A business plan is perhaps the single greatest tool an entrepreneur can use to ensure the success of his company. As he establishes and builds his firm, this multi-page document serves as his guiding light. Included in its pages are the organization’s mission statement and operational procedures as well as its long-term plans for growth. While creating a business plan from scratch can seem daunting, there are various computer software programs on the market that can assist business owners in this task.
Biz Plan Builder
Developed by Jian Software, Biz Plan Builder can be purchased for use on both Mac and PC computers. Utilizing a “fill in the blank” interface, this software is designed to help entrepreneurs create business plans in a quick and efficient manner. In addition to creating and printing a business plan, Biz Plan Builder includes a template for helping users develop a slide show-based presentation to be used when pitching their new business to potential investors and customers.
Biz Plan Builder has received strong reviews from the Business Plan Software Review, which proclaimed it the No. 1 business plan software tool in 2010. In addition, PC Magazine has previously named it a best buy. As of 2010, Biz Plan Builder can be purchased from the manufacturer’s website starting at $129.95.
Available solely for use on PC computer systems, Business PlanMaker is an affordable alternative to other business plan software. As of 2010, the tool retails for $29.95. It allows users to create their business plans step by step, and its makers claim that each template has been crafted by professional business plan writers, resulting in a “higher quality” in the level of writing. In addition to printing completed business plans, end users are able to email them, save them as PDF files or export them to Microsoft Word or Excel.
Business Plan Pro
Developed by Palo Alto Software, Business Plan Pro claims to be the best-selling business plan software for 10 years in a row, garnering praise from a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, CNNMoney.com and Business Week. It is available for purchase in both a standard and premier package, retailing in 2010 at $99.95 and $199.95, respectively. This software boasts over 500 sample business plans as well as more than 9,000 industry profiles that a user may pull from when creating her plan. In addition to the software, purchasers receive many supplementary resources at no additional charge, including two e-books authored by Tim Berry, president and founder of Palo Alto Software; the services of a logo design firm; and a one-year subscription to Inc. magazine.