This article is part of a larger series on Starting a Business.
Business plan software gives you the tools to create financial projection tables, charts, and other documents you need to plan your business. Software is often better than using a free template because it gives you step-by-step directions and educational materials to help you complete a clear business plan. We review the best business plan software below so you can determine which software is right for your business.
The six best business plan software for 2020 are:
- LivePlan: Best overall business plan software for small and medium sized businesses
- BizPlan: Best for tech startups that need a business plan that appeals to investors
- Enloop: Best for entrepreneurs short on time and need recommended biz plan content
- GoSmallBiz.com: Best for a new small business that also needs marketing and operation tools
- Business Sorter: Best for visual thinkers who want to try an innovative approach to creating a plan
- PlanGuru: Best for businesses that need to create in-depth financial projections
How We Evaluated Business Plan Software
To evaluate the various business plan software, we reviewed factors we believe are essential no matter what type of business plan you’re creating. Primarily, we reviewed pricing and the availability of a trial or money-back guarantee. We also researched the business plan software overall quality and ease of use. Additionally, we reviewed customer service availability, additional services offered, and the quality of educational materials.
LivePlan: Best Overall Business Plan Software for Small Businesses
LivePlan is a well-designed software for business owners looking to create either a one-page plan or a lender-ready plan. What separates LivePlan from competitors is the extended money-back guarantee and quality of educational materials. The software has financial projections that are easy to complete and looks great as a finished product.
Low-cost annual plan
Software can be difficult to learn
60-day money-back guarantee
Can’t customize financial projection dates
Excellent educational materials
Learn from 500+ examples
- Pay As You Go: $20 per month
- Six-month Plan: $108 every six months
- 12-month Plan: $180 every 12 months
- One-page business plan: If you’d like to create a simple plan, LivePlan provides a fill-in-the-blank template to get your ideas down quickly.
- Educational materials: LivePlan walks users step-by-step through the business planning process with several video tutorials and examples.
- Financial data: As you answer financial questions, LivePlan populates easy-to-read financial charts and graphs.
- Customer service: Phone, email, and online chat support is available for customers Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time.
Why We Like LivePlan
LivePlan provides the necessary tools to get your biz plan created. If you’re creating your first business plan, the educational materials serve as a mini online course to help you complete your plan. LivePlan leads in its 60-day money-back guarantee—most guarantees are one to two weeks. Additionally, if you find that you cannot finish your business plan, LivePlan has a network of writers who can assist.
Bizplan: Best Business Plan Software for Tech Startups
BizPlan is a software aimed for high-growth startups. Typically, these types of businesses are looking to raise funding from an investor, not a bank. BizPlan provides several unique features including a drag-and-drop builder, startup educational materials, and access to a fundraising platform.
|Bizplan Pros||Bizplan Cons|
Innovative drag-and-drop builder
Limited financial projection customization
Instant chat customer service
Limited team collaboration
Startup educational courses
No free trial
Lifetime access pricing
- Monthly: $29 per month
- Annual: $20.75 per month ($249 per year)
- Lifetime Access: $349 one-time
- Drag-and-drop user interface: Create a business plan with the elements needed for your type of business.
- Online fundraising platform: Included with the business plan software is access to Fundable.com, an online fundraising platform that connects you to potential investors.
- Lifetime pricing: Bizplan is the only company that provides lifetime access for a one-time $349 fee.
- Startup courses: In addition to the biz plan software, receive access to over 650 videos and 1,000 how-to guides for creating a successful high-growth startup.
- Customer service: Phone, chat, and email availability Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time.
Why We Like Bizplan
BizPlan is perfect for the business looking to raise funds from an investor. One unique feature it provides is the “pitch” document. This doc outlines the most important aspects of your business. It’s easy to share with investors who want a snapshot of your business. We also like the positive online reviews regarding Bizplan’s customer service: fast response, and pleasant to work with.
Enloop: Best for Completing a Business Plan Fast
Enloop is an easy-to-navigate business plan software that focuses on helping customers get their plan completed quickly. It does this through its automated text and performance score that acts as a digital mentor. For an additional monthly fee, Enloop provides an analysis of your financial ratios, which help determine your company’s potential financial health.
Seven-day free trial
Financial section may be overwhelming
Limited customer support
Automatically populated text
Limited educational resources
Well-explained financial ratios
- Seven-day free trial (no credit card required)
- Detailed plan: $19.95 per month or $11 per month with annual payment
- Performance plan: $39.95 per month or $24 per month with annual payment
- Automated text: The plan comes with standard business plan text that you can customize and any financial text gets updated automatically from the financial data.
- Financial ratios: Enloop does a great job explaining 16 different financial ratios that indicate the financial health of your business.
- Performance score: As you complete your business plan and enter your financial information, Enloop calculates a completion score from 0-100, which serves as motivation to complete the plan.
- Customer service: Enloop’s service is limited to messages and a help database.
