The most important part of writing a business plan is thinking critically and forcing yourself to answer crucial questions about strategy for your business. This can be done in one page or 30 pages, below are some business planning tools and apps to help you write your plan.
If you need more information on what should be in a business plan make sure you read our Business Planning blog post.
LivePlan was started to help entrepreneurs and small businesses build business plans and track business performance against their goals.
LivePlan guides you through the process of setting up a business plan step by step. You are asked questions about your business and all you need to do is fill in the answers. They provide examples and sample plans that you can use. The app is designed to be flexible and can easily be updated.
If you require a business plan for the bank or to gain investors they will require a detailed business plan which includes detailed financial forecasts. Live plan can supply this and they don’t require spreadsheets or calculations all you will need to do is answer a few questions and the inbuilt function will automatically calculate using set formulas. Financial tables will then be inserted into your plan and the dashboard makes it easy to compare the projections to actuals as this connects to Xero so requires no extra manual data entry.
There is also the option to create a one page business plan which is a great place for a new business to start and can then progress to the detailed plan later as required. The one page plan allows you to explain your business in 60 seconds and can be exported to a power point to be included in a pitch when needed. Milestones can also be scheduled to keep you on track and live plan will email you when these tasks are due to remind you.
There is no free trial for this however they do have a trial for 60 days and get refunded if you are not satisfied. They have three payment options – yearly, 6 monthly or monthly fee. All options are under $20 per month and there are no contracts so can be canceled at anytime.
- Impressive range of customisable features
- Plenty of online learning help
- Lots of customisable features requires a learning curve
- Limited Integrations
Overall the reviews for this app are good and LivePlan provides a good starting point for small businesses or entrepreneurs who have very little business planning experience or those wanting a professional looking plan for funding purposes. I have several clients who are currently using this for funding purposes and to compare actuals to projections.
Enloop walks you through step by step how to create a traditional business plan and will automatically generate sales, P&L, Balance sheet and cashflow projections for you based on the information that you have entered. The projections come complete with explanatory graphs and visual elements. Each section generates basic text that you can then edit, and add images, tables or financial forecast data that automatically updates whenever you update your financials.
Enloop is a good choice for those with simple business planning needs. The plan creation process is simple you just fill in forms describing your business, its goals and history.
- Loads of customisation options
- Automation of variable data
- Autowrite & Text Sync
- Cloud based
- Doesn’t provide much guidance
- Not much help provided for how to create missions and operations statements.
- Lack of integrations – doesn’t integrate with xero
Enloop has a free 7 day trial that gives you access to all the features of the top performance plan.
Enloop doesn’t have many reviews compared with LivePlan which has the most reviews, which doesn’t mean Enloop is a bad choice. When it comes to reporting Enloop reports a fairly basic in comparison to LivePlans reports which are more modern.
Both apps are affordable and experienced. Both apps are worth considering for business planning assistance. LivePlan has a more stylish platform, more customer reviews and some extra capabilities that Enloop just doesn’t offer currently.
Choose the business planning software that best fits your business needs.