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5 Best Business Plan Software in 2022

Sally Lauckner

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

When you’re starting a business, developing a strong business plan will be one of the first steps you take. Your business plan will cover everything from a detailed explanation of your products or services and pricing model to at least three years of financial projections—plus much more. Therefore, whether you’re not sure how to get started or you’re just looking to make the process easier, you may want to turn to business plan software for help.

In this guide, we'll break down five of the best business plan software options—discussing their pros, cons, features, pricing, and more—so you have all the information you need to decide which solution is right for your small business.

The 5 best business plan software options

The right business plan software will make the process of writing your business plan much simpler. Like many business software solutions, however, there are a number of different business plan software options out there—each of which has a unique set of features, user experience, and price.

This being said, if you're looking for a place to start your search for the best business plan software, you can explore the five top options below:

1. LivePlan

Best overall business plan software.

If you want template-rich, modern-feeling business plan software, then LivePlan may be the right pick for you. LivePlan excels with their user interface, which feels updated and slick, and also offers intuitive, easy-to-use features and options.

Their step-by-step instruction will help you kick things off from the beginning, and you can take advantage of their online learning center to continue to gain business skills.

Affordable plans, including pay-as-you-go option

No long-term contracts or cancellation fee; 60-day money-back guarantee

Modern, intuitive interface; cloud-based, can be used on Mac, PC, as well as tablets

Ability to create unlimited plans in one account; over 500 customizable templates

Variety of business resources including video tutorials, step-by-step instruction, and general customer support

Limited integration options

Challenging to enter your own financial modeling projections

Can be difficult to learn

Ability to create an unlimited number of business plans on one account

More than 500 business plan templates spanning various industries

Integration with Xero and QuickBooks Online

Real-time tracking of financial data with accounting integrations

Ability to export your business plan to Word or PDF

Expert advice and step-by-step instruction included

Performance dashboards for tracking against budgets and sales goals

Ability to create and export a one-page pitch executive summary

Annual plan: $15 per month, billed every 12 months

Six-month plan: $18 per month, billed every six months

Pay-as-you-go plan: $20 per month, billed once every month

2. GoSmallBiz

Best for multiple business management tools in one platform.

Next on our list of the best business plan software options is GoSmallBiz, which is much more than just a business plan software. With GoSmallBiz, you have access to business continuity planning software with features that cover creating a roadmap, working through business and legal forms, building a website, and more.

In this way, GoSmallBiz is great for startups or newer businesses looking to access multiple business management tools through one platform.

Unlimited business consultation and extensive library of online resources

Multiple business tools in one software

Website consultation analysis and business assessment

Industry-specific business plan templates with emphasis on financial projections and statements

Expensive monthly cost compared to alternatives

Limited business plan features

Entire business plan can only be exported to Microsoft Word

Outdated interface

Industry-specific business plan templates with step-by-step building wizard

Ability to create financial statements and projections

Free website hosting and website builder

Customer relationship manager with integration with MailChimp

Digital marketing dashboard with social media and Google Analytics integrations

HR document builder

Corporate minutes writer

Business documents library

Business courses library

Unlimited business consultation

$39 per month, no contracts, free cancellation

Best for simple, fast business plan creation.

If you're looking for free business plan software, Enloop will be one of your closest options—they offer an all-inclusive seven-day free trial, no credit card required. Additionally, unlike some of the other options on our list, Enloop is strictly dedicated to business plan creation, including automated text writing, financial forecast comparisons, and a real-time performance score that tracks your progress.

This being said, if you'd prefer the most straightforward, fast, and simple way to write your business plan, Enloop will be a platform worth considering.

Simple and straightforward software, solely dedicated to business plan creation

Seven-day free trial

Automatic text generation available to streamline the writing process

Affordable plans with annual discount option

Limited additional educational resources

Only one template option

No integration options

Ability to create three business plans with customizable text, images, tables, charts, and over 100 currency symbols and formats

Includes automatic text generation for each plan section that you can then customize

Automatically generated financial statements

Includes financial performance comparison analysis (using three ratios with Detailed plan and 16 with Performance plan)

Real-time performance score to track your progress

Ability to invite users to edit (two with Detailed plan, five with Performance plan)

Pass/fail report and certificate to help you identify issues with your plan

Free plan: Seven-day free trial with no credit card required

Detailed plan: $19.95 per month or $11 per month, paid annually

Performance plan: $39.95 per month, or $24 per month, paid annually

Best for startups looking to acquire funding or find investors.

Part of the suite, Bizplan gets top marks for their user interface—it’s intuitive, easy to use, and modern. You’ll work with a step-by-step business plan builder to get exactly what you’d like from your business plan. It may remind you of a modern website builder, since it has drag-and-drop tools to build templates.

Moreover, for one subscription fee, you have access to all of the tools in the network, including self-guided courses, how-to guides, masterclass videos, and more. All in all, with a direct connection to Fundable, Bizplan is a top business plan software option for startups looking to acquire funding and find investors.

