11 Best Business Plan Software and Tools of 2020 (Reviewed)
Starting a new business involves a lot of steps. There’s brainstorming new business ideas, writing a business plan, forming a business entity, creating a website, building a marketing plan – it can feel overwhelming at first.
Luckily, there are plenty of business plan software options that can help you every step of the way. Business plan tools help you:
- Create business and marketing plans.
- Get your accounting and taxes in order.
- Create financial projections and business forecasts.
- Finalize and publish a professional business plan.
In this guide, I ranked and reviewed the best software solutions to help take the guesswork out of your planning. These reviews are based on pricing, business features, team collaboration, integrations, support, and more.
Let’s dive into the list.
What is the Best Business Plan Software?
Here are my choices for the best business plan software to utilize for your small business.
Best for small businesses looking for a cost-efficient and easy to use business planner ($15 per month).
LivePlan is a business planning platform that helps you track your business progress. It comes loaded with over 500 free and full-length sample business plans for inspiration. They also help you visualize your complete project. Plus, LivePlan also offers step-by-step assistance through in-built examples.
For small and new businesses, it offers one business plan that you can use to explain business opportunities to your clients. You can also make changes and updates to the plan at any point in time to keep it accurate.
Other features include:
- Build financial forecasts and reports
- SBA-approved format
- Team collaboration
- Industry benchmarks to understand your competitors
Additionally, LivePlan’s automatic financials and presentation features let you convert your one-page plan into a detailed plan. Plus, these financial services provide an estimate of your economic outcomes for the five upcoming years.
- Business Model Canvas – It enables you to project your business model on a single page. You can get your business idea documented in around 30 minutes to share it with investors and partners.
- Cash Flow Forecasting – It automatically imports your business’ accounting data to create a forecast. You just need to follow a few bite-sized steps. You can also sync it with QuickBooks and Xero.
- Milestone Scheduling – Schedule business-critical tasks and milestones in the LivePlan dashboard. And it will send you automated reminders whenever an event is due.
- It provides visual forecasting tools for your sales plan.
- 60-days money-back guarantee.
- Choose from 10 plan themes optimized for funding.
- The business dashboard lets you track your business with key metrics like cost and expenses, revenue breakdown, net profit, operating margin, etc.
- It enables collaboration through easy-to-manage permissions and global access.
- It allows you to work on multiple active plans simultaneously.
- Bank-level security.
LivePlan offers three pricing plans:
- Annual: $15 per month
- 6-Months: $18 per month
- Pay as you go: $20 per month
Every plan includes features like automatic financials, 500+ sample plans, forecasting tools, guided plan builder, performance dashboards, etc. While there’s no free trial, you get a 60-days money-back guarantee.
Best for startups and small businesses looking to access a funding platform ($20.75 per month).
Bizplan is a modern business plan software that provides tools like a guided builder, drag-and-drop templates, automatic financial projections, online fundraising tool, etc. to help you build your plan and get funded.
The guided business plan creator prompts you to answer some questions to build a ready-to-use business plan. It breaks down everything into a step-by-step process to help you write a business plan.
You can use its drag-and-drop templates to decide what you need to keep or delete from the plan.
Plus, Bizplan’s Financial Command Center lets you track all critical finances from a centralized place like salary forecasts, revenue projections, balance sheets, etc.
Bizplan also provides elements like:
- Guided courses on funding
- Direct access to live experts
- Free Access to Fundable.com – Bizplan’s online fundraising platform
- Visual layouts to add to your business plan
- Progress tracker to review your plan and check how close you are to the finish line
- Team collaboration tools and control access from anywhere you want
- Raise Capital Online – Sign up to Fundable.com for free if you are a startup or small business hunting for an investor. It helps you connect with hundreds of potential investors and raise funds for your startup.
- Expert Help – It offers help through 650 expert masterclass videos, self-guided courses, and a pool of over 1,000 how-to guides.
- Control Access – It allows you to control who can view or comment on your sensitive business information. You can also control the access from anywhere since it’s a cloud-based platform.
- Use visual layouts to make your business plan more engaging.
