A business plan is one of the most important things you can have when you’re preparing to start a new business. Not only does it let you share your vision with potential investors, employees and colleagues, but it also serves as a guide map for you to keep yourself on track when you encounter tough times.
Sitting down to write out the entire plan for your business can seem like a daunting task, but luckily there are many programs out there that will assist you through the process. If you’re looking for a little help getting everything down on paper, try one of these great programs:
Business Plan Pro
This software comes pre-loaded with more than 500 business plan templates to help you get started on your own. If that’s not enough, you also get step-by-step instructions for each section, and an optional video course that breaks down each section of your business plan and explains the reasons for including it. If you’d rather stick to the web and not have to download anything, the cloud-based LivePlan gives you all the same functionality without having to download anything.
Ultimate Business Planner
Not only does Ultimate Business Planner help you create your business plan, it also works with you to create a five-year financial projection for your new business. Along with that, it includes a plethora of business resources to help you find answers when you get stuck during the creation process. This program also comes with plenty of information to help you apply for small business loans, including lists of business-friendly banks in your area.
BizPlan is another piece of software that opts to keep all of your work and information online, but they take things a step further. Like other programs, they provide you with templates and help while you’re creating your business plan. What makes them different is that they also let you make the plan instantly accessible to anyone through the internet. In addition, they track people’s reactions to the plan as well as allowing them to provide you with feedback so you know when your business plans are working.
PlanWrite gives you all the tools you need to create your business plan and present it to investors. Start with one of their hundreds of examples, and then use their built-in wizard to guide you through the process of customizing the plan to fit your business. Instantly create full color charts and graphs for all of your financial information. If you get stuck, the 24-hour support phone line will be there to walk you through any part of creating your plan.
SBA Business Plan Builder
The U.S. Small Business Association’s business plan builder may be a tool provided by the government, but it still has some great things going for it. First of all, it’s free. Second of all, your business plan is stored online for up to six months from the last time you logged in, and you can make changes any time as your business grows. Also, you can use your completed business plan to start a discussion with an SBA resource partner to help figure out what direction you want to take your business.
These are just a few of the many resources out there to help you craft the best possible business plan. What tools did you use when you started your business? Share with us in the comments section below.