Subscription gives you access to all tools

Lifetime access subscription option

User-friendly drag-and-drop business plan builder

Excellent educational resources

Connection to Fundable great for businesses looking for capital

No free trial

No templates based on industry

No mobile access

Drag-and-drop templates for business plan building

Financial command center to track all business financials in one place

Unlimited account collaborators

Ability to share business plan online with investors

Online resources including self-guided courses, masterclass videos, how-to guides, mentorship access

Unlimited software use for Fundable, Launchrock, and

Monthly plan: $29 per month

Annual plan: $20.75 per month, billed at $249 per year

Lifetime access: $349 one-time fee

5. PlanGuru

Best for financial planning and budgeting.

Finally, for some of the strongest financial features among business plan software options, including budgeting and forecasting, you might check out PlanGuru. Whereas the other solutions we've reviewed were first and foremost focused on writing a business plan, PlanGuru is dedicated to business financial planning —providing the tools you need to create budgets, financial forecasts, reports, and more.

Therefore, if you need a software solution that can streamline the financial piece of your business planning processes, PlanGuru will certainly have the most to offer.

Extensive financial tools and detailed forecasting, budgeting, and reporting capabilities

Substantial library of resources

Cloud-based and desktop options

14-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee

Expensive, especially for additional users

Only focuses on the financial aspect of business planning; no templates or tools for basic business plan writing

Difficult to use without prior financial knowledge

Cloud-based version of software, as well as locally installed Windows version (desktop version has a few more features)

Works with QuickBooks Online, Xero, and Excel

Budgeting and forecasting for up to 10 years

Over 20 standard forecasting methods

Formula builder to create custom methods

Ratios and KPIs

Dashboard and reporting tools

Help guides, video tutorials, knowledgebase, and live U.S.-based customer support

14-day free trial

$99 per month (additional users $29 per month)

$899 per year (additional users $299 per year)

What to look for in business plan software

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide, which, if any, of the best business plan software solutions on our list is right for your business.

So, if you're trying to figure out how to choose between the various options out there, it might be helpful to compare your top choices based on the following criteria:

Features: As we've seen different business plan software solutions offer different features. You'll want to look carefully at the feature list of any software and determine what features are most important for your business needs. Do you need an extensive library of templates with detailed customization? Would you prefer software that includes an online learning center for business skills? Are you looking for a solution that combines business plan writing with other tasks? It may be useful to list out your ideal feature set, so you can compare individual software plans to that list.

Price: Although you might be able to find some free business plan software options (or at the very least, free trials), in most cases, you'll need to pay a subscription fee to access the platform you choose. Therefore, you'll want to think about what your budget is for this business tool and what type of software is most cost-effective for your needs.

User experience: User experience can vary widely among different business plan software options. You’ll find some programs that are newer or have been recently updated. Others might have the kind of interfaces that felt new years ago but are now pretty out of date—and, subsequently, make them a little harder to use. The right user experience for your needs is genuinely a matter of opinion and comfort—nevertheless, it's worth testing thoroughly testing out a platform to ensure that it can truly work for you before investing in a monthly or annual subscription.

The bottom line

There's no doubt that properly crafting your business plan is important for the future growth and success of your small business. Luckily, the right business plan software should make the process much simpler.

This being said, whether you opt for one of the best business plan software options listed here, or another platform entirely, you'll want to take the time to compare multiple solutions and ensure you choose the one that's right for your business.

As we mentioned, it can be helpful to think about the features you're looking for, your budget, and your user-experience preferences ahead of time—that way, you'll have a set of criteria in mind as you explore different solutions.

Ultimately, perhaps the best thing you can do to find the right software is to actually test out the platforms themselves—either by using a free trial or a money-back guarantee.

This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

Business Plan Software Reviews

Latest business plan software stories, the best business plan software.

A good business plan helps you identify your mission and your value proposition. We test top business plan creation tools that help you build and track your organization's future.

Palo Alto Software LivePlan Review

Delivered in slick, cloud service packaging, Palo Alto Software's LivePlan is a very nice business planning tool that comes complete with loads of customizable features and solid online help and learning resources. Even so, the products sheer depth means you're still facing a bit of a learning curve.

NetEkspert iPlanner.NET Review

iPlanner.NET from NetEkspert is a fairly easy way to build a quick business plan, but the company seems more focused on helping consultants build plans for clients rather than on folks building business plans for their own use. On the other hand, fewer features mean a simple process and it's even got a fairly nice price.

Atlas Business Solutions Ultimate Business Planner 5.0 Review

ABS Ultimate Business Planner 5.0 works using a fairly intuitive interview format to gather the data needed for your business plan. Unfortunately, that process is marred by the need for extensive manual data entry and spreadsheet work.

Tarkenton GoSmallBiz Review

Heavy on the mentoring and advice side, Tarkenton GoSmallBiz delivers an an easy-to-use business planning application that works using step-by-step templates with built-in advice modules.

The Business Plan Shop Review

The Business Plan Shop provides a good-enough business plan writing aid, but mainly for people who know what needs to be in the document. Beginners or those looking for plan writing guidance will need to keep looking.

