Business planning is a process that any business owner goes through regularly, whether they are just starting or have been in business for years. It is essential. The business planning process can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By using business planning software, you can make the process much easier and less time-consuming.
But with so many different business planning software options on the market, how do you know which is right for you and your business? This blog post will help you discover which is the best business planning software for your business.
1. Assess Your Business Planning Needs
First, you need to define your goals and objectives to choose a good business planning software. What are you hoping to achieve with the software?
No two business plan apps on the market are the same. In fact, each can be unique, with different features and Unique Selling Propositions (USPs). Some software focuses more on the financial aspect of a business, while others specialise in reporting and data visualisation.
Another question you need to ask is how long you will use the software. For example, if you are a startup trying to create a business plan, you may only need a simple template, not the actual software. You can also use a Software as a Service (SaaS) app for short-term needs.
2. Research Available Business Planning Software Options
There are several business planning software options available, each with its own features. Forecasting is an integral part of business planning, and the software you choose should be able to accommodate your forecasting needs.
As said earlier, some software programs are better at handling complex data sets, while others may be more user-friendly. Ultimately, the best business planning software for you is the one that meets your specific needs.
Some planning apps are better suited for small businesses, while others are more comprehensive and can be used by large companies. When choosing software for business planning, it is important to consider the size of your business and the features you need.
3. Consider Ease of Use and Implementation
When selecting business planning software, ease of use is an important consideration. You want something that is user-friendly and will not require a lot of training for you or your team members. An excellent way to ensure ease of use is to select software with templates that will give you a starting point and make it easy to input the information.
Nowadays, many companies like Blox are offering planning apps that can be used right in your web browser. For example, Blox offers different blocks (calculators) which in a few simple steps allow business leaders to analyse data, visualise it, and predict business outcomes.
4. Evaluate Pricing
Business planning software can cost a few dollars a month to a few thousand dollars a year. It all depends on the type of software, its target audience, the features it offers, and the integrations it supports.
The following are some of the common types of pricing options you will come across when researching business plan apps.
Most business planning apps offer a subscription model. The upside is that you won’t have to pay for the software upfront. Instead, you will pay a small and regular amount (monthly or annually) for as long as you use the app.
Some business planning apps let you try the app for free for a set amount of time. If your business planning needs are basic, you may get it done quickly within the free trial period.
Some planning apps offer a freemium model. You can download and use the app for free, but you will have to pay for advanced features.
5. Read Online Reviews
Before purchasing software, be sure to read reviews from trusted sources. It will help you ensure that you are getting a quality product. Reviews from users like you will help you know if that software fits your needs.
G2, Capterra, Software Advice, etc., are some of the popular software review websites that allow you to read reviews and help you discover new apps.
Take the time to try out a few different business planning software programs to see which one best suits your needs and is the easiest for you to use.