Please note that Plan HQ has been discontinued and is no longer available. You can read our old review of Plan HQ below, or check out the rest of the Business Plans Software & Services we've reviewed.
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PlansHQ, as its name might suggest, does indeed offer high quality business plans. You can include vital, detailed information in written form or graphs, all in a professional-looking and well considered format. What’s more the site offers a 30 day free trial and you can download your plan at any time, although the free period isn’t quite as generous as it sounds (we’ll come to that soon). The system also allows you to track and monitor your progress with regard to goals and workloads, which is a great way to check that your plan is realistic.
First we’ll cover a few of the slight drawbacks to Plan HQ: firstly, although the site offers a free 30 day trial, and you can export your plan at any time you like, you do need to pay for at least one month if you wish to make this download. As such the trial is simply a chance to work on your business plan using a range of features. To be fair to PlanHQ.com though, this is still good to have as it means you get a substantial amount of time to work out the intricacies of their system and your plan before you have to part with any money. Our other main concern with the site was its customer support, which seems to be lacking. There is a very short FAQ to read (which really isn’t of much use) or you can contact customer support directly via email. However there are no live chat or phone options, which means you’ll be waiting on a response indefinitely.
We were more impressed by the goal setting and monitoring capabilities of the planning system. These allow you to decide your aims and objectives, to set targets such as work rates and team work distributions, and then to keep a record on how they went. This is a good way to track and monitor your progress but also to see whether or not your objectives are realistic. Of course you can do this for yourself, but it’s a nice extra that the service provides and which may encourage users to be more aware of ongoing challenges.
The plans themselves can include graphics as well as text, so you can present financial information or data on progress in several ways. Plans look uncluttered and are well designed, and you can also download them as a .doc, PDF or ODT file. These can be emailed or printed, again making them useful in terms of tracking progress.
At $19.99 a month, with no other options, we felt that this service was a little expensive but still offered good value for money. Whilst it’s suitable for producing a one-off plan, you might be missing out on the tracking features that this service offers and since there is only a month-by-month payment option, the bill could start to mount up if used for extended periods of time.
Please note that Plan HQ has now been discontinued.