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Business plans are essential for any commercial entity as they provide a clearly defined roadmap for growth. Such plans are fundamental for acquiring investment, which makes them particularly important for new businesses. Regardless, devising a business plan is a tedious task.
While there is no shortcut to all the deliberation and calibration that go into building a business plan, using the right software can definitely cut short the laborious manual tasks required to bring a plan on paper. Such a software tool is known as business plan software.
This buyers guide touches upon some important aspects you need to know and consider while evaluating options available on the market.
Here is what we’ll cover:
Business plan software is a tool that allows automating the entire process of creating a business plan. It offers pre-designed business plan templates, market research data, and forecasting tools.
There are two deployment options for business plan software. We’ve listed the characteristics of each option below:
Cloud-based deployment: Hosted on vendors’ or third-party servers; you can access the solution from a web browser or mobile app. These solutions are usually priced on a per month basis or according to the number of users per month.
On-premise deployment: Hosted on your own servers, which requires you to invest in network equipment and servers. This deployment option charges you for each user license. You’ll also need to pay for software upkeep.
Key questions to ask a vendor before you buy:
Considering all the costs—such as one-time set-up fee and data migration costs—what is your product’s total cost of ownership (TCO)?
Does your business plan software integrate with project management tools?
After checking the deployment options, the next step is to learn about the common features of business plan software. This information will help you shortlist systems based on your business needs.
Business plan templates: Use pre-designed, customizable, industry-specific templates to ideate and create business plans that reflect your business goals.
Business plan templates in Upmetrics
Financial forecasts: View financial (sales, profit, revenue, etc.) forecasts along with different financial ratios to analyze and optimize business performance.
Revenue and financial projections in iPlanner.NET
Visual layout: Incorporate different visuals, charts, and themes within your business plan documents/presentations to make them appealing to the audience.
Different PDF themes in LivePlan
*Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They’re obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.