The Best Business Plan Software To Satisfy Investors & Keep Projects On Track
A business plan is so much more than an outline for securing capital and locking down investors.
A well-assembled business plan acts as a roadmap for identifying and solving problems. It charts the course of the business and is constantly used to weigh the organization’s collective strengths and weaknesses.
The quality of the plan isn’t defined by the length of the document or the use of fancy words but rather by the degree of passion and dedication for both the business and the plan itself.
Suffice it to say we can’t write one for you, but our overview of the best business plan software will help you communicate your vision thoroughly and accurately.
Business Plan Software — 6 Best in the Industry
- •A large library of sample plans
- •Tracking and analytics
- •Great support
- •Text editing tools
- •Website builder
- •Automated data processing
- •Fully customizable
- •Collective writing option
- •Template builder
- •Educational resources
- •Free access to Fundable
- •Advanced financial processing tools
- •Excellent analytics
- •App works both for Mac and PC
- •Excellent customer support
- •Competitively priced
Choosing the top business plan software can set the course of your entire business operation. Feeling overwhelmed yet? The Fortunly team is here to help with recommendations about the market’s top software for starting and growing your business.
The reviewed apps help users tackle important issues that can cause headaches to an experienced entrepreneur, let alone someone entering the competitive business world. From arranging tax statements and other HR documents to calculating projections and tracking your progress, business plan pro software is there to guide you every step of the way.
All business plans must start from somewhere. While your idea is the most important ingredient, it is the well-structured template that enables that idea to thrive. Some companies offer hundreds of prepared templates to fit every possible business model. Others let you customize your own.
In both cases, a software business plan template requires you to prepare your data, ranging from your company’s name all the way to your preferred marketing strategy and financial statements. At Fortunly, we believe that pre-arranged templates can save you time but can also be limiting. Nevertheless, if you are venturing into the restaurant business or launching a start-up tech company, a template can be useful because these endeavours are uniform and don’t require much customization.
As with all things, this service comes with a cost. The price range of a business plan pro package starts from somewhere around $10 and goes all the way to over $100. Depending on the tools and additional features, the software designed for creating business plans can really help you secure that competitive edge.
Although the price usually corresponds to the quality of service, there are instances when this is not the case. While attractive additional features can be helpful, in some cases a simple business plan software is more suited to your needs. That’s why it's important to know how much help you actually require. Those who aren’t sure can turn to one of the free trial versions, which are offered by most of the reviewed products.
An interface can determine your overall experience when using business plan software. From visual design to the way you are guided through each step, the quality of the software's interface is an important factor to consider when venturing into your next business project.
Features can mean a lot of things. When talking about software for business plans, we will focus on the additional features that help you step-up your game. Tools that help you compose a concise text to describe your business or ones that track your progress on a yearly basis can play a crucial role in the launch of a business operation.
Furthermore, various other analytical features simplify market research and make your business a better fit for a market niche.
Reviews of the Best-Rated Business Plan Software Solutions
Always rated among the top three contenders in all business plan software reviews online, LivePlan is one of the most popular planning apps on the web. The software has an overall performance suitable for both small business enthusiasts and already established entrepreneurs. Its flexibility, attention to detail and additional features place it at the top of our list.
LivePlan offers a variety of 500 templates, covering all possible business models. It provides customized solutions to clients whether they be a small business, accounting operation, consulting or an educational enterprise. The step-by-step process varies, depending on which version you chose. Featuring top business plan templates, LivePlan is designed to address all your needs.
After you fill in your company’s ID, LivePlan guides you through a number of other forms.
You then write a compelling narrative that describes your products and services along with the target market. This includes your envisioned strategy and implementation, personnel and financial plans as well as standard accounting statements.
Business plan software reviews online praise this solution’s flexibility, attention to detail, and great additional features
The annual package comes tagged with a price of $15/month, making LivePlan one of the most affordable options on the list. Users can also opt for a six-month plan, priced at $18/month. Additionally, there’s the pay-as-you-go solution that will set you back $20/month.
