Comparing to 5 Business Plan Softwares for Small Enterprises | Business

More than 99% of US businesses are considered small, as they employ less than 500 individuals according to Findstack. Moveover, it was found that 69% of US entrepreneurs started their business at home. 

When starting a small business, one of the first steps needs to be the development of a strong business plan. Business plans function by covering a detailed explanation of the products or services offered, a pricing model, as well as at least three years of financial projections. This article will compare five of the best business plan softwares for small enterprises. 

Business Plan Software

According to the Harvard Business Review, entrepreneurs who write formal business plans are 16% more likely to achieve success than entrepreneurs who don’t. Business plans allow entrepreneurs to critically evaluate their business’ strengths and weaknesses, and to make product or service comparisons with their competitors. When entrepreneurs use business plan softwares, it saves them time and it makes reaching success so much easier. There is an array of business plan softwares available, each with its own, unique set of features, user experience, and price. Explore the top five business plan softwares below:

  1. LivePlan

LivePlan offers great value with an affordable price tag, costing between $20-$30 per month. The software allows users to create business plans swiftly on their online, cloud-based platform. Once the plan has been created, LivePlan requires no obligation for the client to keep paying for their services. If the user does decide to stop the service, Palo Alto Software, the makers of LivePlan, keeps the account and business plan data active for at least one year in case the user decides to reactivate their account. LivePlan’s features are:

  • The option to create an unlimited number of business plans

  • A forecast feature for the less mathematically inclined

  • 500+ business plan templates spanning all major industries

  • Xero and QuickBooks integration

  • Real-time financial data tracking

  • The ability to export the business plan to Word or PDF

  • Step-by-step instruction and expert advice included

  • Performance dashboards track sales and budgeting

Some of the main pros to using LivePlan is that they offer a free trial, the offer low-cost annual plans and charge zero cancellation fees. Some of the main cons to using LivePlan is that there are no valuation capabilities and that the templates built on Palo Alto Software’s earlier software Business Plan Pro require some modifications to be used on LivePlan.

  1. Bizplan

Bizplan uniquely offers a lifetime plan that grants you “forever access” to their business plan software. This business plan software provider also offers free access to Startup Courses and a landing page builder, LaunchRock. Bizplan’s features are:

  • Easy, “fill-in-the-blanks” plan builder

  • The ability to publish the business plan online

  • Unlimited business plans

  • The business plan software provider takes care of the financials

  • Cloud-based

  • Options to add more graphics and photos

  • The ability to export to PDF

  • Currently integrates with Xero accounting software

Some of the main pros to using Bizplan is the inexpensive lifetime plan that costs $349, low cost annual plans, no contract requirements and no cancellation fees. Some of the main cons to using Bizplan is there are no valuation capabilities, users are not able to export their business plan to Word and there is no free trial. 

  1. Enloop

Enloop is one of the only business plan software providers that offers a free trial. Enloop’s features are:

  • The user-friendly platform

  • The ability to compare the clients financials against their industry’s performance

  • Bank ready financial statements (Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet, Cash flow)

  • 36-Month detailed financial reports

  • Real-time performance rating

  • Financial projections

  • Generated business plan Pass/Fail report

Some of the main pros to using Enloop is that they offer a seven-day free trial with no credit card requirement, they offer video tutorials to help the user with business plan writing, low-cost plans ranging up to $39.95 per month and no contract requirements. Some of the cons to using Enloop is that they offer no phone of chat support, there are no valuation capabilities, there is a three business plan limit per account and they offer no 30-day money-back guarantee.

  1. PlanGuru

PlanGuru offers considerably more robust software costing $99 per month or $899 annually. PlanGuru, unlike the previously mentioned software providers, offer a valuation tool present on the desktop version. This tool allows users to calculate the valuation of their business using three different methods. PlanGuru also offers budgeting, forecasting and performance tools. Some of the financial data projection methods include revenues, expenses and balance sheet items. PlanGuru’s other features are:

  • Analytics Service for Financial Performance & KPIs

  • Excel-based Advanced Report Builder

  • Compare your financials against your industry’s performance

  • Bank ready financial statements (Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet, Cash flow)

  • PlanGuru’s business plan software lets multiple team members work on a business plan

  • Free 14-day trial and 30-day money-back guarantee

Some of the main pros to using PlanGuru is that they offer great customer support, unlimited business plans and no cancellation fees. Some of the cons to using PlanGuru is that it is costlier than most other business plan software options and the additional cost per user adds up quickly

  1. IdeaBuddy

IdeaBuddy aims to assist entrepreneurs in first developing their idea before refining it into a plan. IdeaBuddy offers:

  • Business guide

  • Financial plan

  • Business plan

  • Marketing plan for selling and promoting products

  • Market overview plan 

  • Create a financial plan to learn how much you need to get started.

  • A proprietary algorithm calculates a final score for your idea providing recommendations for improvement after you complete “Story Mode.”

  • A 15-day free trial, no credit card needed.

Some of the main pros to using IdeaBuddy is that they offer a lifetime plan for only $178, they do not require contracts, they are great for developing ideas and they require no cancellation fees. Some of the main cons to using IdeaBuddy is that they only offer email-only customer service, there are known software lag time issues and they have fewer software options than most other small business options.

The Takeaway

Choosing the correct business plan software for a business will make the life of the entrepreneur so much easier. All mentioned providers are good choices, specialising to cater the needs of all types of businesses. Ultimately, LivePlan’s range of features and online learning tools makes it a clear front runner.