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How to write a business plan

by Alan Gleeson

Starting a Business Plan

There are three main ways to write a business plan:

1. Pay someone to write the business plan.

2. Write a business plan yourself using Microsoft® Word and Excel.

3. Write it using software such as Business Plan Pro.

If you, like many entrepreneurs, are time rich and cash poor, option 1 quickly removes itself from the equation, given the cost of having someone write a business plan for you.


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You are then faced with the choice between using Business Plan Pro or writing the business plan, from scratch, in Microsoft Word and Excel.

Why are we not recommending other business plan software options? Because Business Plan Pro is the best business planning software available – without exception. Palo Alto Software (the maker of Business Plan Pro) has a proud history, has had category leadership for years and has extensive lists of testimonials and business plan software reviews on the website, all corroborating this view. By all means, do feel free to consider other business plan software options; however, we are confident that your own analysis will reveal that Business Plan Pro stands head and shoulders above the alternatives.

When it comes to using Word and Excel there are undoubted benefits – not least the fact that they are ‘free’ in the sense that they are bundled on most PCs. The interface is also familiar, given the popularity of their use. However, while these tools are excellent when you know exactly what you need to produce, they offer negligible assistance when it comes to producing specific content, such as that required when you need to write a business plan. If the purpose of the business plan were simply to jot down a few notes to keep you on track, they would suffice. However, if you intend to circulate the business plan to peers, colleagues or prospective investors, you will need to produce a business plan worthy of your name. After all, you are the author!

Here are the reasons why we believe that using Business Plan Pro is the easiest way to write a business plan:

1. Offers significant time saving

Business Plan Pro was designed to help you write a business plan as efficiently as possible. It comes with extensive help, lots of examples and expert advice.

2. Provides the structure

Business Plan Pro walks you through a list of specific tasks, step by step, in stark contrast to the blank screen and flashing cursor you face when you create a new document in Microsoft Word.

3. Includes hundreds of examples

Business Plan Pro includes over 500 sample plans so you can browse plenty of examples to help give you ideas.

4. Ensures you do not leave out any sections

Over ten years of history means that we know what sections to include, where they should appear in the business plan and what you need to put in them.

5. Makes the numbers part easy

We recognise that while compiling the financials is an essential part of any business plan, it is a very challenging area. We have simplified this process with the inclusion of easy-to-use financial wizards and automatic calculations, linking together all the financials from Start-up costs to Sales Forecast to Personnel Expenses to Cash Flow to Profit and Loss.

6. Free business plan support available

Alongside the extensive in-product help, we also offer a free support line and a comprehensive help facility on our website.

7. Signposts relevant resources at appropriate points

The software also includes links to relevant local resources where you can read specific advice on any areas with which you need further assistance, including trademarks, company formations, and more.

8. Designed specifically for producing a business plan

Whereas Microsoft Word is a general purpose tool, Business Plan Pro is designed specifically to help you write a business plan with the least amount of hassle.

9. Risk free

The time saving alone will easily justify the small cost you will need to pay for Business Plan Pro. However, you can avail of our 60-day money-back guarantee if you are still unsure as to whether it will benefit you.

10. Increases your chances

Finally, for most people a business plan is written for a specific purpose, such as securing funding. You should give yourself every chance of succeeding by producing the best quality business plan that you can.

While this recommendation is clearly from the perspective of Palo Alto Software, the risk is essentially negligible. You can try out the best-selling business planning software and avail of the money-back offer if it is just not for you. Try it today – we are confident you will not be disappointed.

Looking for additional information on how to write a business plan?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Emmanuel Kiven July 26, 2009 at 3:51 am

Is Business Plan Pro an online software or Downloadable software that I an purchase & keep or save in my PC and use as and when I desire?

How much does it cost?
EK

————
Thanks for your question, Emmanuel!

You can get all the information on our Business Plan Pro UK Edition by clicking on this link: Business Planning Software

The software is designed to operate on PC only and is a downloaded software. All the information is on our product page for the software.

If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us: PaloAlto.co.uk Website

Claire March 2, 2010 at 7:22 am

I used your useful information, to help me design a business plan.
It took me many attempts to get it right, thrown several bits of paper in the bin, but after looking at examples, and purchasing Business Plan Pro, it has been my way forward.

Maximilian March 7, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Honestly, be thorough. If one cannot write their own business plan – a small bit of work – then how dedicated do you truly expect to be in the quotidian business proceedings? Perhaps have a professional look it over, but the investors you’ll be sending it to can do that. If your idea is valuable they’ll want to work with you to ensure every detail is set right. They’ll be a partner rather than an adversary. An entrepreneur wins in business by their relentless spirit, their perseverance, if you have that then there’s no need to freak out over the stages of start-up, they’ll get done despite their imperfections and that’s all that counts.

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