Finding the Best Business Plan Software for Your Needs

If you run a business or have plans to launch one, creating a strong business plan is an essential step for success. However, writing a plan from scratch without any guidance can be incredibly challenging and time-consuming. That‘s where utilizing business plan software can make the process far more efficient.

This guide provides an in-depth look at the value of business plan tools, features to look for, and detailed reviews of some top-rated solutions on the market right now. My goal is to arm you with the knowledge needed to confidently choose the best software for your unique business planning needs.

Why Do You Need Business Plan Software Anyway?

Before we dive into the solutions out there, let‘s briefly discuss why taking time to create a polished business plan is so critical in the first place:

  • Increases odds of startup success – Data shows over 80% of new businesses fail within the first 18 months when they don‘t properly plan out their idea.

  • Attracts investors – Less than 1% of startups receive angel or venture capital funding per year. A strong plan sets you apart.

  • Guides decision making – The planning process spotlights risks and assumptions for course correction.

  • Assigns ownership – A documented plan gives all stakeholders visibility into goals and responsibilities.

  • Saves time – Software solutions can cut 75% off the typical 40-80 hours needed to write a custom business plan.

Now that you hopefully appreciate the value of mapping out plans for your business, let‘s explore solutions that can shoulder the heavy lifting for you.

Key Criteria to Evaluate Business Plan Tools

Not all software options are created equal. As you evaluate the crowded space of options promising to expedite your planning, use these criteria as a guide:

Core Features & Functions

  • Templates: Look for industry-specific templates as a starting point.
  • Financial Tools: Easy financial projections save hours of manual work.
  • Pitch Deck Functionality: Useful for summarizing plans visually.
  • Collaboration Options: To gather insights from others.
  • Graphic Embeds: Having visually compelling charts/graphs is now tablestakes.

Ease of Use & Accessibility

  • Usability: Assess whether interfaces seem intuitive for your skill levels
  • Learning Curve: Documentation/support to get you up and running quickly.
  • Accessibility: Web access, mobile functionality, offline access too.

Pricing & Security

  • Pricing Tiers: Evaluate tiered levels against specific feature needs.
  • Free Version/Trials: Test products out before buying.
  • Data Security: Review protections on sensitive company data.


  • File Export Formats: Export your plan for proposals, sharing.
  • Accounting Platform Integrations: Automation saved from connected platforms.
  • Dashboards & Reporting: Track progress and measure results.

Let‘s now compare some of my highest rated business software recommendations across these criteria.

Side-by-Side Comparisons of Leading Solutions

I‘ve selected six top-performing business plan tools to showcase based on extensive hands-on testing and peer reviews. These encompass options suited for every use case and budget.

Quick Comparison Overview

Solution Best For Price
LivePlan Usability Focused $15/mo
Enloop Automation Capabilities $29/mo
Bizplan Startup Fundraising $39/mo
PlanGuru Excel Power Users $9/mo
PlanMagic Advanced Financial Planning $100+/mo
Atlas Full Outsourcing Support Custom

Now let‘s overview how each stacks up across the detailed feature criteria outlined earlier.

Features Matrix

Software Templates Financials Pitch Decks Collaboration Support
PlanMagic ✅✅
Atlas ✅✅ ✅✅

Note the number of checkmarks denotes degree of capability in each area

Let‘s explore a couple solutions in more detail.


LivePlan Dashboard Example

Best For

LivePlan suits those desiring an intuitive tool with ample template guidance. It makes financial modeling easy with linked spreadsheets that update automatically.

Key Features

  • 500+ Industry Templates
  • Forecasting Tools
  • Pitch Deck Creator
  • PDF Export Support
  • Quickbooks Integration
  • Custom Image Embeds

Ideal Users

Liveplan empowers entrepreneurs to create plans independently regardless of financial modeling expertise. If you value usability and visual appeal, it should be a top choice.


  • Plus Plan – $30/mo
  • Premium Plan – $39/mo

14-day free trials available to test.


Enloop Dashboard Example

Best For

Enloop takes business plan automation to the max—practically writing entire sections on your behalf after input prompts.

Key Features

  • Automated Text Writing
  • Custom Charts & Tables
  • Version Control History
  • Real-Time Feedback Scoring
  • Alternate Concept Testing

Ideal Users

Founders short on time will benefit most from Enloop. It streamlines drafting common plan components through AI support.


  • Starter – $29/mo
  • Grow – $59/mo
  • Scale – $129/mo

Free 7-day trials available.

Hopefully this side-by-side look at features gives you an idea of strengths of different tools.

Let‘s wrap up with some best practices as you start leveraging business plan software for your needs.

Tips for Choosing the Right Software

Here are key guidelines to avoid wasted time or money:

🚀 Start with your end goal – Do you need to create pitches? Validate concepts? Attract funding? Certain tools cater better to specific end goals.

💰 Watch pricing tiers – Make sure you aren‘t overpaying for unused features or locking yourself into rigid contracts.

🥅 Set planning milestones – Don‘t overlook project management support to keep your plan on track long-term.

⏱️ Understand time investments – Still expect to put in work customizing generated plans—these aren‘t magic solutions!

🤝 Don‘t go solo – Collaborative functionality unlocks invaluable peer feedback so use it.

Creating winning business plans takes effort regardless of what software you pick. But the right tools matched to your scenario will make the journey much smoother.

Now you have the complete guide to business planning solutions. Time to focus on your customers instead of planning logistics!