The company offers a free trial period so you can test some of its features and see how it suits your needs. To activate the business plan software’s free trial option, all you need to do is fill in a questionnaire. The company will quickly process your application and send you the trial version.
If you decide to purchase LivePlan but find it doesn’t get the job done, you can get a full refund within the first 60 days.
The online-based planning software features an intuitive interface, making the process of assembling a business plan easy and enjoyable. The design is slick and easy to maneuver, with a step-by-step instruction process that leaves nothing to chance.
This applies to the LivePlan online learning center as well. You can improve your business knowledge using online courses provided by Palo Alto Software that use the same approachable and user-friendly interface.
LivePlan isn’t just a professional business planner that becomes obsolete after you’ve locked down your investors. The software comes equipped with a tracker for measuring the success rate based on the parameters you set out during the planning phase.
If you go with the annual option, you can link-up your accounting app with LivePlan, feeding in the info required for forecasts and projections of growth. You can even select the “What If” scenario, which allows you to insert hypothetical decisions and see how they would affect your business.
Palo Alto Software is known for its attention to detail when it comes to forms and templates. The presence of these precise guidelines make LivePlan the best business plan app on this list. The program also provides you with examples that perfectly illustrate how to build a business plan.
These financial forms include data about products and services and how much they cost. While all sample business plans consider this a necessity, Liveplan offers more tools with a slightly more personal touch.
LivePlan’s personnel section allows you to itemize by individual(e.g., the CEO or simply "John") or by job category (e.g., four programmers, paid an average of $100,000 per year, with an annual raise of four percent).
Moreover, you can make a note on whether an expense represents an overall cost or whether it’s tied to a specific revenue stream. These figures can be expressed as a percentage of revenue or varying cost over time.
The downside is the integration of other software. While the company integrates accounting software Xero and QuickBooks Online, saving you time from numerous data entries, there is certainly space for them to expand this option to a number of other business apps.
- Wide range of customizable features
- Lots of helpful resources
- A large library of sample plans
- Limited third-party integrations
- The learning curve may be too steep
If you’re looking for business plan builder software for your start-up business, look no further. GoSmallBiz by Tarkenton Company is completely online-based and offers a variety of options focused on micro-enterprises, entrepreneurs, sole proprietors, and home-based businesses.
That being said, it is important to note that GoSmallBiz is much more applicable for writing and developing plans rather than real-time business tracking and management.
GoSmallBiz is an entirely online-driven platform that uses elaborate templates to lead you every step of the way. Although its startup business plan template is its biggest strength, GoSmallBiz can generate documentation for any business model.
Furthermore, a step-by-step wizard is accompanied by clear and friendly tips and advice that will help you complete your business plan in a timely manner. The templates are fully editable, so you can customize them for your specific needs. The software also includes an extensive library of common forms that can be utilized for tax planning, HR management and other tasks.
On the other hand, GoSmallBiz could perhaps use more sample business plans in order to provide its users with clear examples of what the final product should look like.
GoSmallBiz charges $39 per month for their basic services. Although it sounds steep, the price provides you membership features like unlimited business consultations, a website builder, an HR document builder and customer relationship management.
Other features calculated into the monthly subscription fee of the software’s business plan include unlimited business and legal forms, website consultation analysis, risk assessment, online business courses, transaction tracker and a corporate minute writer. The company requires no contracts, enabling you to cancel your subscription at any time.
Since GoSmallBiz relies on users who often lack the experience in creating business plans, its interface is designed to walk you through the process as pleasantly as possible. The website builder is based on a simple drag-and-drop principle which will have you designing a website for your future enterprise in no time.
Designed to service beginners, the GoSmallBiz will help you overcome your fears and give your presentation the edge it needs. The hosting of your website is free of charge, which is a nice touch given how pesky hosting companies can be with fees and additional expenses.
