Best Business Plan Software Review (2021 Update)

business planning software

Sure, you can try to flesh out your idea and plan your future business by using a Word document or spreadsheets. But a good business plan software makes the whole process a lot easier.

These handy business tools help you structure your thoughts and build a business model that’s both workable and presentable. This in turn lets you seize on good opportunities in real-time.

Plus, business plan software usually comes with automated calculations, budgeting, and forecasts. You can assess the feasibility of your idea and then build a robust business plan.

Finally, business plan software saves a huge amount of time as it guides you through the entire planning process.

So, in this piece, we will first look at the key features a reliable business plan software needs to have. We’ll then provide a rundown of the best business plan tools available in the market.

If you’re an experienced business owner, skip right to the business plan software review. But if you’re still new to business making, start with the features. This will help you decide which of the selected software works best for you.

The key features of a business plan software

Here is a list of the key product features you should look for in a business plan software. Make sure that your preferred tool ticks all the boxes!

Guided tour

Building a business from scratch is a challenge. So, look for a tool that comes with a detailed walkthrough. This will help you through many modules and aspects of business plan creation. A step-by-step wizard is especially convenient for first-time founders, as it provides help at all stages of the business plan. Alternatively, more experienced founders can also benefit from this type of guidance. If you’re swapping industries or building ventures outside your primary scope of expertise, you could use some help.

Tutorials / Support material

Spend a good part of research examining the quality of support materials that come with the software. The clarity and scope of these tutorials can speed up your business plan creation significantly. It can also help you make better decisions by challenging the feasibility of your ideas.

Modularity

Modular business plan software works particularly well for startups and less traditional ventures. If your industry changes fast, you’ll want to be able to focus first on key aspects of your business plan. Only then should you dedicate time to other, less crucial parts of your business. Modularity particularly matters to first-time founders. It allows them to build and test the core of the business idea, gradually moving towards ancillary business aspects.

Financial projections

Bringing a great idea to life is what drives founders, but for your idea to take off, it needs to be based on data. If you’re venturing into a new industry or founding a business for the first time, make sure to invest in a tool that lets you reliably deal with finances. It’s unlikely that a business will get traction if there is no data to support it. So, pay close attention to financial planning and get a business planning software that comes with a robust finance feature set.

Customizable templates

Designing a business plan from zero can lead to significant time loss, as well as potentially haphazard decisions. This is especially precarious for first-time founders, where preserving the budget is vital. So, find a tool that offers built-in business plan templates, that can fit your industry and niche. It’s a safer approach that lets you use tried and tested methods while focusing on business aspects that matter more.

Integrations

Being able to connect your business plan software with other tools can streamline your business workflow quite a bit. Let’s say you need to export your financial projections and share them with investors. Or, you need to prepare a sudden product pitch for a particular industry or client. Having integrations lets you ship your business plan faster.

Business plan builder

Any good business plan software needs to allow you to go from a broad overview to individual parts of your business plan. Rather than serving just a business plan canvas, a good tool needs to track information on partners, financial projections, costs, customers and team. This will allow you to have all the information at any time, which is essential for acting fast in today’s markets.

Cool visual appearance

As founders, it’s sometimes difficult to detach from our own views of our business ideas. This can particularly apply to startups. As founders make innovative products, it can be difficult to explain them to investors outside the niche. That’s where visualization comes in. Any good business plan software should allow you to present your business clearly and appealingly. A glance at the business plan should leave the spectator with a sense of understanding.

So these were the features of a reliable business plan software. Let’s now review best-in-class tools and see how they can work for your niche and expertise.

business plan software - banner

In order to help you select the right business plan software, we broke down the list into two categories – and traditional business plan software and innovative business planning software.

Traditional business plan software:

  • Liveplan
  • Enloop
  • Bizplan
  • Upmetrics

Innovative business planning software:

  • Cuttles
  • IdeaBuddy

We will now dive into a detailed review of each software, pinpointing features, pros, cons, and pricing, as well as who they’re best suited for.