- Keep track of your tasks through a progress tracker.
- It provides multiple reports like income statements, balance sheets, break-even analysis, customer churn, and more.
- Collaborate by tracking feedbacks in threaded comments.
- Instantly share your business plan with a simple link.
Bizplan offers three pricing plans, including:
- Monthly: $29 per month
- Annual: $20.75 per month (Billed at $249 per year.)
- Lifetime Access: $349 one-time payment
All the plans include every Bizplan feature, self-guided courses, 650 masterclass videos, 1,000+ how-to guides, etc.
Best for small businesses seeking great customization and customer support ( $99.95 one-time payment).
Business Plan Pro is a business plan software for small businesses that offers over 500 business plan templates and samples. It also provides customization options for every page. You can even rearrange the outline of the page and add whatever you want.
The templates and samples are present in the preferred format of investors, banks, and SBA-approved lenders. Plus, there are different categories of templates like Manufacturing, Automotive, Travel & Transportation, etc. to help you find a suitable plan.
The software’s sub-product, EasyPlan Wizard, offers step-by-step guidance to help you create your business plan. They will ask you simple questions, and you’ll get the assistance of industry experts like Tim Berry – Stanford University MBA.
You’ll also get features like:
- Video tutorials and instructions and examples for every topic and table included in your plan.
- Error check to review growth rates, break-even analysis, and more.
- Financial spreadsheets.
- Tools to answer legal queries.
Additionally, Business Plan Pro allows you to import data directly from QuickBooks. You can also export your business plan to Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint or transform it into a PDF document.
It also offers SecurePlan to help you share your document with collaborators and investors.
- Advanced Spreadsheets – It enables you to add unlimited custom sheets or import the data directly from Excel sheets. It also comes with an advanced financial forecasting tool.
- Plan Settings for Non-Profits – When you select the non-profit option in the Plan Setup, it automatically customizes financial, plan outlines, charts, and instructions for a non-profit organization.
- Graphic Forecaster Tool – Create visually appealing forecasts with its drag-and-drop graphic Forecaster.
- Its chart editor helps you customize and produce 3-D charts.
- It offers over 11,000 industry profiles for inspiration and comparison.
- Step-by-step guidance through the entire business planning process.
- Automatic number-crunching to help you identify realistic growth rates, manageable cash flow projections, break-even analysis, and more.
- Over 500 sample business plans.
- 60-days money-back guarantee.
Business Plan Pro offers two editions:
- Premier: $159.95 one-time payment
- Standard: $99.95 one-time payment
Both the editions provide Step-by-step help and expert guidance, Industry research tools, and more. On the other hand, the Premier editions let you import from Microsoft Excel and offers visual cash planning, custom templates, etc.
Best for forecasting & budgeting features in a business plan software ($99 per month).
PlanGuru is a business planning software for small & mid-sized businesses and non-profits that helps you budget, build financial forecasts, and plan for the future. You can use the software to create a detailed analysis in just a few minutes.
PlanGuru helps you perform three major tasks, including:
- Budgeting & Financial Analytics – Set financial goals and analyze your financial situation to make better decisions.
- Rolling Forecast – Predict the outcome of your financial decisions based on profitability and cash before you make them.
- Strategic Planning – Create a long-term business plan for your company based on what-if scenarios, possible risks, and opportunities.
Plus, it lets you create projections for up to 10 years through an integrated balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.
You can also integrate PlanGuru with Xero, QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, and Excel Import to build unlimited business plans. Additionally, it comes with an in-built report builder for Excel and lets you export your standard reports to Word, Excel, and PDF.
- Scenario Analysis – It analyzes the possible impact of various special events to help you make strategic decisions and investments with more confidence.
- PlanGuru Launch – PlanGuru comes in handy if you have a complex project and need personal assistance with your business plan. Their team will assist you with everything based on factors like time horizon and cost constraints.
- Forecasting Methods – It offers over 20 forecasting methods that allow you to predict your financial scenario for up to 10 years.
- PlanGuru can perform forecasting through non-financial data.
- It offers financial ratios and a business valuation tool.