The basic package being offered by GoSmallBiz is anything but basic. The business plan software provides its monthly users everything from on-demand video consulting to a fully developed CRM service, accompanied by email marketing. You can also count on a GoSmallBiz digital marketing dashboard, business risk assessment, HR documents builder as well as a website builder.
The GoSmallBiz arsenal of tools and services is robust. Tarkenton’s main business venture is small business consulting, and as such their business plans software enjoys extensive support. The software will give you access to Tarkenton’s expert business consultants and an unlimited number of questions you can ask online. The company guarantees answers to all inquiries within two business days.
Another great trait is the basic transaction tracker. Although Tarkenton lacks the long-term analysis software, it makes up for it with a simple tracker that serves as a priceless tool when compiling financial statements. In addition, the software provides a corporate minutes writer with an extensive template library.
Overall, GoSmallBiz uses an all-round approach that combines easy-to-handle apps, templates and forms with an excellent network of customer support. However, its export options are relatively limited. The online business plan software only exports files in PDF and MS Word format. The software could also use more third-party programs like accounting and business intelligence apps.
Nevertheless, Tarkenton GoSmallBiz claims to have serviced over 300,000 small businesses and is currently operating with 50,000 active users. Considering that it focuses on small business, we strongly recommend this business plan builder software if you’re starting fresh and need funds for your first venture.
- Multiple third-party services
- Highly customizable business plan
- Financial statements and projections
- Limited export options
- Demo version has limited features
Hailed as one of the top business planning software, Enloop includes a solid financial forecasting software alongside its business plan app. According to their website, Enloop has an impressive track record of more than 300,000 satisfied customers.
Enloop’s template is designed to sort out your vision and provide you with a set of realistic long term objectives. Accompanied by a score counter that evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of your business plan, Enloop’s template is right on point. With a simple set of instructions, all you need to do is insert the data.
The template consists of nine segments which are further separated into brackets. However, the program could use more guidance when it comes to creating operating statements.
As one of the top business planning software solutions, Enloop offers a three-tiered solution. The Detailed package has a starting price of $19.95. The package allows you to create up to three separate business plans. With an additional $9.95, users can enhance the number of business plans available.
The regular package also includes an analysis of up to three financial ratios and comes with a number of additional features. If you choose to purchase an annual Detailed package subscription, you can save up to 55% on the total price.
But Enloop’s pride and joy is its Performance package which enables you to save 66% if you choose the annual option. The package also limits you to three business plans but provides up to 16 financial ratio analysis turns as well as additional features. The Performance package costs $39.95 per month.
If you are unsure about making Enloop your software of choice, get a seven-day free trial version with top-tier features. Although the free business plan software option allows you to make only one business plan, it includes a three-year forecast which can provide you with valuable insight into where your business is headed.
Enloop claims to be an easy online business plan writing software that's smart, simple and fast. Its interface keeps you focused and guides you every step of the way. Each step is automated, with Enloop software processing the data you feed it and arranging your document accordingly.
The interface runs smoothly and without delay which is rewarding, especially when you are doing your numbers and don’t have time to bother with faulty software.
Enloop’s business plan generator provides its users with a wide array of tools and features, covering your future business plan from all possible aspects. One of its most thoughtful traits is the share option which lets you invite members of your team to take part in creating the business plan.
Other specific properties that give Enloop the edge on the market are the Autowrite and TextSync features. Autowrite is there to provide structure for your business plan text, relying on the data you previously entered. This feature will spit out financial predictions and management history based on your numbers alone, giving you more time to focus on the data.
In terms of structure, Enloop is the best software on this list thanks to its detail oriented approach.
The second trait that distinguishes Enloop from the rest of the pack is the TextSync feature. TextSync will make all your worries about synchronizing numbers disappear.
For instance, if you decide to boost your sales projection for a specific period based on the data you acquired after making the initial forecast, TextSync will automatically change all other figures related to that specific change in your business plan. This tool essentially saves you the trouble of having to change the data manually.
This business plan maker software will balance your focus and keep you engaged. For example, it will encourage you to dedicate time to the Products and Services section and then let you take a breather while filling out your Past Performance section.
