Business Plan Writing Software
If your writing skills leave something to be desired or you are simply uncomfortable with having others read your writing, you may wish to look into business plan writing software. There are a number of packages available all of which serve as business plan templates. You then simply fill in the blanks. The creative writing element is thereby reduced substantially. Most packages will even generate pro forma financial statements based on the assumptions you feed into them for key numbers such as sales, profit margins, operating overhead, etc.
The advantages of using business plan software include:
It’s less expensive than hiring a consultant to write it for you. Consultants typically charge $5000 to $10,000.
Most software comes with a variety of formats for different types of businesses such as manufacturing, service, distribution, so that you can select the most appropriate one for your business.
The templates do a good job of covering the bases so that you are unlikely to miss some key issue.
The disadvantages of using business plan software include:
The templates tend to be more rigid than flexible. Therefore it becomes extremely difficult to move strong sections to the front and weak ones to the back. (For example, if you have a great idea but a weak management team, a common trick is to put the product description up front and bury the team section at the end.)
Most of these plans share a cookie cutter look and feel which can be spotted immediately by anyone who reads a lot of business plans.
Some writing on your part will still be required.
They are not appropriate for presentation to sophisticated investors such as venture capitalists.
In conclusion, they are worth checking out if yours is a low tech simple business in need of money from the 3Fs (Family, Friends, and Fools).