- It provides in-built financial statement structures.
- It comes with unlimited budgeting capability to create elaborate plans.
- In-app reporting tools and dashboards to track your business.
- Engagement tools for professional accountants.
PlanGuru offers different pricing plans for businesses/non-profits and advisors, even though the prices are similar.
Business/Nonprofit and Advisors Plans:
- Monthly: $99 per month / Additional users: $29 per month
- Annual: $899 per year / Additional users: $299 per year
You can also choose from a cloud-based app or Windows Desktop solution. You also get a 30-days money-back guarantee.
Best for small businesses and non-profits to create financial statements ($39 per month).
Founded by NFL Hall of Famer and entrepreneur Fran Tarkenton, GoSmallBiz helps you build a business plan that aligns precisely with your business.
It offers business-specific planning templates and expert advice to generate the exact document you need. Plus, its step-by-step wizard helps you build a business plan by filling up business details in multiple segments.
Another useful feature is its online calendar management. You can schedule meetings, events, and appointments and get automatic reminders. Plus, it lets you create financial statements like income, cash flow, and balance sheets, with multi-year projections.
Customer support is another plus point. They claim to provide a guaranteed response within two business days. Moreover, you can even ask endless questions through the app or online medium.
However, GoSmallBiz is more suitable for creating a business plan to attract more investors instead of managing different business aspects.
- Financial Statements – Create financial statements, including cash flow, projections, balance sheets, and more.
- Plan Wizard – It allows you to include or delete elements from its around 100 business templates. You can also move sections’ chronology and edit the table of content.
- Smart Financials – You can get your revenue projections on a yearly, product, or category basis. It also enables you to project multiple revenue streams based on several key metrics.
- It provides reporting in two samples, including insurance and restaurant business.
- Track your sales staff’s expenses like telephone, postage, and bonuses.
- Include detailed information for your brick-and-mortar store, including security deposit, start date, monthly rent, and more.
- You get a separate tab to track HR expenses.
- You can also import your pre-written text from the word processor.
GoSmallBiz offers a single pricing plan of $39 per month. You don’t have to sign up for any long-term contracts since it’s a month-to-month plan.
Plus, the plan includes business plan software, CRM w/ Email Marketing, HR Document Builder, Business & Legal Forms, Business Roadmap, etc.
Best for online collaboration and writing automatic plans ($11 per month).
Enloop provides business plan software that writes automatic business plans and evaluates their potential. It also helps you collaborate with your remote team, accountant, and business partners. Different stakeholders from multiple locations to view and edit your business plan.
Plus, it automatically syncs your financial data with your business details to create personalized business plans. You just need to enter all the relevant business information in its different sections, and Enloop automatically generates text for each section.
It’s also useful for making automatic changes whenever it identifies any business-critical issues. On top of that, you can edit the text, add tables or images, and insert financial forecasts into your business plan.
Additionally, Enloop generates pass/fail reports and certificates to analyze critical issues and resolve them before it’s too late.
- Real-time Performance Score – It offers a real-time score of your business plan. The better your plan is, the better it will reflect in terms of score.
- Country Currency Formatting – You can choose over 100 currency symbols and number formatting for your business plan.
- Financial Ratios – Enloop generates 16 financial ratios to analyze your performance. They also compare your ratios to your competitors to show where you stand.
- It generates financial forecasts for your business plan.
- 7-days free trial without any credit card.
- Use financial and business plan templates to create reports quickly.
- It reflects data in colored charts for better understanding.
- Collaborate with up to 5 users from anywhere in the world.
Enloop provides two pricing plans:
- Detailed plan: $19.95 per month or $11 per month when paid annually
- Performance plan: $39.95 per month or $24 per month when paid annually
You also get a 7-days free trial (no credit card required).
Best for small-business owners looking for lenders and investors ($19.99 per month billed annually).
StratPad is a cloud-based business plan software that helps you create and share your business plan. You can create a business plan within a day through its step-by-step approach.
The business plan approach includes creating Financial Projections. They ask you all the business-critical questions to automatically create relevant financial statements and projections. You can also apply for funding to enhance your cash flow and accelerate growth plans. Additionally, StratPad also matches your business plan with a suitable lending institution.