Although Enloop’s tools offer obvious advantages, we strongly advise prior preparation. A spreadsheet is still your best friend, and only an arsenal of well-prepared data can help fully utilize Enloop’s master tools. Thanks to the software’s performance score you will receive compliments on sets of data that work and warnings for the ones that don’t.
- Automated data processing
- Highly customizable
- Seven-day free trial
- Email support only
- No refunds
Bizplan was devised by startup.com as an answer to business plan generator programs across the web with a special focus on companies that are chasing venture capital for the first time. Bizplan offers an abundance of resources with an entire community of start-up experts as well as enthusiasts to back your project.
Bizplan enables you to customize your own business plan template by using a template-builder tool. In addition, the software keeps track of the customization process, reminding you to include aspects you may have forgotten. Moreover, Bizplan’s library holds a number of well-developed templates for balance sheets, income statements and break-even analysis.
Bizplan offers three packages in its store. The first is the pay-as-you-go monthly package at a cost of $29 per month. If you choose the annual package, you receive a 30% discount with the total amounting to $249. Finally, for a $349 one-time fee, you can get lifetime access to this provider’s services.
What sets Bizplan apart from other business plan software programs is its attractive and easy-to-use interface. It enables you to customize your business plan with a simple drag-and-drop tool for templates, similar to modern website builders. The result is a great-looking, structured business plan with a designer’s touch that is sure to leave a good impression on investors.
Another great trait is the dashboard for your financials. This feature enables you to monitor in real-time as well as generate reports and forecasts. All this is illustrated by useful and easy-to-understand charts that will provide you with immediate insight into the figures you are interested in.
Bizplan is directly connected to Fundable, startup.com’s online fundraising platform. The platform allows users to rank their business plans and receive funds among top-tier investors specialized in providing venture capital for small businesses.
Bizplan’s strength lies in its intuitive design and a well-prepared fundraising market. Its Fundraising Management tool allows you to market your business plan easily and enhance your chances of getting funds.
Bizplan’s solid learn-as-you-go tools backed by experienced entrepreneurs are also worth highlighting as the software’s premium features. Combined with dedicated customer service, it makes the program accessible to newcomers while addressing each concern and inquiry.
By purchasing Bizplan’s business plan generator, users gain access to an entire library of online classes as well as other educational resources and guidelines from professionals who have helped jumpstart thousands of small businesses.
- Automatic financial projections
- Huge library of educational resources
- Team and investor collaboration capabilities
- Lacks tracking tools
- Too complicated for absolute beginners
While other entries on this list focused on helping users to launch their businesses from scratch, PlanGuru boasts an impressive set of tools for budgeting and forecasting.
Made by PlanGuru LLC, this business plan software works as a desktop app unlike other entries that are usually cloud-based.
The software’s downside is that it doesn’t offer templates. Instead, it integrates other programs like QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks, Xero, and Excel. It might not be the most user-friendly software on the list, but for a mid-tier small business proprietor, it can offer much more than a beginner’s online tool.
In terms of pricing, PlanGuru is certainly the least affordable option with the basic package cost of $99 per month for a single-user license. Each additional user will be charged with another $29 per month.
This adds up to an annual subscription of $899. Although the price sounds steep, this is a highly professional software that is intended for entrepreneurs who wish to step-up their analytics and create the most realistic forecasts possible.
If you find this software for business plans unsatisfying, you can get your money back during the first 30 or 60 days depending on whether you signed up for a monthly or an annual package.
The software comes in two versions. The first one, which specializes in businesses and nonprofits, is the one that landed PlanGuru on this list. The second version is focused on financial advisors and accounts.
PlanGuru’s interface might seem outdated at first and the software’s features can sometimes appear difficult to handle. But those with experience in accounting and writing business plans are likely to appreciate the required focus. In short, this is the high roller’s choice in the complex world of business plan software programs.
