Business Plan Software Review

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Develop a Good Business Plan Design

If starting a successful business only required a good business idea, millions more people would share in the wealth of success. The reality is that business ideas require good business and marketing plans to obtain funding, support and other resources from others. This is where good business plan software comes into play.

To start any new business venture one needs to sort out exactly what needs to be done, how much it will cost, and where developments will lead in the future. Most importantly, business owners and those who may finance them need to know whether a business idea will end up making money. All this planning needs to be expressed in writing and through financial graphs and charts.

Given the huge number of financial charts and graphs necessary for most professional applications it is no wonder that the beginner would become overwhelmed with the process. Well-designed business planning software therefore can make the difference between getting a solid business idea into reality.

The advantage of business plan software is the ability to help ease the time-consuming task of putting all the information needed into a professionally presentable format. Additionally, wizard-driven software can help beginners with important strategy considerations and ensure that important sections are not overlooked. With all these important considerations, however, choosing the right business plan software solution can be just as daunting as creating a business plan.

Luckily there are several good choices for beginners and advanced users alike. The software choices in this review focus on the beginner, but consideration is also made to note flexible considerations for the advanced user. On this site you will find articles related to business planning as well as reviews of business plan software to help you make an informed decision on which product is best for you.

What to Look for in Business Plan Software

When selecting software for your business plan it is important to keep in mind that simple is not always better, but that flexibility often means more advanced levels of knowledge are required for a professionally polished look. The software reviewed here can be broken down into two basic types – 1) the standalone software that typically provides a wizard-driven interface, and 2) packages that include Microsoft Word and Excel documents to be customized by the user.

Standalone options are typically a better choice for the beginner. These applications provide step-by-step instructions and internal tips and hints during the process. For the advanced user who is familiar with Microsoft products the business plan template packages are a good choice for allowing a very flexible format while the complex formulas, tables and charts are automated making the process much faster than creating a plan from scratch.

Below are the criteria Top Ten Reviews used to evaluate the business plan software rated on this site:

Appeal & Flexibility
Business plan software should be easy to navigate and allow the user to move from section to section quickly and without confusion. Additionally, it should be easy to come back and complete unfinished sections as business plan development will often span several days.

Research Tools
Good business plans incorporate financial data and solid explanations of strategy and development into graphs, charts and reports. To ensure the best information and most successful presentation the user must do their research. Research tools include access to business publications and articles, tools for developing market analysis and access to business statistical data that can help make an argument for sound business development.

Forecasting Tools
One of the most difficult elements of business planning for beginners is the complex calculations needed in order to provide forecast data that show how expenses and income will expand or contract over time. A good business plan application will provide tools that help make this process simpler.

Import Options
Users often have financial data that they would like to import into a business plan. Import options may include allowing the user to incorporate Microsoft Excel data, or even data from bookkeeping software like QuickBooks or Peachtree.

Printing and Publishing
One of the most important elements of any business plan application, the ability to print a professional-looking plan is of utmost importance. Flexible printing options include Microsoft software documents like Excel spreadsheets and Word files as well as Adobe PDF format. Today’s technical advancements also make HTML or internet formats an appealing option.

Help & Support
Help and support options are especially important for the beginner but can also be useful for the advanced user. Sample plans and recommendations for wording and phrases are some significant support features. Providing samples from similar business types can be very useful and can help provide ideas for improvement. Tutorials, videos, internet help resources and telephone technical support are also handy for all user levels.

Whether a beginner or a more advanced user, these applications can be a significant resource. By providing samples, business strategy resources through publications and articles, and offering easy to use step-by-step wizard start-up options, business plan software can be one of the most significant investments one makes when planning a newly started business or expressing plans for a start-up. This review has resulted in the recommendation of several software options including the top three choices which include: BizPlanBuilder Professional, Business Plan Pro and BizPlan.com. Any of these choices would provide a solid start for beginners, useful even for the more advanced user.

 
 
Software » Business » Business Plan Software Review
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Business Plan Pro BizPlan Builder BizPlan.com Ultimate Business Planner Business PlanMaker Professional Deluxe Plan Write for Business PlanMagic Business Business Plan Success BizPlan|DB Venture Planning System Pro
Business Plan Pro BizPlan Builder BizPlan.com Ultimate Business Planner Business PlanMaker Professional Deluxe Plan Write for Business PlanMagic Business Business Plan Success BizPlan|DB Venture Planning System Pro
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Lowest Price
Visit Business Plan Pro Standard Edition
$99.95
Visit BizPlan Builder Professional - Business
$129.95
Visit BizPlan.com
$29.00**
Visit Ultimate Business Planner 5.0
$99.00
Visit Business PlanMaker Professional Deluxe 2009
$14.97
Visit Plan Write for Business Plan Write
$129.95
Visit PlanMagic Business 11.0
$99.95
Visit Business Plan Success 5.0
$49.99
Visit BizPlan|DB 2010
$18.95
Visit Venture Planning System Pro 2010
$49.98*
Ratings
9.63
9.57
7.82
7.57
7.50
6.63
5.25
5.13
4.68
4.33
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
10.00
8.75
7.50
10.00
10.00
10.00
8.75
10.00
7.50
10.00
10.00
10.00
6.25
7.50
7.50
7.50
7.50
8.75
6.25
7.50
7.50
7.50
7.50
8.75
7.50
6.25
6.25
7.50
7.50
7.50
2.50
7.50
6.25
7.50
7.50
5.00
5.00
7.50
5.00
5.00
5.00
10.00
2.50
5.00
5.00
5.00
2.50
5.00
2.50
5.00
7.50
6.25
2.50
5.00
6.25
5.00
0.00
2.50
6.25
 
Research Tools
Market Analysis Wizard
        
Business Publication Resources
 
 
 
Organizational Chart Builder
  
    
Statistical Database Resources
  
   
 
Forecasting Tools
Graphics
 
Reports
 
 
Charts
 
 
Automatic Projection Tools
 
 
Budget/Feasibility Plans
       
Business Valuation Tools  
   
Import Options
Import from QuickBooks
  
    
Import from Peachtree Complete Accounting
         
Import from MS Excel   Excel Native     
 
Printing & Publishing
Custom Plan Templates
 
  
 
 
Export to MS Word
  
    
Export to MS Excel
 
 
  
Export to MS PowerPoint
   
   
Export to Adobe PDF
 
  
Export to HTML
   
    
Online Publishing Options
       
Additional Versions & Options
Upgrade Pricing
 
  
Instant Download
 
n/a
Backup CD
        n/a
Money-Back Guarantee
   
  
Multiple-User  
 
   
Help & Support
Installation and Program Wizards
 
   
Sample Plans
    
Sample & Recommended Words/Phrases
 
  
Step-by-Step Guidance
 
 
   
User Manual
    
 
Tutorials
 
     
Informational Videos
 
      
Online Advice and Support
   
  
Telephone Support
  
   
Final Plan Review Wizard
   
    
*This price reflects a 6-month-long subscription rate. **This price reflects subscription rate per month.Upgrades are priced at a one-time fee of $79.00.