Profitable Businesses Have a Business Plan
Whether you’re a business newbie or pro, the right business plan program can save you valuable time and, if the business plan program happens to be online, the time you save will be even greater.
You see, business plan programs are designed to make the planning process as straightforward as possible. This is done through the collection of tools, templates, workflow processes and advice which is packaged into each solution.
For the newbie, this business plan model is ideal. They get all the support they need to get up and running quickly by following step-by-step processes laid out by the solution. Everything they need to move forward is at their fingertips and that’s where the time-savings really start adding up.
For the pro, the business plan model described above helps kickstart the planning process, but the real advantage is in developing the business plan online. Once on the web, all of the online software advantages apply including the ability to share and collaborate in one place, two very important features of the business plan creation process. Just think – no more e-mails back and forth sending outdated versions to select people when everyone involved needs to see the most up-to-date version at any time. This leads to much less communication and a much more streamlined process.
In addition, many of the online business plan solutions offer tools to share a version of your business plan with potential and existing investors as well as the ability to track actual progress against the plan to see how well you are meeting goals.
Below I’ve listed the top business plan programs available online. I’ve also listed a couple of sites where you can download business plan examples and business plan templates.
Enjoy and, if you have used, or plan to use, any of the solutions listed below, I would love to hear about your experiences! Leave a comment and share what you’ve learned. Thanks!
Top Online Business Plan Programs
Bizplan allows you to select a base business plan template from their library and then walks you through the process step-by-step. You can collaborate and share and, perhaps best of all, connect directly with funding sources directly though their partnership with the GoBIG Network of investors.
planHQ offers a solution which turns your business plan into a project plan. This tool helps you create your business plan (or import your existing one), manage it on an everyday basis with goals and action steps that grow directly out of your strategic goals and guidelines and track your actual progress against your plan. You can collaborate, assign owners and share your plan in many formats.
Funding Roadmap is a business plan program designed from the bottom-up to get your plan in front of potential investors. You can create a plan, collaborate and share and list it in their marketplace for investors. They even include the option to have an elevator-pitch video which can be viewed alongside your plan.
This solution allows you to build your plan online starting with a library of templates and moving you through the process step-by-step. One unique feature I really like is the ability to send a non-disclosure agreement to a potential collaborator before giving them access to the plan-in-progress.
If you’re in the UK, then this is the business plan program online for you. With templates, a step-by-step process and many helpful resources, you should find everything you need to create your plan. Best of all, you not only get a tool, but you are joining a community with conference calls and discussion where you can get and give advice and create connections.
This is business plan creation at its most basic. For a fixed cost, you can login and follow their step-by-step process to create a business plan. Once you are done, download it as a PDF and you are all set.
This is a cool tool. Essentially, plancruncher walks you through a step-by-step wizard which forces you to minimize verbiage and boils your plan down to its core elements. It fits the result of this process on one clear and easy-to-grasp page with text and visuals. The advantage, according to them, is that you will not overwhelm busy investors when introducing your business because you will have a one-page document that explains it all.
Business Plan Templates
As I mentioned above, this section lists two sites where you can download business plan examples and templates.
No matter what your business, you will find a business plan template for it here (often many!). In addiiton to the plan templates, you will also find tons of advice and how-to articles and videos.
SCORE’s template gallery offers a number of basic but solid templates to download.
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- 7 of the Best Business Plan Programs Online (plus 2 template sites!) – August 26, 2011