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January 28, 2011

Business Plan Software Packages: Which Are the Best?

The Answer May Surprise You More and more people are starting businesses and finding a good business plan is tantamount to getting the business off on the right foot. There are hundreds of business plan software programs available, both free and those that cost quite a bit of money. If you are starting a business or just need a new direction read on.

1. Plan Write Business Planner is a tool that will assist you in completing an entire business plan. The comprehensive plan is good for the novice and the professional alike. It has an extensive structure that is linked to a text processor online. It also includes templates for financial spreadsheets, great graphics and online support in the form of wizards, examples and even external links. Your OS has to be at least a Windows 95 or better for the program to function. The program is customizable and can be exported to Word, Excel, and Power Point as well as in a PDF format.

2. Business Plan Pro has the required components that most lenders and venture capitalist approve of. It has the approval of the Small Business Association and is used by programs that help potential Small Business Owners like SCORE and the U.S. Small business Development Centers. The software assists in the making of a well thought out business plan. The written business plan is the blueprint that most lenders will use to determine if you are a good credit risk as a business entity. You can buy the Business Plan Pro for specific areas like the U.S., the United Kingdom and Canada.

3. If you are more comfortable with menu based programs then the BizPlan Builder is for you. It also let’s you drag and drop some of the elements into place. This makes organizing a plan to fit your special needs a breeze. You can go back and rearrange items at will. You are not stuck including items in a linear fashion. It has a multi-user interface that allows you to store files online so that those members’ of a business from around the globe can access it. It has some stand out features like the research tool although it is a bit short in the statistical database department. It does present you with a lot of tools like a organizational chart builder, templates, worksheets and templates. You will be amazed by its up to date forecasting of budgets and feasibility projections.

A business plan will not solve all of your problems. Nor will technology. But the business plan will certainly help provide a strong platform from which you can stand and begin building. And the technology will help make it all a lot easier. Choose the platform above that best fits your needs and good luck starting on this new adventure.

Pat Lindle spends most of his time working at as a business advisor. He is also a managing partner at where he helps small business owners with all of their internet needs.