StratPad Review

If you've got a clear idea of what you want your burgeoning organization to accomplish, but you just need some help with organizing and project management, then StratPad may be your ideal solution.

PlanGuru Review

Less a business plan creator than a financial reporting tool, PlanGuru nevertheless does a creditable job for those seeking to build a worthwhile business plan document. Still, rank beginners or those less focused on financial calculations might need to look elsewhere.

EquityNet Review

EquityNet doesn't focus exclusively on business plan creation. Instead, it's really a platform for those seeking investors as well as those looking to invest. Still, its bundled business planning tool is solid and can help speed startups toward getting funded.

Enloop Review

Enloop is a solid choice for those looking to build a business plan quickly. Good data syncing capabilities are enhanced by a solid collection of features, most of them customizable. While its help resources leave something to be desired, Enloop is a good choice for those with relatively simple planning needs.

OnePlace Review

OnePlace wants to be considered as a business plan creation tool and the foundation is certainly there. But once you dig into it a bit, you'll find it's far more capable as an online collaboration and project management tool than simple document creation.

Best business plan software of 2023

For planning your business finance

A person indicating a laptop screen with work on it.

The best business plan software makes it simple and easy to plan your business finances in order to present this information to a bank or investors.

The whole point of a business plan is that it allows you to critically evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, not least via your Unique Selling Point (USP) and make product or service comparisons with competitors.

Of course, even the best business plan relies on estimates and guesstimates, as it's impossible to predict market changes, developments, and future performance under such conditions. 

Ultimately, though, a business plan will demonstratively prove why your business is a solid enough investment to risk putting money into, and shows that you have properly and thoroughly researched your market, and details the real potential of a new business opportunities.

Here then are the best business plan software providers currently available.

You can also look at our featured best free software for small business .

The best business plan software of 2023 in full:

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test .

Reasons to buy

Reasons to avoid.

Bizplan is the online business planning tool that claims usage of 30,000 startup founders from the platform. They use a guided creator that can break the big project down into the component pieces that get tracked with a Progress Tracker, and expert guidance each step of the way including templates that can be dropped in, and completed, along with simple integration of visuals along the way.

Additional resources are also provided via the Bizplan Academy, with lessons on relevant topics, for example, “Building a Brand: How to Tell a Powerful Brand Story,” and “Critical Path Your Way to Higher Revenues,” among the many offerings. Those that need even more assistance also can take advantage of an expert consultation from a financial expert.

2. PlanGuru

PlanGuru is a comprehensive, and powerful software package in the business planning space. Education is provided via a series of case studies at their PlanGuru University and a whole slew of video tutorials.

The feature set includes flexible budgeting that can handle a simple small business, or a larger multi-department operating budget, and financial forecasting that uses multiple methods, including intelligent and turn-key methods - twenty methods in total. Historical results can also be imported with the general ledger import utility which can then applied to produce a rolling forecast. They also offer PlanGuru Launch, a service to bring in expertise and is charged per hour of assistance.

A significant downside is Planguru charges a higher cost than other software options. While there is no free trial, PlanGuru does offer a 30 day money back guarantee. 

Our expert review:

Enloop is a great choice for business planning software for the cash strapped business as it is the rare offering that has a free tier. Step up up to the next tier, and this is no barebones product, as it has over 100 currency symbols, can automatically generate bank-ready financial reports, and even has automated text writing that can sync with financial data to turn it into text. There is also a real time performance score assigned, that dynamically changes as the business plan is strengthened.  

The plans start with the Free tier, which is limited to a single business plan with simple text, no images, and does not offer any advanced features. The next plan up is the Detailed plan, that supports three business plans, and offers a significant 55% discount when paid annually, making it even better value. 

Read our full Enloop business plan software review .

4. LivePlan

LivePlan is business planning software that offers a simple pricing scheme as there is only a single plan to choose from. As they have a 15+ year track record, they offer a clean and simple interface, that can create business plans that look like they were done by an expert consultant, and the software includes a live dashboard that can track day-to-day performance. Those with writer’s block will benefit from the over 500 included sample plans that can be turned to for inspiration.  

Rather than complicate things with too many tiers to choose from, LivePlan only has a single plan which can be paid for monthly or annually.

5. Business Sorter

Business Sorter promises to simplify and speed up business planning and claims to be able to flesh out a plan in an hour or two, via a novel 273 card sort system that covers many common situations.

The ability to reword cards is included, or also to add cards to the already expansive deck, so no worries if there is not a pre-made card for your situation. Unlike some sites that have videos, the educational resources here are provided as PDFs and Word files, which can be quicker to access, but harder to follow for some learners. 

The lowest tier plan, Basic is fully featured, and includes up to three team leaders. 

Read our full Business Sorter review .

Other business plan software to consider

We've only covered some of the most popular business plan software platforms out there, but there are a number of other notables worth mentioning, plus a wide variety of providers of business plan templates. Below we'll briefly cover a range of some of the additional options out there that are worth considering to get your business plan right.