Traditional business plan software

LivePlan

LivePlan is a cloud-based business plan software, which comes with a step-by-step wizard that guides you through writing the plan on autopilot. In turn, you can focus on the content, leaving the format of your plan to the software.

LivePlan can track day-to-day performance using a live dashboard. You need to choose from the over 500 included sample plans that can be turned into inspiration in just minutes. It also does automated financial calculations and forecasts for you.

liveplan business plan software

LivePlan Feature Set

  • Business Plan Templates
  • Financial Projections
  • Fundraising Management
  • Track actual performance
  • Step-by-step wizard

👍 LivePlan Pros

+ Attractive interface
+ Includes hundreds of sample plans
+ Simplified pricing of a single-tier
+ Automated financial calculations

👎 LivePlan Cons

No free trial
No mobile version
Steep entry price
Outdated design
Can be overwhelming to use, even after the tutorials
Difficult to review projections and actual performance

LivePlan Pricing

LivePlan comes with a simple pricing scheme and two packages — a standard package that lets you create a business plan and a premium package that features financial tools, key performance indicators and sync with QuickBooks.

Standard plan pricing:

  • Monthly plan for $20/month (1 business plan)
  • Annual subscription for $180 (1 business plan)

Premium plan pricing:

  • Monthly plan for $40/month (1 business plan)
  • Annual subscription for $360 (1 business plan)

Who is LivePlan best suited for?

LivePlan works for mid-size companies and enterprises. It features a walkthrough and educational tutorials, but first-time founders may find it less intuitive. It can also be overwhelming to use, especially when it comes to financing and projections. Overall, LivePlan is aimed towards more experienced users and comes with a traditional feature set. If you want to learn about more modern, market-relevant solutions, keep on reading.

Read Also: Best Liveplan Alternatives In 2021 (Reviews And Pricing)


Enloop

Enloop is an online business plan writing and financial forecasting app to create and manage your business plans.

You can choose from over 100 currency symbols and formats to set up your financial reports for your local currency.

It generates basic text for each section of your plan. You can edit the text, add images and tables. You can also insert financial forecast data into your text. It will be updated automatically whenever you change your financials.

Also, it automatically generates financial forecasts as bank-ready reports in your business plan. It can do hard accounting work for you and explain everything in simple terms.

planguru business plan software

Enloop Features

  • Business plan
  • Progress tracker
  • Drag and drop templates
  • Revenue projections
  • Team collaboration

👍 Enloop Pros

+ Free plan, and a free trial
+ Compatibility with various platforms
+ Unique features like AutoWrite & TextSync

👎 Enloop Cons

Doesn’t integrate with Quickbooks, Xero, or other accounting software like other business planning software; therefore, you must import your own financial data.
Lack of assistance for beginner founders

Enloop Pricing

Enloop pricing is feature-based and comes with a free plan, as well as free trial period.

  • Free tier – Limited to a single business plan with simple text, no images, and no advanced features.
  • Detailed plan – $19.95 monthly supports three business plans, detailed financials, and 3 ratios analyzed.
  • Performance – For $39.95 monthly, it supports three business plans, detailed financials, and 16 ratios analyzed.

Who is Enloop best suited for?

Enloop is praised for its ease of use as well as a robust financial projections and calculations feature set. As such, it might work for first-time founders or owners with little experience who want to test and try their ideas. Plus, it comes with a free plan that has very limited possibilities, but could work for the bare necessities of business planning.


Bizplan

Bizplan is an online business planning software, which is part of a Startups.com platform.

It comes with a guided business plan creator that allows you to make a modern business plan. It also offers expert feedback on every step of the way, including models that can be dropped in and completed, along with quick incorporation of visuals along the way.

And if you get stuck, the Bizplan Academy offers additional resources that can come in handy when starting a business and making a business plan.

