Every business, no matter the size or industry, needs a business plan. A business plan is a written document that outlines the goals and business objectives of a company, as well as the strategies needed to achieve them. Business plans also include details about the company’s products and services, marketing plans, financial forecasts, and management structure.
Business plan creation can be challenging, but software can help make the process easier. This guide will explain what business plan software is, how it works, how you can use it to start the business planning for your company, and how to choose from the best business plan software options for your needs.
The Basics of a Business Plan
Before you can understand what business planning software does, it is important to take a look at what goes into a business plan. Business plans are documents that describe a business, its goals, and plans to achieve those goals. It includes information about your products and services, your target market, your financial projections, expectations for future growth, and your marketing strategy. Good business plans lay out the groundwork for your business and all you want to achieve and there are many sample business plans available online to help you understand exactly what good (and bad) business plans look like.
If you’re seeking financing for your business, potential investors will want to see a detailed business plan that includes financial projections and information about your business model and potential for profitability. Even if you’re not looking for outside funding, business planning can still be a helpful tool for organizing your thoughts and keeping track of your progress as you start and grow your business. Business plans are crucial for every company, from small businesses to large corporations, and the best business plan software options make the creation process fast and easy.
Business Plan Software Overview
Business plan software is a program or online tool that helps you create a business plan. A business plan builder guides you through the process of creating each component of a good business plan step-by-step and provides templates and tools to make the job faster and easier. Creating a business plan manually takes a lot of your time and can be expensive if you choose to outsource the process. Business planning software can make the planning process much easier by providing step-by-step guidance.
Why You Need Business Plan Software
The right business planning software can help you create a professional-looking business plan on your own. Having a great business plan can be key to the success of your business and is something that many potential investors will want to see before offering funds. A polished, detailed plan shows investors that you have a clear vision for your company and how you plan to achieve it. Having a great business plan can also help you run your business more effectively and efficiently. Finding a great business plan builder makes the creation process faster, easier, and in many cases, less expensive.
The Best Business Plan Software Features
The business plan software features that are best for you will depend on your individual needs. That being said, there are several features to look for when choosing the best business plan software regardless of your business type, including:
- Financial Forecasting – The best business plan software will include tools to help you accurately forecast your company’s financial performance. This includes sales, expenses, profitability, and other key financial data.
- Fill-in-the-Blanks – Great business planning software will have templates and tools that make it easy to fill in the blanks and create a professional-looking business plan with minimal effort.
- Starter Text – Just filling the in blanks is great, but sometimes you need a bit of clarity or inspiration on what to write. Business plan software that starts you off with example text can be very helpful in figuring out what you need to write for your own business.
- Design Options – While a well-written business plan is essential, it’s also important that your document looks good. Look for business plan software with design options that let you choose an aesthetic that works well for your industry and/or individual business.
- Customer Support – If you encounter a problem with your business plan software, it’s important to have access to customer support. The best business plan software will offer expert customer service and an online support center where you can find answers to common questions.
Business Plan Software Costs
The cost of business plan software tools can range from free to several hundred dollars. The price you pay for business planning software tools will depend on the features you need and the level of customization you’re looking for.
An important factor to remember is that a free business planning tool generally does not come with many of the features that make business plan software great in the first place. Features like financial forecasting are crucial for great business plans but are often not included in free business plan software solutions.
Choosing the Right Business Plan Software
Now that you know what to look for in business plan software solutions and roughly how much you will spend, it’s time to choose the right program for your needs. There are several business plan software options out there, but not all of them have financial planning or other key features you might need. When choosing between business plan software tools, consider the following:
- Your Budget – Remember that free software is limited in features. Choose a program that fits within your budget, but still offers the features you need.
- Your Needs – Whether you are a first-time business planner or an experienced pro, it is important to find the best business plan software that meets your needs and makes the job easier. Look for software with important features like financial forecasting, starter text, and great customer support.
- Your Business Type – Some business plan software is geared towards specific types of businesses and includes sections or locked-in design options that you do not need. Make sure the software you choose has design options that can accommodate your needs.
What Makes PlanBuildr Different
PlanBuildr is the fastest and easiest business plan tool, and it offers all the features you need to create a professional business plan. Not only does PlanBuildr have fill-in-the-blank simplicity, but it also comes with built-in financial forecasting and support from an expert customer service team. Standout features include:
- Simple Fill-in-the-Blank Exercises – PlanBuildr’s simple fill-in-the-blank exercises make it easy to create a professional business plan with minimal effort.
- Automatic Financial Calculations – Financial forecasting tools calculate your financial projections for you. PlanBuildr will automatically calculate key financial data, including financial statements, and makes adding charts and graphs simple.
- Multiple Design Options – PlanBuildr offers a variety of design options to choose from, so you can create a professional business plan that looks great and fits your specific industry.
- Instant Availability – Once you’re done with the business plan creation process, you can download or print your document immediately.
- Expert Customer Service – The expert customer service team at PlanBuildr is available to answer any questions and you have access to a helpful online support center to find solutions to the most common issues.
If you’re looking for business plan software that is easy to use, comes with great features, and won’t break the bank, PlanBuildr is the right business plan software solution for you. You can even get started for free and explore all that PlanBuildr has to offer.