A business plan is essentially your roadmap to profitability from an initial investment. Whether it's your own money, or a loan from a bank, it's still a good idea to set up a business plan for yourself.

Main things to look to are a SWOT analysis to provide an idea of your business idea's strengths and weaknesses, as well as identify a unique selling point (USP) that will give your business an edge.

While business plans inevitably demand the use of figures, and while these can be impossible to be accurate with, at least by making intelligent guesses you can set yourself targets to work towards.

That's another common feature of a plan, so that specific periods you can review your business progress and make adjustments to your plan as required. This allows you to use real figures for your projections, allowing you to better plan ahead.

Go Business Plans (opens in new tab) is more of a consultancy than a software solution, but is worth mentioning for the simple fact that it's one of America's biggest business plan companies. While software might be able to do the job for you, if you're looking for significant funding, it's probably useful to get some professional advice, not least in terms of strategic planning, feasibility studies, and financial projections to ensure you have a solid base for your business plan.

Wise Business Plans (opens in new tab) provides a very wide range of templates to work from in constructing a business plan. These are particularly designed with funding in mind, no matter what kind of business you run. What is especially helpful is that Wise doesn’t simply deal with business plan templates for a diverse range of business types, the company also provides plan templates for franchises and non-profits.

Plan Writers (opens in new tab)  is another bespoke service that essentially listens to what you want and then puts the plan together for you. Again, this technically falls outside of business plan "software", but the chances are you'll use a software package as a platform to build from, and Plan Writers can then help you build up from that base.

Bplans (opens in new tab) is another provider of business plan templates, but goes beyond that with additional pitch and SWOT analysis templates. There are also business plan guides, industry reports, and a free course on writing a business plan. Bplans also publishes a lot of free-to-use articles on business planning, financials, and tax reporting, to help ensure you can keep your figures and projections accurate and compliant.

You may also be interested in our featured business guides on best business laptops , best business computers and best business smartphones .

Which business plan software is best for you?

When deciding which business plan software to use, first consider what your actual needs are, as sometimes free platforms may only provide basic options, so if you need to use advanced tools you may find a paid platform is much more worthwhile. Additionally, free and budget software options can sometimes prove limited when it comes to the variety of tools available, while higher-end software can really cater for every need, so do ensure you have a good idea of which features you think you may require.

How we tested the best business plan software

To test for the best business plan software we first set up an account with the relevant software platform, whether as a download or as an online service. We then tested the service to see how the software could be used for different purposes and in different situations. The aim was to push each business plan software platform to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools.

Read how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar (opens in new tab) .

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Brian has over 30 years publishing experience as a writer and editor across a range of computing, technology, and marketing titles. He has been interviewed multiple times for the BBC and been a speaker at international conferences. His specialty on techradar is Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, covering everything from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, published as Brian G Turner.

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Data as of 11/28/22 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

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A business plan can do a lot for your business. It can help you secure investors or other funding. It can give your company direction. It can keep your finances healthy. But, if we’re being honest, it can also be a pain to write.

Luckily, you don’t have to start from scratch or go it alone. Business plan software and services can help you craft a professional business plan, like our top choice LivePlan , which provides templates, guidance, and more.

You’ve got quite a few choices for business plan help, so we’re here to help you narrow things down. Let’s talk about the best business plan tools out there.

Business plan software 101

The takeaway, business plan software faq, compare the best business plan software.

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LivePlan: Best overall business plan software

Data as of 11/28/22 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. *With annual billing

LivePlan has been our favorite business plan software for a while now, despite the stiff competition.

There’s a lot to like about LivePlan. It has pretty much all the features you could want from your business plan software. LivePlan gives you step-by-step instructions for writing your plan, helps you create financial reports, lets you compare your business’s actual financials to your plan’s goals, and much more. And if you ever need inspiration, it includes hundreds of sample business plans that can guide your writing.

LivePlan software pricing

But the best part? You get all that (and more) at a very competitive price. (You can choose from annual, six-month, or monthly billing.) While LivePlan isn’t quite the cheapest business plan builder out there, it’s not too far off either. And if comes with a 60-day money back guarantee. So there’s no risk in trying LivePlan out for yourself.

With a great balance of features and cost, LivePlan offers the best business plan solution for most businesses.

BizPlanBuilder: Most user-friendly

Need something easy to use? BizPlanBuilder fits the bill.

BizPlanBuilder doesn’t have a flashy, modern user interface―but it does have a very clear, intuitive one. You’ll be able to see your plan’s overall structure at a glance, so you can quickly navigate from your title page to your market trend section to that paragraph on your core values. And as you write, you’ll use a text editor that looks a whole lot like the word processing programs you’re already familiar with.

BizPlanBuilder software pricing

Data effective 11/28/22. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

BizPlanBuilder also offers lots of helpful guidance for actually writing your plan. It gives you pre-written text, in which you just have to fill in relevant details. It offers explanations for what information you need to include in each section of your plan and way. It even gives you helpful tips from experts, so you’ll have all the information you need to plan like a pro.