You also get access to coaches and mentors if you need some mentoring and assistance with your plan. Not just that! It can also connect you with various professionals to help you run your business.
- Video Course – It offers 20 short videos to explain everything related to business planning in a step-by-step manner.
- Track your Progress – Document and report the progress of your business plan through StratPad.
- Share – Instantly share the business plans with co-workers, partners, and investors in real-time.
- Import financial data through QuickBooks integration.
- Create and manage unlimited business plans.
- Extensive customer support via email support.
- Regular software updates are available for free.
- You can export, print, or email your reports and charts.
StratPad offers two cloud-based plans (no long-term commitments):
- Business Plan: $19.99 per month billed annually
- Unlimited Plan: $39.99 per month billed annually
The Business plan lets you create up to 5 plans, while the Unlimited plan creates unlimited business plans. Plus, both plans include a step-by-step video course, 5-level data protection, built-in charts for results tracking, instructional videos, etc.
Best for industry-specific business plan templates ($299 per year).
iPlanner.NET offers business plan software and financial planning tool to help you develop business plans. The business modeling framework helps you build a business model in real-time while collaborating with your teammates. Plus, it offers multiple user-friendly business plan templates like restaurant business plan, venture capital business plan, elevator pitch, etc.
It also comes equipped with a financial engine to gauge different metrics like sales, forecast price, quantities sold, and more. Moreover, all the projects saved on iPlanner have separate and secure URLs to help you share projects with your team.
iPlanner also offers mentoring, resources, and support to small businesses and individuals.
- Marketing Strategy – Create a marketing strategy industry, target market, and competitive analysis with the target market plan.
- Expert Mentors – It has a pool of expert mentors to provide personalized assistance to create a business plan and identify potential investors.
- Sample Language – It offers sample language for every segment that you can use in your business plan. What’s more, they provide tips about the information that you must include in your plan.
- It offers customer support via emails and how-to guides.
- Pre-built, industry-specific templates to create custom business plans.
- Upload documents, reports, presentations, and more for seamless collaboration.
- Feed-in content from multiple external sources, including websites, MS Word, Excel, corporate intranets, etc.
- It takes regular backup of your data on the cloud.
iPlanner.NET provides three pricing plans:
- Professional: $24 for 3 months (It lets you create only one project)
- Corporate: $59 for 6 months (It lets you create 12 projects)
- Corporate Plus: Quote-based
Thecost for the Corporate plan increases with the number of projects.
9. Business Sorter.
Best for creating visually appealing business plans ($10 per month).
Business Sorter is a cloud-based business plan solution that provides the content to create plans you can share and track. The content covers six key business areas, including sales, finance, brand, people, operations, and goods & services.
Business Sorter helps you:
- Manage your finances
- Deal with operational matters
- Plan brand and marketing activity
- Plan for a business of any size and time
- And more
It offers a card sort system of 273 cards that cover different business situations. You can also include, delete, add your own cards or edit the existing ones.
You can keep everything, including your thoughts and ideas, at a centralized location. It also offers advice and tips at every step to help you put your strategy into action.
- Track Progress – You can leverage ‘Task Note’ to highlight issues and use ‘Recent’ Activity’ to track the progress of tasks related to different projects.
- Control – Manage your resources by assigning tasks, setting up due dates, and budgeting. You can also track your team’s progress to see who completes which task and at what time.
- Plan Notes – Keep all the ideas and information related to business handy by jotting them on plan notes.
- Create and manage up to 40 business plans from a single dashboard.
- Collaborate in real-time by sharing live plans with an unlimited number of users.
- Business Sorter offers a 14-days business trial.
- Regular updates are available for free.
- It comes with an autosave feature and strong data security.
Business Sorter provides four pricing plans based on your team’s size:
- Small Team: $10 per month for up to 3 users
- Medium Team: $30 per month for up to 10 users
- Large Team: $80 per month for up to 20 users
- Enterprise: Quote-based for unlimited users
You can also try their annual plans for lower rates.