Rather than focusing on visuals, PlanGuru provides users with a deeper insight into their operation than any other entry on this list.
As you’ve probably noticed, the strength of this business plan pro software lies in its ability to meticulously run financial processes. PlanGuru’s budgeting tool is especially impressive. But don’t let that scare you.
Although it might seem too professional for a business plan tool, it still relies on the premise that the user is neither a professional accountant nor a financial expert, but someone who has basic business planning skills.
Designed as a reliable business plan software for Mac and PC, PlanGuru offers an arsenal of additional tools designed to tackle every aspect of a business plan. The PlanGuru team is always on hand to offer assistance on the software’s use.
Meanwhile, PlanGuru Analytics adds to your business plan analysis with insight into both budgeting as well as personnel building and management.
PlanGuru Analytics focuses on performance measurement and enables you to configure your dashboards to present different types of ratios and metrics. It also handles data like the number of units sold, the headcount of your personnel as well as billable hours. Moreover, it goes into details that enable you to budget salaries per person and revenue per customer.
Delving deep into the accounting software category, this business plan’s software is definitely more sophisticated than the other names on the list. But that’s not all. PlanGuru Analytics can highlight variances, identify and track trends as well as present them in a graph chart. Users can also unlock the Advanced Excel Reporting tool to customize reports and export them in .xls format.
- Project management and collaboration features
- QuickBooks and Excel integrations available
- Advanced budgeting and forecasting tools
- No business plan templates
Working both as a cloud-based online business plan software and a desktop app, BizPlanBuilder is another great entry for start-ups looking to raise capital. This software enables users to develop a comprehensive business strategy and pitch for moderate funding.
BizPlanBuilder is a beginner's favorite and operates with several templates with details on a number of different industries. After you make your pick, you add the template into the document editor and further customize it to reflect your own needs. If you’re looking for a startup business plan template, you can rely on the one already prepared by BizPlanBuilder.
You can acquire BizPlanBuilder for $27 per month. The price applies to a single user. With every additional user, the price grows by $1. The package doesn’t offer an annual service since the primary focus is on its business planning qualities and not progress tracking and analytics.
BizPlanBuilder’s interface is tailored for inexperienced users. It provides a step-by-step wizard that walks you through the writing process, accompanied by intuitive design and questions. The answers are automatically filled into the brackets. The program also includes document-creating tools like spell check, image importing as well as document preview.
JIAN Tools is among the best business plan software companies out there. This is the firm that markets BizPlanBuilder. The program includes graph and chart generators, an onboard calculator and budget-feasibility tools. This enables the user to operate with large data entries like figures that get automatically calculated into financial projections, budget sheets, and cost analyses.
These tools save time and allow users to focus on presentation. In addition, you can use BizPlanBuilder to import financial info from your accounting software or Excel sheets.
Like Enloop and Bizplan, the program allows you to invite team members to participate in creating your business plan in real-time. You can save your results in DOCX and PDF formats, which makes them accessible for most devices.
The software includes useful educational materials both in the form of written articles as well as videos and personalized mentorships that are streamed on the business plan website. Also, the company provides a free PR course with one of their experts.
The course is focused on building the user’s public image, including contacts with media outlets, writing press releases and making sure the company gets the representation it deserves.
The company can be contacted by telephone or via email. All queries will be answered within less than 24 hours. The service is known to be very professional, patient and polite.
But BizPlanBuilder lacks an organizational chart builder that helps create a flowchart of your company’s hierarchy, accompanied by an operating plan. However, it does allow you to import an image of an organizational chart made by a third-party program.
- Web-based and downloadable
- Additional users for just $1/month
- Excellent customer support
- No organizational chart builder
- Limited export options
Fortunly’s Guide to Business Plan Software
A business plan is central to every successful business. Writing a business plan once required an entire board of people. But today’s technology groups all those skills into a single software.
With an entire arsenal of tools designed to follow your business plan from its inception to the pitch, business plan software packages take everything into account. The software is intended to help you bring your vision to life and create an organized, detailed, and above all, convincing business strategy.
