When starting a business, you have four options. Write your own business plan, hire a professional business plan writer, forgo writing a business plan altogether, or purchase business plan software. The first option works if you have experience writing business plans. The second option works if you have more than $400 to spend on a professional writer. The third option really isn’t an option at all, since all businesses must have a plan to succeed, and the fourth option will be discussed below.
What Business Plan Software Includes
Attempting to gain any kind of funding by handing out a sloppy business plan is a bad idea. Business plan software prevents you from attempting to reinvent the business plan wheel. These programs include templates that look put-together. Look for software that includes a number of different templates.
On the flip side, selecting the same business plan template as your competitor may be unwise. Software that allows for a bit of personalization is a good choice. The one thing that business plan software includes is an easy way to put together a business plan of any kind. This can be a relief when trying to figure out how to format your plan.
No matter what kind of software you are shopping for, price will always be a concern. However, neglecting to purchase business plan software due to price alone doesn’t make any sense. There is a cost associated with doing business. Whether you have to spend money on software or on a professional business plan writer, your money will be well spent when you have a well formulate business plan to present.
Now that initial cost concerns are out of the way, it’s important to pay attention to the price of certain software. You’ll find that some software is in the $30 to $40 range while other programs cost more than $200. The difference between the two types of software is the quality of the overall product. Cheaper programs will contain cookie-cutter templates and interfaces that are somewhat difficult to use. If it’s an option, take advantage of any free trial offers that come your way before investing in any business plan software.
Graphs, Charts, and Forecasts
Forecasting is a large part of developing a working business plan. When you analyze your business on your own (or hire a writer do to this for you), you can determine what the future of your company will look like. Some business plan software takes these forecasts into account, but most programs skip this process altogether.
Whether or not you purchase business plan software is up to you, though it is important to choose a program that allows for some graph, chart, and forecast input. Another option is to hire a professional writer or business analyst who can create a clear forecast for you. The rest of your business plan you can leave up to quality software.