Those who need even more assistance can also take advantage of an expert consultation from a financial expert that starts at $999.

bizplan business plan software

Bizplan Features

  • Business plan
  • Progress tracker
  • Drag and drop templates
  • Revenue projections
  • Team collaboration

👍 Bizplan Pros

+ Intuitive and user friendly, with drag and drop modules
+ Good to use for existing businesses
+ Financial tools that help make automatic financial projections
+ Fundraising management and collaboration tools

👎 Bizplan Cons

Overwhelming interface that makes its use slightly difficult at times
Confusing data importing that is often misaligned with existing data formats
Doesn’t offer training

BizPlan Pricing

BizPlan brings simple pricing models that let you get a taste of all their features. Each model includes unlimited business plans, collaborators, and all available features.

  • Monthly price: $29
  • Annual price: $249
  • Lifetime plan: $349

Who is Bizplan best suited for?

Bizplan is best suited for founders with some experience in setting up a business. While the step-by-step wizard can come in handy, some users cite the sheer availability of features to be overwhelming. At first, it takes the focus off the actual planning. Besides, the tool lacks options to customize business planning, which can be a challenge for less experienced founders or those working in a particular niche.


Upmetrics

Upmetrics is great software to plan your business. It features a business plan editor, which refines your business plan to make it a lot more impressive.

Furthermore, finance modeling estimates the profit that you will be making from the business in the future. The pinboard is a handy feature that organizes the business inspiration materials in the right order.

upmetrics business plan software

Upmetics Features

  • Business Plan Templates
  • Collaboration
  • Dashboard
  • Financial Projections
  • Financial Templates
  • Pitch Presentation
  • Social Sharing
  • Step-by-Step Wizard

👍 Upmetrics Pros

+ Highly customizable and fast
+ Cloud-based
+ User-friendly
+ Supports real-time collaboration
+ Can be tailored to specific industries

👎 Upmetrics Cons

No dashboard
Needs more inbuilt templates
No free trial
Lacks investors module

Upmetrics Pricing

  • Solo – For a team of entrepreneurs who just started planning, monthly price: $5.42 / annual pricing: $65.5 — 1 workspace, 2 members / workspace, 5 canvases / workspace
  • Team – For teams & companies that need to manage multiple business initiatives, monthly price: $8.25 / annual pricing: $99 — 5 workspaces, 5 members / workspace, 8 canvases / workspace
  • Premium – For large organizations and professional consultants, monthly price: $29.09 / annual pricing: $349.08 — unlimited workspaces, members and canvases.

All the prices are billed annually.

Who is Upmetrics best suited for?

Given its simplicity and ease of use, Upmetrics can get the job done for less experienced business owners. Besides, its real-time collaboration capabilities can streamline business planning and decision making.

However, if you’re planning a mid- or large-scale enterprise, you may find some features to be missing at the moment. For instance, there is no investors module, which could be useful for startups looking for capital.


Innovative business planning software

Cuttles

Cuttles is an online web app for writing business plans and turning ideas into profitable startups.

Entrepreneurs and startups will get the help they need when starting their business using a business canvas or creating their business plans with budgets and other financial forecasts.

The one-pager offers a simple business plan that has creative visual assistance. At the same time, the finance tool allows you to track your finances and budgets.

You can turn any idea into a business and meet potential investors with proper planning tools and resources. And you can track your progress and performance with a simple roadmap feature.

cuttles business plan software

Cuttles Features

  • Business canvas
  • Business plan builder
  • Budgets and forecasts
  • Roadmapping tool

👍 Cuttles Pros

+ Visualize and share one dynamic dashboard
+ Great budgeting and runway feature
+ User-friendly

👎 Cuttles Cons

Some features are still under development
Need more customization, especially when it comes to the financials, such as revenue

Cuttles Pricing

  • Dreamer Plan – For the entrepreneur with a great business idea ($15/month)
  • Startup Plan – For startups working together to bring one business idea to life ($30/month)
  • Unlimited Plan – For entrepreneurs and startups with more ideas to pursue ($50/month)

Who is Cuttles best suited for?