Why We Like Enloop
Enloop provides several features that makes it an appealing business plan software. Users can complete their business plan quickly with their templated text. Enloop also saves time by having financial numbers discussed in the text updated automatically when changed in the financial data and tables section. We also like the one-week free trial that requires no credit card information to start.
GoSmallBiz.com: Best for Additional Small Business Tools
GoSmallBiz.com provides a comprehensive toolkit that those starting a new business will find helpful. In addition to the biz plan software, it provides a website, customer relationship management (CRM), text-based business consultations, and legal business documents. No other biz plan software offers this suite of tools—all for one cost.
Educational videos throughout
Limited business plan features
Unlimited business consultations
Several additional business tools
- Suite of business products: $39 per month
- Business plan: Save time by choosing a business plan template specifically for your industry and then use a step-by-step wizard to complete it.
- Educational materials: As you create your business plan, you’ll find video tutorials teaching you about different sections of a biz plan.
- Unlimited business consultations: Submit your specific business questions to knowledgeable business consultants and receive an answer within two days.
- Other tools: In addition to the business plan, use GoSmallBiz.com’s software to do additional tasks such as building a website, tracking basic accounting, writing corporate minutes, and creating legal documents.
- Customer service: Available by phone Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time.
Why We Like GoSmallBiz.com
GoSmallBiz.com is perfect for the new small business owner looking to save on software needed for their business. We particularly like the ability to get answers specific to your business questions from business consultants. GoSmallBiz.com also has high-quality videos and educational materials throughout. For those new to entrepreneurship, learn best-practices through its downloadable app, videos, and blog.
Business Sorter: Best Business Plan For Visual Learners
Business Sorter uses an innovative card sorting system to help users determine what information needs to go in their business plan. If you’d like the plan to be a team effort, you can assign certain sections to individual employees. Business Sorter provides a test drive with a 14-day free trial with no credit card required to start.
Business Sorter Pros
Business Sorter Cons
Innovative, visual plan builder
Limited in financial planning needs
Customize plan based on priorities
14-day free trial
Affordable pricing for a small business
Business Sorter Pricing
- Small Team: $10 per month or $80 per year (three users)
- Medium Team: $30 per month or $240 per year (10 users)
- Large Team: $80 per month or $640 per year (30 users)
- Enterprise: Customer (unlimited users)
Business Sorter Features
- Card sorter planning system: When first starting the business plan, you’ll be presented with 273 digital cards to sort through and prioritize what’s essential in your plan.
- Team-oriented: Assign certain portions of the business plan to specific employees via email.
- Multiple plans: Create up to 40 plans for your business or other businesses you own at no additional cost.
- Guidance: Business Sorter provides advice every step of the way so you can complete the fundamentals of your business plan in under two hours.
- Customer service: No phone support, but it does have email support, frequently asked questions, and a detailed biz plan guide.
Why We Like Business Sorter
We really like the innovative biz plan creation process behind Business Sorter. Instead of you trying to determine the most critical aspects of your business on your own, Business Sorter walks you through specifics for each section in 273 different digital cards. The desired cards— which indicate sections—then get added to your plan. We also like the overall ease of use and modern design of the software.
PlanGuru: Best for In-depth Financial Forecasting
PlanGuru is a software specially designed for financial analysis and forecasting. You may want to use this software if financial projections and budgeting is essential to your business philosophy and your type of business. With PlanGuru you can use over 20 different forecasting methods to better understand how your business may perform financially in the future.
In-depth financial forecasting
Can hire financial professionals
Requires financial statement knowledge
Self-directed learning with PlanGuru University
30-day free trial
- Monthly: $99 per month
- Annual: $299 per year
- PlanGuru Launch: $250 an hour
- Detailed financial analysis: Integrate the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement into one comprehensive financial model.
- PlanGuru Launch: Hire PlanGuru to formulate a financial plan for your business and then learn from its experts about how to track and manage the plan.
- PlanGuru Analyst: This product is when PlanGuru sets up your financial plan, then tracks it for you, and sends updates—for a fixed monthly fee.
- PlanGuru University: This is a seven hour online class that teaches you how to understand and track the finances in your business.
- Customer service: A ticket submission service is available for customers.
Why We Like PlanGuru
For the financially-minded small business owner, PlanGuru has all the tools to implement and track your financial plan. The projections are typically the most challenging part of any business plan. Still, if you will ever need funding for your business, you must have the projections. Use PlanGuru University to learn more about your financials, and then “wow” investors with a detailed financial forecasting model.
Now that you’ve read through the best business plan software available in 2020, it’s time to decide: which plan is best for you? For the typical small business, LivePlan will provide all the tools they need to write a funding-ready plan. A tech startup may want to consider BizPlan. If you want to write your plan quickly, choose Enloop. PlanGuru is best to complete detailed financial projections. Whichever software you choose, remember, business planning is an exercise to chart your business’s bright and exciting future!