So if you want planning software with almost no learning curve, you’ll like BizPlanBuilder.

Wise Business Plans: Best professional service

Data as of 11 /28/22 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Unlike all the other companies on this list, Wise Business Plans doesn’t offer software. Instead, it offers professional business plan writing services―meaning someone does all the hard work for you.

Now, you might think that sounds expensive―and you’re probably right (you have to request a custom quote for your plan). But there’s a lot to be said for expertise, and Wise Business Plans has plenty of that. Your business plan will get written by an experienced writer (with an MBA, no less). They’ll get information from you, do their own research, and then write your plan. You get one free revision, and you can always pay for more.  

Wise Business Plans service pricing

Your end result will be a polished, entirely original business plan. (You can even get printed copies.) And best of all, you won’t have to spend your precious time working on the plan yourself. Wise Business Plans takes care of all the hard parts, and makes your business look good while doing it. Sounds like a service worth paying for, right?

Put simply, if you want the most professional business plan possible, we recommend using Wise Business Plans’s writing service.

Business Sorter: Best for internal plans

Many businesses need plans to show to people outside the company (to get financing, for example). But what if you just need a plan for internal use? In that case, we suggest Business Sorter.

Business Sorter uses a unique card-based method to help you craft the perfect business plan. (You can watch a demo video to see how it works.) You’ll plan some of the usual things, like finances and marketing. But Business Sorter also lets you make plans for specific teams and team members. It also emphasizes more internal matters, like operations, that might get overlooked in a business plan for outsiders.

Business Sorter software pricing

After you’ve made your business plan, Business Sorter also helps you stay accountable to it. You can create tasks, give them deadlines, and assign them to team members―giving you basic project management tools to make sure your business plans become business actions. (Oh, and did we mention that Business Sorter has the lowest starting prices of any software on this list?)

It all adds up to a business plan software that works great for internal planning.

GoSmallBiz: Most extra features

Want to get way more than just business planning software? Then you probably want GoSmallBiz.

See, GoSmallBiz offers business plan software as part of its service―but it’s just one part of a much bigger whole. You also get everything from discounts on legal services to a website builder to a CRM (customer relationship manager) to business document templates. And more. In other words, you get just about everything you need to get your startup off the ground.

GoSmallBiz software pricing

Don’t worry though―you still get all the business planning help you need. GoSmallBiz gives you business plan templates, step-by-step instructions, and the ability to create financial projections. And if you get stuck, GoSmallBiz will put you in touch with experts who can offer advice.

If you want business planning and much, much more, give GoSmallBiz a try.

We recommend the software above for most business planning needs. Some businesses, though, might be interested in these more specialized planning software.

Honorable mention software pricing

Planguru: best financial forecasting features.

Plan Guru

PlanGuru is pretty pricey compared to our other picks, but you might find its forecasting features worth paying for. It has more forecasting methods than other software (over 20) plus it lets you forecast up to 10 years.

BizPlan: Best for equity crowdfunding

BizPlan is made by the same people that make Fundable (one of our favorite crowdfunding platforms for startups ). It's one of the few planning tools that offers a lifetime access option (rather than monthly or yearly subscriptions) and it has loads of courses, videos, and guides—all full of advice for your investor-bound business.

EnLoop: Cheapest tool for startups

enloop logo

EnLoop doesn’t have our favorite features or interface, but it does have really, really low pricing plus a seven-day free trial. It's the most affordable software for startup business planning and still provides all the essential features like financial analysis, team collaboration, charting, and more.

Data as of 11/28/22 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. * With annual billing

Several of our previous favorite planning software, including BusinessPlanPro and StratPad, seem to have gone out of business.

A business plan is a written, living document that tells the story of your business and what you plan to do with it. It serves as the source of truth for you—the business owner—as well as potential partners, employees, and investors, but it also serves as a roadmap of what you want your business to be.

Why you need a business plan

While some small-business owners don’t see the point of creating a formal business plan, it can have some concrete benefits for your business. For example, one 2016 study found that business owners with written plans are more successful than those that don’t. 1

Still too vague? Then let’s get specific.

If you ever seek business funding (from, say, banks, angel investors , or venture capitalists ), you’ll have to prove that your business deserves the money you want. A formal business plan―complete with financial data and projections―gives you a professional document you can use to make your case. (In fact, most potential investors will expect you to have a business plan ready.)

Even if you’re not seeking funding right now, a business plan can help your business. A formal plan can guide your business’s direction and decision making. It can keep your business accountable (by, for example, seeing if your business meets the financial projections you included). And a formal plan offers a great way to make sure your team stays on the same page.

What to include in your business plan

Not all business plans are created equal. To make a really useful business plan, you’ll want to include a number of elements:

Of course, you can include more or fewer elements―whatever makes sense for your business. Just make sure your business plan is comprehensive (but not overwhelming).

How business plan software can help

With so many elements to include, business plan creation can take a while. Business plan software tries to speed things up.