Needless to say, the benefits of a well developed business plan can help you attract the right investors. A business plan program also helps you analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the competition, which you can use to outline your own strategy. Moreover, it guides you through one of the most dreaded phases of any start-up － business document management.
But business plan software isn’t just for operations in their infancy. It is used on a daily basis by international corporations that handle billions in revenue and refer to business plans for industry and market sizing, sales strategies and funding requirements.
A business plan grows and evolves, so feel free to revisit it because it also acts as a compass. Some of the apps include features that help you track your progress, and compare it with forecasts you made during the planning phase
Those looking to motivate their team with a new project or chart a new course for their company can also turn to business plan software.
Always bear in mind that a business plan is a document intended for presentation. So, rather than letting your creative side take over, keep the language concise and reassuring. That said, the business plan writer software has the ability to package your proposal in an enlightening and entertaining manner.
The software is usually designed to ask intricate questions in an effort to simulate the exchange you are likely to have with your audience. If the questions raise doubts about your approach, that’s actually a good thing. Think of it as a test run for the actual presentation because business plan software that takes you through such scenarios can certainly make a difference.
Although some options allow you to return to your business proposal to fill in remaining brackets, other business plan creator software requires completed forms before it agrees to save everything written on the page.
Although business planning software does some of the work for you, it’s always best to do your own math before you start filling in the sections.
1. Business Plan Structure
The top business plan templates usually include a number of elements intended to answer all inquiries from potential investors. Before getting started,choose a software that leads you thoroughly through each step of the way, leaving no room for errors. The better the structure, the easier the approach.
So ensure that your online business plan software is capable of transferring your unique business vision into a framework backed by attractive illustrations like tables and graphs. The structure is usually based on segments like Basic Info, Product and Sales, Marketing, Management, Personnel, Financials, Financial Reports and Analysis.
2. Calculate Your Figures
Your ultimate goal is to justify an investment by showing how your business plans generate income. The software is there to direct your attention to your financial report and support your claim by easy-to-handle charts. Calculate your profits and losses and use business planning tools to present the figures as strikingly as possible. With the right tools, you can provide balance sheets and accompany them with monthly and yearly forecasts.
Although it serves as an excellent tool for arranging your presentation, a biz plan builder is much more than that. The more advanced options will allow you to do a comparison study, and examine your competition up close. You can check how other players in the industry perform, filtered by region and company size.
It will leave you with priceless insight, enabling you to bypass some uncomfortable, but common misconceptions regarding market data. With the help of business plan writing software, you will be able to create a realistic assessment of how long it will take for your company to break even, or turn a profit.
Also, features like risk assessment and performance tracking will keep you on point.
4. A Guiding Hand
You have an idea, you have a plan. Sort of. Now the planning software takes in your previously prepared data and analyzes it along the way. The program constantly spits out sample data, enabling you to compare your figures on the spot.
It also provides you with a concise definition of otherwise complicated economic terms, which comes in handy if you are not sure about your choice of words. In addition, a good business plan software provides you with useful tips and other advice on how to build a business plan.
A software company business plan should begin with an Executive Summary, followed by the Objectives and Mission of the Company as well as chapters like Keys to Success, Product Style, Product Development. Furthermore, your business plan should include a Brief About the Company, Type of Company Ownership, Initiation Costs, and Research and Development. Finish your software company pitch with segments like Capital Plan and Investment.
A sales plan is a strategy that defines sales targets and business tactics. The plan normally includes sales strategies suited for the targeted market, revenue goals, budget and team structure.
LivePlan is among the market’s best business planning software. Part of the Palo Alto Software suite, Liveplan steps you through the complex process of making a business plan. In addition, the program enables entrepreneurs to track their progress using a unique dashboard specifically designed for small business owners.
The term pro forma refers to at least three important statements every business plan is required to have. These are based on the three main accounting statements which include profit or loss otherwise known as an income statement, cost of sales, operating expenses, interest and taxes.