Writing a Business Plan
So, you have decided to start up a new business. You begin to do some research and find that almost everything you read recommends that you produce a business plan. Why is this so? Because the benefits of compiling a business plan are numerous – not least, the fact that committing your thoughts to paper dramatically improves your prospect of getting started in the first place. A business plan also helps you gain a holistic view of the business and helps you to devise a strategy to ensure a successful launch for your idea.
Having decided to produce a business plan, there are three main ways to write one:
1. Pay someone to write it.
2. Write it yourself using Microsoft® Word and Excel.
3. Write it using a task-specific software product such as Business Plan Pro UK Edition.
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 plan for you.
You are then faced with the choice between using Business Plan Pro or building everything yourself, 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 independent reviews on the website, all corroborating this view. By all means, consider other 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 for 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 plan to peers, colleagues or prospective investors, you will need to produce a 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 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 document 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 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 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 plan that you can.
While this recommendation is clearly from our perspective, 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.