Please note that Business Plan Pro has been discontinued and is no longer available. You can read our old review of Business Plan Pro below, or check out the rest of the Business Plans Software & Services we've reviewed.
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BusinessPlanPro offers a comprehensive business planning software package and superior customer support to help you create and develop a business plan. Its combination of automated services and customer support, from specialists in business planning, make it an all round winner in terms of helping novice entrepreneurs create a professional plan. However, it may also be of use to more experienced entrepreneurs who wish to expand a business or move into a different industry, as its Premier Edition offers thousands of extra samples and additional tracking and monitoring features for accurate financial forecasts.
The system interface is very simple to use and should be particularly useful to inexperienced users. In particular, if you’re unsure what all of the business lingo means and don’t want to be put on the back foot, Business Plan Pro speaks in simple terms, and offers explanations of any terminology it uses as you go. You simply hover over a word and can then view its meaning in laymen’s terms.
You are guided carefully through the process of creating a plan and will be able to move at your own pace. In fact, it has been designed by a planning expert (and author of two books about business planning, which we’ll come to shortly) and if you’re still unsure on a particular area then the software finds examples to help you see exactly what needs to be written. This can be a lifesaver if you’re not entirely confident on what to write, or how to write it.
In terms of tools, this software comes with a lot of additional extras that you won’t get elsewhere.
In terms of tools, this software comes with a lot of additional extras that you won’t get elsewhere. You’ll receive an e-book (or two e-books if you take out the Premier Edition) called “The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan” and will be able to view over 9,000 industry profiles and industry averages from the NAICS (North American Industry Classification System). This allows you to research your business market and competitors to help develop a more insightful plan that demonstrates that it is aware of its market. You’ll also be able to view over 500 completed business plans to gain a real idea of how your final plan ought to appear and sound.
If you’re not necessarily a financial wizard then there are several forecasting, tracking and monitoring tools available to help you out. You can simply insert data and quickly produce graphs, which are a great way to keep a visual impression of how your company is doing, and better serves you in presenting data if you’re looking to give a presentation.
You can, of course, customise these charts so that you can include your own branding colours, or simply change labels on the axis. You can import information from QuickBooks, although you’ll need to upgrade to the Premier Edition if you want to important from Microsoft Excel. This is definitely something to consider if your business has already been running for some time and you’ve been keeping your data in Excel, as it would be a real pain to have to type it all up again.
One of the reasons BusinessPlanPro is above its competitors, for us, is its customer service. If you are stuck then you can contact them using email, phone or live chat. You can also get 1-on-1 assistance from an expert. Once you’ve finished your plan you can also have it reviewed for free, which is a good idea (particularly if you’re not 100% sure you’ve done the best possible job) as they will be able to highlight areas where you might want to improve or expand. Also, if you’re more of a visual learner then a number of the key areas of confusion in business plan creation are covered in video guides.
In terms of price, you might pay a bit more for this software in the first instance but when you compare it to a month-by-month contract it turns out cheaper in the long run. Also, if you take into account the personal assistance you can receive, and the general high quality of the support and final product that is produced, we feel that BusinessPlanPro offers excellent value in the long term.
Although more focused towards new entrepreneurs who might not have all the business lingo and financial skills, this system still ought to be very useful to more seasoned business people. Its combination of a simple business planning package, wide range of samples, financial tracking and monitoring tools, and superior customer support make this our number one choice for producing and developing business plans.
Please note that Business Plan Pro has now been discontinued.