Most business plan software will include prompts for each section. In some cases, you can just fill in your business’s specific information, and the software will write the text for you. In other cases, the software will give you specific guidance and examples, helping you write the text yourself.

Plus, business plan software can help you stay organized. You’ll usually get intuitive menus that let you quickly flip through sections. So rather than endlessly scrolling through a long document in a word processor, you can quickly find your way around your plan. Some software even lets you drag and drop sections to reorganize your plan.

Sounds way easier than just staring at a blank page and trying to start from scratch, right?

Choosing business plan software

To find the right business plan builder for your business, you’ll want to compare features. For example, would you rather write your own text, getting prompts and advice from your software? Or would you rather go with a fill-in-the-blank method?

Likewise, think about the elements you need. If your plan will have a heavy focus on finances, you’ll want to choose business plan software with robust financial projection features. If you care more about market and competitor analysis, look for software that can help with that research.

You may also want to find business plan software that integrates with your business accounting software . Some plan builders will import data from Xero, QuickBooks, etc. to quickly generate your financial data and projections.

And of course, you’ll want to compare prices. After all, you always want to end up with software that fits your business budget.

The right business plan software can make your life easier. With LivePlan ’s wide breadth of features and online learning tools, you can’t go wrong. Plus, BizPlanBuilder 's one-time pricing makes it easy to invest while Business Sorter has a low starting cost. And if you're business is looking to grow, GoSmallBiz and Wise Business Plans will scale with you.

But of course, different companies have different needs. So shop around until you find the software that’s best for you and your business.

Now that you've got a business plan, take a look at our checklist for starting a small business.  It can help you make sure you have everything else you need to get your startup off to a good start!

Related content

Creating a business plan can take anywhere from a couple hours to several weeks. Your timeline will depend on things like the elements you choose to include, whether you use software or hire a writing service, and how much research goes into your plan.

That said, much of the business plan software out there brags that it can help you create a fairly detailed plan in a few hours. So if you’re going the software route, that can help you set your expectations.

If you want to get the most out of your business plan, you should update it on a regular basis―at least annually. That way, you can continually refer to it to inform your company’s strategies and direction.  

At the very least, you should update your business plan before you start looking for a new round of funding (whether that’s with investors or lenders).

Thanks to business plan software, you can easily write your own business plan rather than pay someone to do it for you. And in most cases, software will cost you less than a professional business plan service.

There are some times you might want to go with a service though. If time is tight, you might find that it’s worth the cost of a service. Or if you’ve got big investor meetings on the horizon, you might want the expertise and polish that a professional service can offer.

Ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether business plan software or a business plan service will work better for your company.


We ranked business plan software and tools based on features, pricing and plans, and connections to project management and other services. The value of each plan and service, along with what it offers, was a big consideration in our rankings, and we looked to see if what was offered was useful to small businesses or just extra. The final thing we looked at was the ease of use of the software to see if it's too complex for small businesses.

At, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources 1. Harvard Business Review, “ Research: Writing a Business Plan Makes Your Startup More Likely to Succeed .” Accessed December 8, 2022.

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Money Check

Palo Alto Software LivePlan Review: Business Plan Software

LivePlan Review

Having a great business idea is the start of any successful venture, but there is a lot of work between an idea, and your first profitable quarter. LivePlan from Palo Alto Software is a purpose-built platform that will help you take just about any business concept and flesh out a realistic business plan.

The vast majority of businesses will require at least some amount of outside investment. That could take on the form of a partnership, an investment from a Venture Capital company, or a simple old bank loan. No matter what kind of support you are looking for, your young company will need to have something on paper to back up your vision and goals.

Putting together a business plan might sound simple enough, but it takes a lot of effort just to get to the point where you will have all the information that a potential investor would want to see.

That is where LivePlan from Palo Alto enters the picture. LivePlan is built to help you put together a solid business plan, and a whole lot more.

Visit LivePlan

What is LivePlan?

If you are looking for an all-in-one business planning software that will be affordable for just about any business (or start-up) Palo Alto’s LivePlan is one of the best options your business has. Priced at just $19.95 per month, with discounts for annual purchases, and a free trial plan, the platform is all but perfect for businesses of any size.

The platform that Palo Alto designed is set up for companies that are just getting started or have already created a working business. It offers integration with industry-standard accounting platforms QuickBooks and Xero, though it won’t allow you to import information directly from a spreadsheet.


LivePlan isn’t the only business planning software out there, but it is certainly one that you should consider if your business needs to get a professional plan together, or is just getting set up.

Let’s take a look at what the cloud-based platform does, and why it has been chosen by so many SMEs as their go-to business planning software.

Get Started With LivePlan

Despite all the customization options that LivePlan features, the platform is very easy to use and straightforward. Workflow on the platform is based on choosing templates for your business plan and then responding to prompts that the software provides for you.

If you are still wondering where your business idea might fit, don’t worry.

LivePlan has a questionnaire that will help you to find the right place for your business to develop its market. The questions you answer will help the platform to find the right kind of business plan template, and also give you some idea of where your business could operate successfully.

