10 Things to look for When Choosing a Business Plan Software

Posted: October 3, 2011 in Growing your Business
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While creating an efficient business plan is the first step in getting a new company off the ground, drafting one may not be an easy task. Most business plan software packages are built to make this process easier and more convenient to many entrepreneurs.

When searching from the many business plan software brands in the market, it is crucial for you to know the things that you are looking for and what you need from the application that you are planning to purchase. The software packages may be pricey so it would be wise to shop around for the best deal that gives you the greatest return for your money. Before you rush and grab a copy of that software, make sure you are making a wise decision. Here are some of the features that you need to look for in business plan software.

  • A step by step guide. The person creating the business plan software may not have specific training on that subject. The best programs are not always which the experts understand.
  • An SBA approved template. When it comes to business, there is a specific way to do things, and that includes drafting business plans. The best programs feature the SBA format guidelines which is the top choice for investors and bankers these days.
  • Forecasting tools. These tools will make it easy for users to know when the company breaks and when it should start to experience financial growth.
  • Technical support. Play it smart and make sure you have help whenever you need it.
  • Market data. There are business plan software packages that include market data for industries. This information is crucial in planning future outlooks.
  • Import capability. If you have been keeping business records in Excel or QuickBooks, then having a business plan tool that lets you import these utilities is an amazing time saver.
  • Sample plans. Most of the time, you need to be inspired. Look for a program that features business plan samples to help get a good grasp of how it should be. You want your personality to be reflected in your plan but seeing how it is done will also help you get started.
  • Export capabilities. An export tool will help you export your plan into a Word, Excel, PDF or PowerPoint presentation file.
  • Money back guarantee. You don’t want to have software that isn’t what you hoped it would be. Find a software company that includes a special money back guarantee program when returned in a number of days.
  • Add on features. There is a competitive industry for the business plan software industry today. If you can find companies who are willing to throw a few incentives, then that would be great. This may not be the main criteria in choosing a program but if it has ten other features, then why not give it a try?

Give your business plan a boost with the help of these programs!


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