You might claim that the Jewish deli you propose to open in Asheville, North Carolina will turn a profit in three years, but the market data suggests five years is typical.
This data helps you back up your assertions before a banker can raise an eyebrow.
Don't treat these tools as all-in-one solutions to your problems.
Set your expectations correctly and you'll find these business plan software solutions to be far more helpful. Treat the Business Plan as a Work-In-Process Collect everything you think is necessary before getting started.
Even better, many of the products we review in this business plan creation tool roundup back up their software offerings with in-person coaching and mentoring as well as loads of online learning resources, like videos and how-to articles.
The 10 online business plan software solutions examined in this roundupeach promise to help you construct a polished business plan, with all of the numbers and narrative you need.That's because the next step can be both difficult and labor-intensive, namely writing a coherent business plan.Going from random napkin-notes to an organized, thorough plan to get your business started, funded, and generating revenue for the foreseeable future can be a mammoth undertaking, especially for beginners and even more so for people trying to go it alone.In all of these cases, the business owner has to do something that can be scary: become a business document management expert by creating a structured document (that is, a business plan) with lots of numbers and compelling prose, with the awareness that this pitch is make-or-break for the company's vision. It's hard to express your product's unique selling points, analyze competitors' strengths and weaknesses, and back up your assertions about why you need this much money. In my pre-journalistic life, I wrote two in-depth business plans.One plan taught me that I didn't have what it took to pull off that project and the other plan got my startup business accepted by a VC conference.So, people write business plans in order to acquire funding or to document the company's intended direction.That is, you want a bank loan, VC funding, or other help to get your startup off the ground.However, a few of them provide additional services such as connecting you to funding sources (Equity Net gets a nod here) or comparing your plan to others' plans in your industry (such as what Enloop's performance score does).Ultimately, though, the two Editors' Choice winners were clear: Palo Alto Software Live Plan and Tarkenton Go Small Biz, both of which checked off most boxes on a typical entrepreneur's wish list.These solutions may prompt you to respond to issues that you might not have thought to address. Do the Numbers Ultimately, a business plan shows how your company will make money.Even the simplest plan needs to include financial reports such as charts for profit-and-loss, balance sheets, and month-by-month and yearly projections. Context and Analysis Some business plan software solutions (such as Equity Net and Editors' Choice Palo Alto Software Live Plan) help you compare your numbers to others in your industry, including regions and company size.