Cuttles can work for newbie founders and solo entrepreneurs still figuring out their business plan. Cuttles is easy to use and comes with powerful visualisation capabilities. But, more experienced business owners may have issues with a lack of features and little customization. This is particularly palpable in the financial aspects of your business plan.


IdeaBuddy

IdeaBuddy is an innovative business plan software that helps aspiring entrepreneurs and teams develop their ideas. With Idea Buddy, you can create a business model, validate a business concept, and get an impressive business plan.

All this comes with a step-by-step guide and relevant examples. Plus, you will have access to documentation that brings an added level of support.

At its core, Idea Buddy gives a spin to traditional business planning — the tool is simple, easy, and fun to use. Also, it lets you focus on key aspects of your business first. It then gradually leads you towards more complex aspects. As a result, you end up with a customizable and comprehensive business plan.

At first glance, that’s due to its simplicity and a stunning visual appearance; also, it is very versatile.

ideabuddy business plan software

Idea Buddy Features

Idea Plan

So, suppose you’re still sketching your idea. In that case, IdeaBuddy has its own business canvas called Idea Plan, which will help you build a business model.

It’s reminiscent of Business Model Canvas and Lean Canvas, but with its own flavor. Like with any other canvas, your goal is to build your business model by posting idea notes until you’ve covered all your business elements.

Business Guide

The next cool feature is Business Guide, a step-by-step guide that takes you through the five stages of the business planning process.

It helps you create your marketing and sales strategy, define your target customers, compare yourself with the competition, and plan all the other elements of your future business.

IdeaBuddy has automated financials and calculators, which will help you outline your startup expenses, loan payments, profit margins, cash flow, and many other important financial metrics.

After you develop the idea through the Business Guide, IdeaBuddy documents the entire planning process and converts it into an investor-ready business plan, which is quite useful and hassle-free.

Idea Buddy Features Overview

  • Business canvas
  • Step-by-step business planning guide
  • Automatic financial projections
  • Business plan builder
  • Idea validation tool

👍 Idea Buddy Pros

+ Attractive visual appearance
+ Innovative step-by-step business guide
+ Idea templates

👎 Idea Buddy Cons

Limited features in the free trial
Some of the features are ‘coming soon’

Idea Buddy Pricing

Dreamer plan – Costs $15 per month / $45 per year, and you can work on 1 idea (project). It includes a business canvas, a step-by-step business planning guide, and a financial plan, which you can export and share.

Founder plan – Costs $25 per month / $85 per year, and you are getting 3 ideas (projects). It has everything included in the Dreamer plan, plus you are getting a business plan builder.

Team plan – Costs $55 per month / $245 per year, and you can have up to 30 ideas (projects) in this plan. It has all the features included in the Founder plan, plus you are getting a business plan builder.

***Lifetime plan –  This is a time-limited offer and it includes the lifetime subscriptions to one of the three plans, starting from $89.

Who is this IdeaBuddy best suited for?

Idea Buddy caters to startup founders and entrepreneurs who are working in dynamic markets. Its modularity helps less experienced founders master the essentials first, then move onwards. This business plan software helps build a sustainable business. Its variety of modules are all customizable to your needs.

 

You have a brilliant business idea, but don’t know where to start? IdeaBuddy can help you will that. Get our exclusive lifetime offer and start planning today!
ideabuddy_lifetime offer

Best business plan software: The verdict

So these were the ins and outs of the best business plan software. Now look back at your business, assess your business stage, identify the features you need, and then test all these tools out.

That’s the safest way you get a tool that naturally fits your business making. You will avoid paying for features you will hardly use or getting a tool without the capabilities you desperately need.

In case you’re just starting out or need a hand, check out how Idea Buddy can take your business idea from scratch to a fully-fledged business plan.

1 Shares:
Leave a Reply
You May Also Like