Perfect for a New Venture

We know how much pressure you need to confront when starting up a new business in a market that is getting more competitive. There are loads of great ideas out there, and you need to get noticed.

Look around and you’ll see how many startups have survived and been successful over time. It is definitely not a huge number, While some are able to grow, most are out of the game within three years.

The fact is that new ventures never fail to amaze us with new wonderful ideas, but there’s a big difference between having a great idea and turning it ideas into a successful business , and of course, keeping the business going each year.

Small Business

That being said, it’s helpful to have a set of instructions that you can follow at the beginning to help you understand how business works and how your decisions your entire business image. LivePlan helps you develop business plans that range from start-ups to strategic marketing to funding plans.

If you’re not sure which form of strategy is better, this program will help you decide if you need funding or an investment plan and then provide models for each situation.

Ready to Work With Existing Businesses

Even a successful business can have problems as it works to adapt to a changing economy. Let’s say you’ve been running your business for a long time. At some point, it may encounter problems that require outside help.

These challenges can come from accounting, customer demands or even conflicts arising between co-workers. LivePlan can make it less struggling to find solutions to business challenges your company may face.

The platform’s scope is wide, with high-level strategic planning, full business plans, financial modeling, benchmarking, and dashboard reporting, which compares predictions to real accounting information.

With software assistance, a small business owner can think through a detailed strategic plan and then uses plan versus actual data to measure performance, identify issues and keep track of the company.

Business Plan

LivePlan: A Platform with Loads of Features

Business planning is a key element for any successful entrepreneur.

Let’s face the facts: business planning can be a hassle. Not planning your business would be like packing up for the trip without a destination in your mind. You aren’t going to go anywhere, and if you manage to get your project off the ground, it won’t last long without a solid plan.

Planning your business is critical but instead of opting for a traditional business plan, LivePlan replaces it with a planning process that works much better, and ensures that you spend less time on planning and focus on building your business: Lean Planning.

It is probably much easier to go with lean plan than a traditional business plan, whether you’re a startup or you already own a business. The Lean Planning methodology developed by LivePlan is a powerful tool for assisting you as your business grows and needs to develop a smooth and efficient business management system.

The first step for any business is to build up an understanding of the business model that will get you off the ground.

For that reason, LivePlan offers you a clear explanation of the target customers, marketing and sales activities that your company may be able to reach. The platform can help your company find a fit for a product or service offering with a simple one-page business plan, starting with a pitch.

A pitch is a presentation of a business venture to potential investors. People need to pitch a business as they need resources, and they need to do it quickly.

The pitch target is an investor if the goal is to raise startup cash. Many companies are marketing their services to potential customers and a pitch is a great way to start finding investors to back your ideas.

Example Business Plan

Another way to use LivePlan Pitch is to attract talented people who you want to collaborate with you in your business.

You may need a partner or other human resource to help fulfill your mission, so having a ready-to show document is a wonderful thing to demonstrate what you’re building and why your potential partners should join in.

In addition to presenting your business idea to your team or investors, a pitch can be used in order to test out the effectiveness of business strategy.

If you have an idea but you’re not entirely sure it’s going to work, filling out a pitch document in LivePlan will give you a sense of whether or not your business concept will be able to proceed.

Easy to Use

With LivePlan Pitch, you can easily craft and update your pitch at any time so you can follow the development of your business, and see if it is in-line with the pitch you created.

The ability to easily create a one-page business pitch is no doubt a noticeable feature, however, if you prefer a more traditional style, LivePlan can help you write a detailed multiple-page business plan document.

Once you complete your pitch (no matter what kind you choose), LivePlan can export your key business strategy, competition, financial insights, team and resources to a professional PowerPoint version, which will be ready for a solid presentation.

Have you ever struggled with the idea of starting your new business, but you come up with no clue how the business will play out in the real world?

LivePlan proves that you don’t need a business background to build your own empire, the platform will present to you every aspect of a business and have your plan completed with help from the software itself. Once you’re done creating your business pitch, you’ll then receive step-by-step instructions on how to go further.

LivePlan has everything a startup needs to fill the gaps at the beginning of a business. The platform itself is much more than a tool to build a simple business plan. LivePlan has a handful of valuable tools on the business planning side of things that are built into their system.

Tell Your Story Visually

You can create a more in-depth plan with fill-in-the-blank forms once you have created your one-page plan within the program.

Writing a business plan is never an easy task, particularly for those who’ve never crafted one before. This part of the process may take you a lot of time to consider which elements should be in your business plan and to ensure that you don’t miss anything important.

Real World Capabilities

Fortunately, LivePlan provides more than 500 plan samples and examples, giving you plenty to choose from in terms of setting out your company specifics.

Plus, these forms come in SBA-approved formats, making it easy if you need to build documents for SBA loans. From auto insurance business to dentist clinics, LivePlan gives you the ability to search real sample contents for any kind of business.

Another great thing that sets LivePlan apart from most of the other business software programs is team collaboration. The platform allows you to add multiple users, such as your team or business partners so they can get access to your business plan or make adjustments.

