this point so they’re a safe bet.
Its most affordable plan is $99 with competitive features including expert startup-style guidance, industry and market research tools, printing and publishing tools, forecasting, sales and growth tools, financial analysis tools and more. Do keep in mind that their aesthetics aren’t as pretty and polished as the next two providers. The vibe of their software is more classy and conventional, if you know what I mean.
Enloop’s monthly subscription is between $9.95 and $39.95, including annual fees. That said, the amount of neat tools and startup-gadgetry to tinker and optimize is amazing. For some, it’s like a kid in a candy store. For others, it’s awesome but takes some getting used to.
Performance score, invite and share features, multi-currency support, fabulous customer service, financial ratio analysis, interactive PDF creation and much more. They also have a free version you can try but to be honest there’s a fair amount of customer reviews saying it’s buggy and not really worth it. Better to dabble with one of their three paid plans.
We saved the best for last! LivePlan is the HUGE favorite around here and their community of startups is more than 350,000 strong. They’ve got the leanest, cleanest, and most intuitive software in my opinion that does a fabulous job of allowing customization and guiding you to a better plan overall.
Video tutorials, over 500 real example plans from their community you can customize/personalize and so…much…more! Cloud-based, fantastic collaboration tools, curated formats, and it’s hard to beat their approach to customer service. Startup Savant’s business plan was initially designed using them and is still maintained on their platform today. Thanks for reading and here’s to a great year ahead for you!