Plus, all the plans let you create up to 40 business plans. They also provide secure data protection, access on any device, team management through delegation and clear communication, etc.
Best for creating business plans using infographics, reports, and data visualization ($19 per month).
Venngage is a design application that lets you create business plans and explain your business idea with visuals, infographics, and reports. It creates visuals to help you define the market analysis, projections, financial goals, and more in an engaging manner.
It helps you create a business plan in a few simple steps. Those steps include:
- Choose a template – you can choose from over 100+ infographic templates, reports, roadmaps, posters, etc.
- Add charts & visuals – pick from hundreds of charts, maps, and icons to add them to the template.
- Customize your design – Finally, customize your design and add final touches by changing the fonts and colors.
Venngage also allows you to use your own brand visuals, fonts, and colors. It also offers over 70 professionally curated fonts to help you create a visually appealing business plan.
- Data Visualization – Directly import data from spreadsheets in the form of Line Chart, Stacked Bar Chart, Bubble Chart, Pie Chart, and more.
- Drag-and-Drop – Use its drag-and-drop feature to add widgets onto your business plan while adjusting their color, size, and orientation. You can also group and lock widgets.
- Social Sharing – You can share your business plan through a landing page or custom link on social media. It also allows you to download the document in the form of PDF/interactive PDF or PNG.
- It allows you to collaborate with multiple users and edit the document simultaneously.
- Venngage provides an extensive collection of images, graphics, and icons for added visual appeal.
- It lets businesses to include their branding elements.
- You can also upload your own images, icons, graphics, etc.
- You get priority support on its premium plans.
- 24/7 customer support and one-on-one calls.
Venngage offers three plans for different requirements:
- Free (For students): $0
- Premium (For individuals): $19 per month
- Business (For organizations & businesses): $49 per month
You can save 12% with quarterly plans and 20% with yearly payment.
Best for small & mid-sized business owners looking for simple business plan templates ($9 per month).
Xero is the accounting software suitable for small and medium-sized businesses that can help you create a business plan.
It offers two types of business plan templates – one-page and multi-page.
The one-page business plan templates are ideal for startups or if you wish to jot down your initial idea. However, you need to use a multi-page template if you’re going to include all the details.
However, Xero doesn’t let you do online editing like other business plan software. You have to request the template by filling up your name and email in the contact form.
You can also use Xero’s accounting features (like inventory tracking) for your business plan.
- Guides – It offers detailed guides on starting, financing, and managing your business inventory.
- Advisor Directory – Take assistance from financial experts by selecting from its directory of professional contacts.
- Assistive Text – All the template sections come with sample text that offers tips and tricks to create more effective business plans.
- The table of content gets automatically updated when you update the headings.
- Save and share the file in PDF format.
- It offers separate sections for graphs and infographics.
- You get a 30-days free trial to test the product before purchasing it.
Xero offers three pricing plans:
- Early: $9 per month
- Growing: $30 per month
- Established: $60 per month
Every business needs a plan that acts as its roadmap on the path to success. In the past, business plans were lengthy and time-intensive documents that were drawn up manually.
They made searching for information very difficult, which often led to mistakes. Sometimes, the teams could not complete the plans due to lack of time, which was a serious impediment to a business’s working and productivity. This also led to a delay in business decision-making.
And this is where business plan software came into the game.
Today, these business plan tools allow you to create highly professional plans and make it easy to enter financial, operational, and strategical information. It acts as a centralized repository for all business-related content. They help businesses derive actionable insights and demonstrate results to positively influence customers and investors alike.
Some of the best business plan tools include PlanGuru, Bizplan, LivePlan, and more.
What Features Should You Look For in Business Plan Software?
Every business is different. Therefore, the respective business plans will also differ and be unique.
However, some standard features will always be relevant and in demand for any SaaS tool.
Here are some of the main features to look for:
Customization is essential to create unique business plans. And that’s why you require an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor to help you edit and customize your plan just the way you want. It also comes in handy if you want to create business plans that precisely align with your business goals.
