Business plan software is an affordable alternative to hiring a professional business plan writer or small business consultant. Good software applications will have all the features you need to draft a business plan that you'll be confident in sharing with others, or for making a pitch to investors. There are some reasons why you might not want to use business plan software, and it's important to weigh the pros and cons before making a final decision.
The Pros of Using Business Plan Software
Purchasing business plan software is a necessary option for many aspiring business who need to keep start-up costs as low as possible. Not everyone writes a business plan to get money from investors. Some entrepreneurs want to start on the right foot with a plan to guide them, and paying a professional to write the plan doesn't make sense financially. Whatever your reasons for writing a business plan, you can expect these pros for using business plan software:
- Guides you step by step in the writing process
- Generates categories and titles automatically
- Don't need to outline prior to writing the plan, it's outlined in the software for you
- Accounting is done for you, just add figures when asked for
- Financial statements are generated for you
- Don't have to bother creating graphs, charts and tables from scratch
- Easy to update as your business grows, or as new facts and
information require changes to the plan
There are also cons to weigh prior to making your decision.
The Cons of Using Business Plan Software
It doesn't seem as if there could be any disadvantages, because of the many great benefits. However, the following cons might persuade you to write the plan yourself or hire a consultant or business plan writer instead:
- Software misses industry insights and business experience to help you write the plan that a business plan writer or consultant will have
- Costs money, when you can write your own plan for free
- Some business plan software do not offer technical support
- It's standardized, and you don't have much flexibility to stray from the templates in the software
- The software can't adequately review your written work
You may end up spending money on a consultant or editor to review your final product if you're planning to present your business plan to investors. That could result in paying more money in the end, as opposed to hiring a consultant from the start.
The main consideration for whether or not to use a business plan software is who you want to share the plan with and for what purpose. If it's for your eyes only or for a small team, than a software is a great option. If you plan to show it to raise capital, than it may worth hiring a professional to write it for you.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.