But if you don’t want to permit others to modify the business plan, it’s no big deal, they can just send suggestions without altering content through a comments tab.

The role of financial forecasting is a critical step in business planning.

A financial forecast is an assessment of a company’s future financial results. In addition to external business and economic indicators, a financial forecast is the best estimate of what will happen to a company financially over a given period of time, using historical internal accounting and revenue statistics.

The theoretical assumptions and expectations of the forecaster will also be used to predict future growth rates and possible events impacting the figures on a financial statement. While no forecast is perfect, forecasts are a vital part of any business.

Create Financial Forecasts

LivePlan has financial calculators and software for automated evaluation of plans. You can enter or import your financial information manually from your accounting program, such as QuickBooks, and LivePlan can calculate your financial projections automatically for up to five years in the future.

Figures and Graphics

The business plan program can also generate graphs that display your financials visually and then directly enter them into your business plan. The “what if” type questions that the platform provides have an impact on your forecast and it will give you further information in case you need to plan for potential market changes.

With LivePlan, you don’t have to worry about all the work that goes with making complicated tablets or equations in Excel. LivePlan guides you step-by-step through the process of creating powerful financial statements that you need for your business plan, even if you have no previous business knowledge.


Although finances aren’t the only thing that matter, a thorough and reliable sales forecast also plays a huge role in your business, and how it might attract talent or investors. Additionally, your company’s sales estimates will also be a vital tool for planning your spending budget.

Whether you want to open up a restaurant, a gaming software business or a wine company, LivePlan can make sales forecasting a piece of cake. This feature can also work for existing businesses by linking your accounting software to LivePlan. A sales forecast can then be created automatically.

It’s important to know your goals and see your business development in real-time. The company dashboard of LivePlan offers you the information you need in an easy-to-understand format and gives you the bird’s eye view that makes the decision-making process easier.

The Liveplan Dashboard

LivePlan Dashboard feature can be incredibly helpful to map all your financial patterns in one place, so you can gain insights into how the business is performing in the real world and lets you dig into aspects of the business that may not be working out.

The platform allows you to:

All of these features remove a time-consuming and tedious process to track revenue and expenditures with a budget, past results, and additional data.

LivePlan makes it simple: synchronize your LivePlan accounting information with QuickBooks or Xero and you will receive all the reports you need to see with a single click. Not only that, historical cash flow will be used to help predict when and if a shortage of operational capital is going to occur in the future.

With the benchmarking tool, you can see how well your business is going compared to the competition. From this in-depth perspective, it’s easier for you to make any business decisions and work to reach your goals.

Dashboard Info

Instead of simply providing the accounting system with the same old financial reports, it makes sense to offer a visual overview that will inspire some team storytelling.

Plus, if you use your dashboard to periodically update your plan, your company might be working quicker than your rivals with potentially effective strategies.

If you have trouble writing your strategy, you can approach an experienced planner to assist with issues such as market analysis, tactical planning, and financial forecasting. LivePlan offers financial benchmarks for more than 1000 business markets.

The Bottom Line

Creating a compelling business plan is one of the most important parts of starting a business and attracting investors.

New ventures and existing businesses have to deal with this challenge. We all know it’s necessary, but we don’t know where to start. LivePlan fills in most of the gaps in the business planning process and automates it to a degree that wasn’t possible a decade ago.

Because LivePlan is cloud-based, you don’t have to worry about what kind of computers your company has, or if they will be able to accommodate any sort of software.

The only thing that LivePlan might need to improve is the lack of options to import financial data from spreadsheets. It only offers the ability to import financial data from QuickBooks or Xero at present. This might be a turn off for major companies, as they like to have control over all the data.

LivePlan Makes Sense for Many Businesses

Overall, LivePlan is an outstanding platform.

LivePlan offers instructional videos and text descriptions of what needs to be done throughout the creation process of the business plan. In addition, its free blog has hundreds of articles on topics related to business planning, you don’t have to get concerned about how to use it.

Starting with LivePlan is quite simple, by going to their website and signing up for either their month-to-month, six-month or annual plan, you’re ready. If you feel unsatisfied with the platform, you are covered with a 60-day money-back guarantee, no matter what program you sign up to use.

LivePlan provides you with access to the newest market analysis and business trends. It also provides step-by-step assistance and guidance on where to find financial support, making it one of the best choices available to write business plans and keep track of how a business is performing over time.

Ease of Use

Customer support.


Nicholas is an experienced Finance Journalist who has written for a number of prominent online publications. He grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan with a father that would read him the Wall St. Journal along side of other bed-time fare. He has traveled extensively, and been lucky enough to study a changing global economy in person. Nicholas spent many years in the Southern Cone of South America, sometimes in the middle of the countryside where livestock starts its journey to all points of the globe. Today he is thoroughly bemused with the stance that Central Banks have taken in the wake of the 2008 meltdown. There is no telling what will come out of the global financial system next, but he is glad that he lives somewhere that gold can be bought and sold readily! [email protected]

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