No business can survive without financial gains. Financial forecasting is central to short-term and long-term planning for any business since it predicts future earning potential based on your current sales. This feature also helps you convince your lenders or clients to invest in your product. For example, Planguru offers reliable financial forecasting services.
Business plan software must have a flat learning curve so that both experts and novices can use it easily. Many business plan tools provide education material to help you with navigation without any hassle. For example, Bizplan offers many educational videos and materials for users to get used to its environment.
Any business will have a large number of stakeholders and collaborators. And catering to each one of them individually isn’t an easy task. That’s why you need a tool to bring all of them on the same page. Thus, choose a tool that lets you provide access to your team members so everyone can edit and track the business plan – for example, Liveplan.
Tracking business performance and comparing the metrics with your competitors helps businesses grow and remedy their mistakes. For example, with Liveplan’s analytics feature, you can identify and make changes at the operational and tactical levels for better results.
Businesses always need to keep abreast of their balance sheets, cash flows, and banking statements. For instance, Xero caters to all the banking and accounting necessities of any business plan. It offers invoicing, inventory management, payroll management, bank connections, reconciliation statements, and more.
There are many business plan tools available and they all work slightly differently. However, most of them are overwhelmingly similar to use with consistent processes.
Let’s learn how to use a business plan software with an example of LivePlan. Like all of its peers, you can use it at any stage of business plan development.
- First and foremost, set up your business information. They’ll ask you to fill your company name and other details regarding your business.
- You can choose from a wide range of languages to set up your business. After filling all of your business details, you can invite the rest of your team members aboard for seamless collaboration.
- You also need to select a goal so the LivePlan can suggest a starting point. Do you want to get funding, create a new strategic plan, test a new idea, manage business better, or prepare a sales forecast? The software also advises about a specific starting point, so that you’re more efficient and get the best results.
- Once the business is set up, turn your focus to business strategy. It provides a one-page pitch that you can use to document your business idea and unique selling point (USP). You can describe your business, add custom market segments, financial projections, list key milestones, and more.
- Next, you get the option to fully export the pitch in a slide deck for circulation, demonstration, and pitching. You can share it with others via email and social media.
- Most business planning tools, including LivePlan, help you break down your business plan into small steps and instructions that are easy to follow and execute. This makes it easy for you to manipulate and edit each section of your plan. You can add, delete, and rearrange sections as you please.
- Finally, create a budget and forecast. Just enter potential sales, and Liveplan automatically makes your financial statements. Take a look at this:
- Most business planning tools take away the need for business managers to dabble in accounting and auditing financial documents. You can enter the revenue you’re anticipating and set up projections. If you’re not sure about them, you can choose any arbitrary number.
- Next, select the industry similar to your business, segment the data by region, and enter projected annual revenue.
- Carry out statistical analyses and validations of the forecasted data with your own. Review key metrics that affect businesses, like gross margins, net profit margins, operating margins, and 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year industry averages. For novices, business plan software breaks down each metric and explains them in full detail.
- For accounting and banking, Liveplan integrates with Xero, QuickBooks, and more. You can continuously monitor performance and see if your business is meeting sales targets.
Most business plan solutions offer free trial periods. You can leverage them to get familiar with the interface and see for yourself if it meets your business goals.
Creating your business plan is essential for future growth and convincing lenders and clients to invest in your business. Fortunately, the right business plan software can help you create a business plan to suit your precise needs.
This guide included my top 11 picks for the best business plan software. Each tool offers a few basic and some unique USPs that you can use to create a good business plan.
For instance, LivePlan offers all the features to summarize a complex business into a simple business plan. If you are seeking financial planning and budgeting, you can use PlanGuru or Xero. On the other hand, go for BizPlan if you’re looking for an integrated funding platform.
My top pick is LivePlan because of overall intuitive features like:
- 500 free sample business plans
- Step-by-step guidance
- A quick, fill-in-the-blank process
- Automatic financial forecasts
- Seamless collaboration
- And more.
Make sure to review all the tools and their pros, cons, and key features to make your final decision.
And don’t forget to let me know which business plan software you’re planning to use and if I missed any on this list. Let me know in the comments below.